An energy company today claimed to have identified natural gas “worth millions” under an industrial estate in London, raising the prospect of the capital’s first fracking operation.
London Local Energy believes there are oil and gas deposits below Artesian Close Industrial Estate in Willesden.
It now wants a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence from regulator the Oil and Gas Authority to drill underground.
LLE chief executive Nick Grealy and four geologists came up with the theory that oil and gas are at the location after researching the discovery of oil at Stonebridge Park in 1912.
The company believes this deposit, 1,700ft down, could be more effectively explored and extracted with modern equipment — and could potentially meet 12 per cent of London’s energy needs and save 1.7 million tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions. Mr Grealy, 63, today urged the OGA to open up another round of PEDL bids. More than 100 licences have been issued but at present there is no date for a new round of bids.
The company would need further licences to extract any natural gas through hydraulic fracture, or fracking. This involves drilling deep wells into shale rock and using chemicals and water to extract gas at high pressure.