What is fracking?

Fracking (or hydraulic fracturing) is the process of drilling down into the earth, then directing a high-pressure water mixture at the rock to release the gas inside.

The type of rock which is being ‘fracked’ is shale rock – when this is split apart, the shale gas inside is released.

There have been reserves of shale gas discovered across Britain, especially in the north of England, but the potential of exploiting this gas remains very uncertain.

What is shale gas?

The type of rock which is being ‘fracked’ is shale rock – so the gas inside is shale gas. When the rock is split apart, the shale gas inside is released.

Is fracking happening in Britain?

There have been reserves of shale gas discovered across Britain, especially in the north of England, but the potential of exploiting this gas remains very uncertain.

The government has made it clear that it’s going “all out for shale” in Britain.

In order to accelerate fracking, the government has offered the industry the most generous tax regime in the world, has changed planning regulations to remove local veto, has shifted environmental standards, and has even retrofitted trespassing law, meaning fracking companies can drill underneath homes in Britain without permission.

Where is fracking happening in the UK?

You can see where fracking licenses have been granted on our UK fracking map.

So far, the government has granted more than 1000 licences to firms in Britain which will allow them to explore opportunities for fracking these shale reserves – that's 64% of England.

When did fracking begin?

Before they can actually begin, permission needs to be granted by district councils, but the government has pledged to intervene and push through fracking applications if councils do not fast-track shale gas plans.

Recently, North Yorkshire Council granted permission for fracking tests in the Ryedale district and in October 2016 the government gave the go-ahead for fracking to begin in Lancashire.