The UK government is reviewing fracking laws to enable companies to carry out exploration without permission of the land owners.
Currently, fracking companies need to obtain the home owners' approval before starting drilling below their properties. In case they are unable to reach an agreement, they can turn to law to appeal. However, the situation might soon change, the Daily Telegraph has revealed, as the government seeks ways to streamline the procedures.
"All options are on the table,” a Whitehall source told the Daily Telegraph. “It would be difficult to implement a regime that removed any kind of compensation. You could change the rules so you have a de facto right, but then you have to pay. The compensation could be less than £100."
The UK government firmly backs action to exploit what are believed to be large reserves of shale gas in rocks beneath the UK, which it claims could help bring down energy bills and create thousands of jobs.
Green groups, on the other hand, are dead set against the technique, which, some say, would contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, possibly trigger small earthquakes and pollute water supplies.
Last year Prime Minister David Cameron said action was needed to make it easier for the controversial fracking technique to be used in the effort to cut the cost of energy and promised a ‘simplified system’ for companies to get permission.
A spokesman of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said: "Shale gas and oil operations that involve fracking in wells drilled over a mile down are highly unlikely to have any discernible impacts closer to the surface.
"Like any other industrial activity, oil and gas operations require access permission from landowners. But there is an existing legal route by which operators can apply for access where this can't be negotiated.
"We're currently considering whether this existing route is fit for purpose,” he said, explaining that similar access issues apply to deep geothermal energy projects.