Fresh bid on cards for oil and gas drilling

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A NEW bid for energy exploration has been received by the UK’s oil and gas regulator.

The Oil and Gas Authority has announced 132 new areas across the country that could be offered to companies for exploration.

One of the new areas is between Chichester and Bognor.

Two smaller blocks cover land north and south of Singleton, with the latter stretching as far as parts of the Goodwood Estate.

The sites have to undergo a detailed environmental assessment before becoming officially licensed.

All the 132 blocks have received licence applications from companies, but once granted by the OGA, planning permission is still needed for specific sites from local authorities.

Licences have already been granted for much of the Weald Basin in the south, including near Horndean and Petersfield.

West Sussex has been at the forefront of the fight to stop hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, with exploratory drilling applications refused between Wisborough Green and Kirdford, and Fernhurst last year.

The proposals were rejected by West Sussex County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority.