Cuadrilla Resources is to submit a planning application for a horizontal well in Lancashire to discover the viability of recovering gas trapped within the county's shale foundations.
The energy group, which is chaired by the former BP chief executive Lord Browne, is exploring for natural gas in subterranean shale in Lancashire and says that drilling a horizontal well at Anna's Road, Westby, will give it a better understanding of the consistency of the shale rock.
The horizontal well will be an extension of the vertical well being drilled at Anna's Road, for which Cuadrilla gained planning permission in November 2010.
Cuadrilla has not yet applied to extract any shale gas, which requires a controversial technology called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking involving splitting the rock under high pressure.
France and Bulgaria have both banned shale exploration, but the British government has yet to announce its stance on the issue.