Petrochemicals giant Ineos is said to be planning to lodge as many as 30 applications to drill test wells in the next six months, according to reports.
Director at Ineos, Tom Crotty, said the firm planned to start drilling in the north of England next year.
The move could lead to it extracting gas in 18 months, according to the Financial Times.
Crotty told the paper once drilling begins, people would be able to see fracking was not the “Frankenstein monster” they thought it was.
Earlier this month it was revealed Ineos was considering a move into the motor industry with a plan to resurrect the Land Rover Defender.