More drilling could take place outside a Sussex village which has been the focus of anti-fracking protests. Energy firm Cuadrilla has submitted plans to carry out "flow tests" at the Balcombe site after test drilling found hydrocarbons in rock samples.
A Cuadrilla spokesman said the new application did not include a request to carry out fracking. The firm had drilled a 3,000ft vertical well and a 2,500ft horizontal bore, but the well had been closed off while it sought fresh planning permission.
A West Sussex County Council spokesman confirmed the application was submitted on Wednesday and that it would take 10 days for it to be published and appear on the authority's website. He said there would then be a formal consultation.
Police said they are winding up their operation overseeing anti-fracking protests in West Sussex as the final cost to taxpayers is expected to hit around £4 million.
Energy company Cuadrilla has been spending the week clearing the site at Balcombe after completing its exploratory oil drilling earlier this month.
Although no hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been taking place, the village has been thrust to the forefront of anti-fracking protests over the past two months.