Queen could benefit from shale gas boom

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Tue Dec 18 23:15:26 GMT 2012

Queen could benefit from shale gas boom
The Queen could be one of the first to benefit from Britain's shale 
gas boom, after it emerged a company is considering drilling on land 
owned by the Duchy of Lancaster.

By By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent - 7:28PM GMT 14 Dec 2012

Firms are preparing to start exploring for the new gas resources 
across vast swathes of the north-east, north-west, south and 
Scotland, after ministers lifted a ban on "fracking" this week.
One of these companies, Cuadrilla Resources, is now considering 
whether to launch a new project in Lancashire on land owned by the 
Duchy of Lancaster.
The historic royal estate has a portfolio of land, property and 
assets "held in trust for the sovereign in his or her role as Duke of 
Lancaster", so any benefit would ultimately go to the Queen.
Cuadrilla today confirmed has spoken to the landowner, about getting 
permission to drill.
The actual gas trapped underground belongs to the Crown Estate and 
money raised from the sale of licences to drill would therefore go to 
the taxpayer.
"We do have to get permission from the landowner to drill and carry 
out seismic and as part of that they would be paid," a Cuadrilla 
spokesman said. "But mineral rights all belong to state."
A spokesman for the Duchy of Lancaster told a local newspaper, the 
Garstang Courier: "We have been approached by Cuadrilla regarding a 
potential fracking site, but will not consider a licence for this 
work without the necessary planning consents and safety assurances.
"The Duchy does not receive any money from the gas itself, as it only 
controls the land.
"Should Cuadrilla wish to access the gas from Duchy land then it 
would require a licence to drill which would have to be granted by the Duchy."
Under the controversial technique, companies pump liquids into the 
ground to fracture the rock and release gas. Countryside campaigners 
fear it could scar the landscape and pollute drinking water.
However, Edward Davey, the Energy Secretary, has promised the process 
will be safe and subject to tight environmental regulations.

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