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Community Benefits Package For Shale Gas ‘Fracking’ Announced

Communities near shale gas drilling sites will be offered £100,000 per well site where ‘fracking’ takes place and one per cent of revenues if commercial production goes ahead, according to the government.

The benefits have been offered by the gas drilling industry and were announced yesterday by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

According to the department, the industry has also pledged to consult “openly and honestly” with communities at all stages, including in advance of submitting planning applications.

Operators will publish evidence each year of how these commitments will be met, according to DECC.

Energy minister Michael Fallon said: “We want to encourage a shale industry that is safe and that doesn’t damage the environment. Development must be done in partnership with local people. We welcome the commitments from industry on community benefits.

“This will provide a welcome boost for communities who will host shale exploration and production as well as offering strong assurances that operators will engage with them and work to the highest health, safety and environmental standards.”

Francis Egan, chief executive of oil and gas exploration and production company Cuadrilla, said that if gas fracking is successful, the payments should represent millions of pounds per production site.

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