A UK Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) allows a company to pursue a range of oil and gas exploration activities, subject to necessary drilling/development consents and planning permission. There are currently 230 onshore licences, covering 529 blocks. The 14th Licensing Round was announced on the 17th of December 2015 with the award of 159 new blocks under 93 new licences.
Around 2,000 wells have now been drilled in the UK, with about 10% of them having been hydraulically fractured (fracked). There are currently around 120 sites with 250 operating wells producing between 20,000 and 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of produced water is disposed of safely under permits from the EA and SEPA.
In June 2013, the British Geological Survey (BGS) in association with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), then known as the Department of Energy and Climate Change, completed an estimate for the resource (gas-in-place) of shale gas in part of central Britain in an area between Wrexham and Blackpool in the west, and Nottingham and Scarborough in the east. The central estimate for the resource was 1,329 trillion cubic feet (tcf) compared to the annual consumption to the UK of just over 3 tcf.
Click here for more information about UK onshore licencing and the list of current licence areas and operators from the Oil and Gas Authority: