Drilling company IGas has found shale gas at the Barton Moss site near Manchester.
The gas firm said it has finished drilling at its well on the site which was recently a focus of anti-fracking protests.
IGas confirmed it hit the Bowland Shale, a stretch of porous rock deep underground which contains shale gas.
Cores of rock were taken out of the ground at different levels so the company can work out more accurately how much gas might be trapped in the rock.
Chief Executive Andrew Austin said: “These early exploration results are key to our understanding of the potential resource in the area. We are pleased that the drilling has completed on time and on budget.”