The parent company of British Gas is rumoured to be eyeing up shale gas assets in the UK.
Energy firm Centrica is tipped to be in talks with shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources over its Bowland Shale licences, a source told Reuters last week.
Cuadrilla is one of two firms currently exploring in the UK (pictured) although several firms hold licences to drill. The shale gas explorer believes there could be as much as 200trillion cubic feet of gas under its own licence area in Lancashire.
The Government has set up a new office for shale gas and oil in the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and announced new tax incentives for the unconventional gas. However no new firms have applied for licences from DECC since 2008.
Both Centrica and Cuadrilla said they had no comment on the speculation.