Fracking companies have hit back at ‘harmful scaremongering’ after the government announced Sheffield and South Yorkshire is to be opened up to exploratory drilling.
Large swathes of South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire are being opened up to fracking companies for exploration.
Areas being explored in the region are to the east of Sheffield – stretching from Killamarsh and Dinnington up past Rotherham towards Bolton-upon-Dearne.
A total of 27 new licences, mostly in the North of England, have been awarded to companies to explore for oil and gas as the Government looks to push forward with a shale industry in the UK.
Opponents have warned widespread fracking will hit house prices and tourism, as well as increasing noise and traffic congestion.
Firms which have been handed licences in South Yorkshire include Cuadrilla, Ineos and IGas.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “Whilst we continue to progress our shale gas exploration work in Lancashire, we welcome the potential for exploration in Yorkshire along with the associated benefits of new jobs and economic growth we believe it will bring.
“Our first priority will be to talk with local communities. We recognise that some members of the public will have concerns and there continues to be a good deal of misinformation circulated regarding onshore shale exploration.
“We have a responsibility to ensure people understand the facts and are not misled by harmful scaremongering.
“Onshore exploration and fracking can and will be done safely, securely and in an environmentally responsible way.”
Ineos Shale CEO Gary Haywood said: “We are keen to move quickly to evaluate the potential of this resource, and determine if we can produce gas from our licenses.
“This will depend on the pace of planning approval. If we can, it will provide a local source of competitive energy and raw materials to support manufacturing jobs.
“Our recent commitment to share the revenue of the gas production with the landowners and the community will also bring significant local benefits.”