An environmental permit has been granted to INEOS to drill an exploratory borehole at a site in South Yorkshire.
It comes after a similar licence was given by the Environment Agency to allow it to drill at a site in Derbyshire earlier this month.
The ‘Standard Rules’ permit allows the company to carry out drilling and waste management to take core samples of the rock at Common Road, Harthill – but does not allow fracking.
The permits include fixed rules and conditions that cover common, low risk industrial activities and are issued to companies only after they show they understand and can manage the risks to people and the environment.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “As with all decisions on whether to issue environmental permits, we will assess a company’s proposals to ensure they meet strict requirements. If an activity poses an unacceptable risk to the environment, the activity will not be permitted.”