Published Thursday, 24 November 2011
It has been revealed that Mrs Foster's husband owns 54 acres of land in Co Fermanagh within the gas exploration zone.
In a statement, the Minister's department said the awarding of licences were "determined by a panel'' and that the minister "had no direct involvement in the selection process".
If a family member applied for prospecting on any land, the minister "would of course declare an interest where necessary."
A DUP spokesman said the landowner in question has "never been contacted" by a fracking company nor any third party acting on behalf of that firm and warned Mrs Foster "will robustly defend her name and reputation" against any allegation of wrongdoing.
First Minister Peter Robinson defended his party colleague, but Ulster Unionist assembly member Mike Nesbitt said questions still need answered.
"Quite clearly this is an issue about which Mrs Foster has a good deal of familiarity. It is obvious that she also understands the importance of securing a locally based energy supply.
"Surely one could have expected the Minister to take a greater interest in a subject about which she is clearly well briefed and which she regards as important?" he added.
© UTV News