Ministers move to bolster fracking safeguards by closing ‘loophole’

The government will require operators of wells drilled before 2016 to seek a final rubber stamp before they can begin fracking

Parliament: written ministerial statement aims to close consenting loophole. Photograph: Paul Moore/123RFOperators of shale gas wells drilled before 2016 will now have to apply for final consent from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to begin fracking after ministers moved to close a loophole.

In a written ministerial statement issued on 29 November, energy minister Richard Harrington said that secretary of state Greg Clark had laid before parliament a direction “ensuring that the Oil and Gas Authority consults BEIS on onshore hydraulic fracturing operations”.

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