The Energy Secretary Ed Davey is currently briefing the media on the Government's decision whether to allow fracking to resume in the UK.
Speaking to reporters in Blackburn, Lancashire, the Energy Secretary said:
– ed davey, energy secretary
Shale gas represents a promising new potential energy resource for the UK ...
My decision is based on the evidence. It comes after detailed study of the latest scientific research available and advice from leading experts in the field.
We are still in the very early stages of shale gas exploration in the UK and it is likely to develop slowly.
It is essential that its development should not come at the expense of local communities or the environment.
Fracking must be safe and the public must be confident that it is safe.
There are potentially millions of pounds worth of gas deposits in the region.
If it can be extracted, it may be not just be good for our grid.
So that means that in places like Canonbie in Dumfries and Galloway, work could now begin again, although in a different form.
The decision taken by the Government to lift the ban on fracking could have an impact in our region.
Fracking is a controversial technique, of fracturing underground rock to release natural gas. There's potential for fracking to take place in the Pennines and possibly Northumberland.
Environmental campaigners are concerned, but the Energy Secretary Ed Davey says that people should be reassured by the measures now in place.
There is potential for shale gas extraction in County Durham, according to the British Geological Survey.
Professor Nigel Smith told North East Tonight that the 'Pennine basin' showed the greatest potential in the region, but that there are currently no licenses to drill there.
The Energy Secretary announced controls to minimise the risk of earthquakes caused by fracking, including more reviews of sites and monitoring.
He said: "As the industry develops we will remain vigilant to all emerging evidence to ensure fracking is safe and the local environment is protected."
The Energy Secretary Ed Davey has given the go ahead for companies to begin 'fracking' - a controversial technique of fracturing underground rock to release natural gas.
The technique has been banned since May 2011 when a site in Lancashire experienced small tremors after fracking took place.