An oil and chemical firm has inquired about the possibility of drilling for shale gas on land close to a village in north east Derbyshire - the first of its kind in the county.
Company INEOS has identifed a potential new drilling site at privately-owned land off Bramleymoor Lane, close to the village of Marsh Lane and near Apperknowle.
The firm has submitted a request to Derbyshire County Council and says a formal planning application will follow.
Residents can have their say at an exhibition at Green Laws Community Centre in Marsh Lane on Tuesday, January 31.
Mike Ashworth, Derbyshire County Council’s strategic director for economy, transport and communities, said: “If INEOS applies for planning permission to carry out further investigations at this site it would be the first application of its kind in Derbyshire.
“The county council has a legal obligation to decide on planning applications about fracking in Derbyshire.
“Our planning committee considers each planning application on its individual merits and is impartial. As with any other planning application, each planning decision it makes is based on objective analysis of evidence, taking into account local and national planning policies and the relevant comments of official consultees – such as parish councils – and the public.”
INEOS is one of the companies licensed by the Oil and Gas Authority to extract gas from shale deep in the ground, which would involve hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’. This refers to the process of injecting water and chemicals at high pressure to create tiny cracks so the gas can flow up a well to the surface and be collected.
The three main stages of the process are: exploration, appraisal and production.
Exploration involves building a drilling rig and drilling vertically, deep into the ground to find out how much gas is in the shale. This does not involve fracking. Appraisal involves using the rig to carry out test fracking to see how the gas flows out of the shale. Production requires applying for planning permission from the county council for a full-time commercial operation.
A spokesman for INEOS said: “INEOS looks forward to working alongside the local community to ensure that the important issues have been discussed considered and are understood prior to the planning application being submitted.”