LONDON, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The British government formally lifted a ban on fracking for shale gas in England on Thursday and confirmed support for new oil and gas licensing round.
According to a statement published Thursday, to "bolster the country's energy security," the British government has lifted the moratorium on shale gas production in England.
The government has also confirmed plans for a new oil and gas licensing round, launching by the North Sea Transition Authority in early October, paving the way for more than 100 new licences for exploration, which could involve fracking. These licences will enable developers to search for commercially viable oil and gas sources.
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said strengthening Britain's energy security is "an absolute priority."
In 2019, the British government said that fracking would resume only if "the science shows categorically that it can be done safely." However, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy argued Thursday that lifting the ban would enable further data to be collected.
The moratorium on shale-gas production has been in place in England since 2019 following concerns over earth tremors. According to an Oil and Gas Authority report, it is not possible with current technology to accurately predict the probability of tremors associated with fracking. ■