The parent company of British Gas is seeking to generate more of its own energy, due to its increasing reliance on foreign imports.
Centrica, owner of British Gas, has announced a new 2 year partnership with Cuadrilla Resources to extract shale gas at 7 wells across Lancashire.
Fracking will take place at 6 new wells, as well as the one existing exploration well at Grange Hill near Singleton.
If permits are granted by the Environment Agency then the local communities will receive up to £100,000 as compensation for the disruption caused.
Recent figures from the British Geological Society estimate there is enough gas to power the whole of the UK for decades under the North of England alone.
Centrica is also one of three global energy giants interested in exploring the arctic in search of oil.
E.ON, RWE Npower and Centrica are all keen to win the latest round of licensing from the Norwegian Government.
Centrica stressed that the project would take 3-5 years. A spokesman said: “Before any exploration can take place, robust environment surveys are carried out to identify specific environmental sensitivities, to provide us with information on presence of vulnerable species”.
Sources: Cuadrilla and Centrica unveil two-year fracking programme – Telegraph | Three of big 6 plan look to drilling in Arctic – Telegraph | Cuadrilla announces major fracking expansion in UK – Guardian