The controversial gas extraction technique known as fracking could be on its way to Bassetlaw.
Dart Energy have been granted a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) to extract coal-based methane from the ground.
The licence encompasses Blyth, Retford, Sutton-cum-Lound, Carlton and Langold.
Controversy surrounds fracking - short for hydraulic fracturing - which involves piping water into rock at high pressure to release gas.
Opponents believe fracking could cause localised earthquakes and pollute water supplies.
Local residents also worry that the creation of fracking sites and wells would disturb the area’s rural character.
A statement from Notts County Council said: “We have not received any applications for exploration, testing or production of shale gas using fracking or any other method.”
“If plans were ever received, they would be publicised and subject to full consultation with the public and other agencies.”
A Dart Energy spokeman said: “A vertical coal bed methane well may be drilled next year to the east of the licence area (not within the SSSI or nature reserve) with the objective of extracting a core from the coals to enable lab testing of the methane content.”
“The duration of such an operation is typically less than 30 days and the site would be restored on completion.”
“When plans have been firmed up the company will communicate the details to the relevant local authorities and residents.”
“There are no current plans to drill a shale exploration well on the licence.”