The Department for Energy and Climate Change is expected to launch its 14th onshore licensing round to invite companies to bid for the rights to explore in as-yet untouched parts of the country.
The move is expected to be politically controversial because it could potentially result in fracking taking place across more than half of Britain.
The Government is a big proponent of fracking and last year revealed that it would “step up the search” for shale gas and oil.
Ministers said they would offer energy companies the chance for rights to drill across more than 37,000 square miles, stretching from the Central Belt to the south of England.
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