Gas has been found in shale rock at a test drilling site in Salford, an energy company has said. IGas said it had detected the gas in samples from its test well at Barton Moss.
Drilling will now stop while the samples are analysed, which is likely to take six months, the company said.
About 60 anti-fracking protesters in a camp near the site will have a hearing against their eviction at the Court of Appeal on 16 July.
IGas chief executive Andrew Austin said: “These early exploration results are key to our understanding of the potential resource in the area.”
The company also said it now hopes to map a 100 sq km area of the north west to determine where else to drill for shale gas.