Oil and gas development

Oil and gas development in Hampshire

Oil and gas are important mineral resources and primary resources of energy. Oil and gas includes both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons.

Hampshire already has areas of conventional onshore oil and gas production. These are the result of considerable exploration activity. There are currently three active oil fields. There is currently no unconventional oil or gas (shale) development in Hampshire.

The Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan (HMWP) includes a policy on oil and gas development (Policy 24).

In 2014, we held an event on oil and gas development in Hampshire. This brought together the industry, regulators, local community groups and other interested parties to disseminate information and initiate dialogue. A summary report of the event. The event formed the basis for the preparation and adoption of additional guidance.

The Oil and Gas in Hampshire Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) sits alongside the adopted plan, providing more guidance for oil and gas planning applications in Hampshire. Any planning application for conventional or unconventional oil and gas development will be judged against the policies of the HMWP and the guidance set out in the SPD.

For more information read our On-shore oil and gas frequently asked questions

Oil and gas licensing

The Oil and Gas Authority issue oil and gas licences periodically. We don't issue licences for oil and gas development.

Licenses give a company or group of companies sole rights to explore for, and develop, the resource in a particular area. They allow a company to pursue a range of activities for conventional or unconventional oil or gas.

It is important that the purpose of an oil and gas licence is understood as it may be may be flagged up in home buyers searches. Oil and gas licences don't give consent for drilling or for any other operations or development. Potential operators will need to get the following before any development can start:

  • consent from the landowner for the siting of infrastructure
  • planning permission on each stage of development from the MPA
  • associated regulatory consents (such as from the Environment Agency) and
  • any extra consents for drilling operations

More information on licensing is available on the oil and gas licensing website.