Fracking will not be permitted in Wales, Lesley Griffiths, cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs in the Welsh Assembly has announced. In addition, she said no new petroleum extraction licences would be granted.
Wales took over petroleum licensing powers in October and Griffiths said “an opportunity to consider our whole approach to the extraction of petroleum in Wales”. A consultation “demonstrated overwhelming support for our proposed policy”, she said. She confirmed that hydraulic fracturing of petroleum will not be supported and no new petroleum extraction licences would be granted except to ensure the safe management of abandoned mines or to support scientific research. There are 13 licences still ‘live’.
That also means that Wales will not support extraction of coal bed methane. Griffiths said there were “concerns raised about missing data for the risks of fugitive emissions from coal bed methane. The lack of extraction sites anywhere in the UK means information on CBM is limited.”