CORNWALL is unlikely to become a battleground for fracking after the county wasn't mentioned in the Government's latest plans in the search for shale gas and oil.
Areas of the country which could be opened up to shale gas exploration have been detailed on a map showing areas the Government plans to offer to energy companies.
Ministers said they would offer energy companies the chance for rights to drill across more than 37,000 square miles, stretching from central Scotland to the south coast.
The latest map, produced by engineers Amec, includes the eastern corner and south coast of Devon as an area "under consideration" for fracking, along with most of Dorset and Somerset – but nothing in Cornwall.
Exeter-based geologist Dr Ramues Gallois, a fellow of the Royal Geological Society, said some shale gas reserves were too deeply buried and are now too fractured to have commercial amounts of extractable gas preserved: "This rules out Cornwall and much of Devon and Somerset as target areas."
South West MEP Sir Graham Watson said using fracking to meet the country's future energy demands was the wrong policy.
"I think the Government will face huge public opposition," Sir Graham said.
A newly released report commissioned by the Government said as many as 2,880 wells could be drilled.
It said that fracking could generate up to a fifth of the country's annual gas demand at peak, and create as many as 32,000 jobs.