A 347sq mile expanse in the north of the county between Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington has been identified as a possible source of shale gas by the British Geological Survey.
The Government is to decide whether ‘fracking’ – the controversial form of gas extraction – should be allowed in Oxfordshire.
Licensing is being undertaken in rounds. The Department of Energy and Climate Change says the results for the 14th round, of which North Oxfordshire will be a part, should be released this year (2014).
David Cameron has told councils that they can keep 100% of business taxes raised by fracking operations and is overhauling ancient trespass laws to allow excavations under people’s homes.
Greenpeace have an anti-fracking petition exceeding 75,000 signatures, which is supported by a coalition of environmental groups and is the biggest in the UK. Some councils have made public announcements saying they won’t be bribed, including Hampshire, Bath, Somerset, North East Somerset, Herefordshire, the London Borough of Waltham Forest, and Cheshire East in George Osborne’s constituency.