Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs
From today, the 1st of October, the Welsh Ministers assume responsibility for the licensing of onshore petroleum extraction.
The Welsh Government has been working with UK Government and the UK Oil & Gas Authority to ensure a smooth transfer of the powers.
I have put in place the necessary administrative arrangements for the licensing functions to operate effectively, including, technical guidance and information materials, and a new statutory instrument which enables us to charge existing license holders for these licensing functions.
In preparation for this new area of responsibility I also launched a consultation in July seeking views on our preferred policy towards future petroleum extraction in Wales. The consultation closed last week and we have had over 1800 responses.
We have started analysing the submissions and will publish our response to the consultation outcome before the end of this year.
In the meantime we have a Notification Direction in place which prohibits local planning authorities approving planning applications for fracking without Welsh Minister’s approval. This supports our ongoing opposition to unconventional extraction, including fracking, whilst we develop and confirm our future policy.