UK Methane withdraw CBM application & announce fracking plans

UK Methane have stated they intend to re-apply for planning permission in Somerset and include drilling for shale gas using hydraulic fracturing (fracking.) They have withdrawn a planning application to carry out exploratory drilling for Coal Bed Methane at the Hicks Gate roundabout in Keynsham.

Over 700 people had submitted individual objections to the planning application for Coal Bed Methane to Bath and North East Somerset Council. Keynsham Town Council, Compton Dando Parish Council and the BANES Ecology department had also submitted objections.

In an email to Bath & North East Somerset Council, UK Methane said:
“…Given recent communications from DECC we have decided to formally withdraw this planning application (ref: P/12/718/FUL) for exploration and re-submit a new application early in the new year for production which will include shale gas. The level of information that is being requested is far higher than that for any other previous planning application that we have been involved with in other parts of the country; we feel therefore, for the extra amount of work that is involved, that we will apply for a full production permission. Central government…has recently lifted the moratorium on fracking.”

UK Methane own PEDL (Petroleum Exploration and Development License) licenses for an area covering Keynsham, Midsomer Norton, Peasedown and Chew Magna. Another company, Reservoir Resources own PEDL 225, covering Wells, Shepton Mallet and Bruton. This area also includes a large number of villages, farms and water catchments for several areas, including the city of Bristol and water for areas in the Mendip such as Glastonbury & Street.

This is the second Coal Bed Methane application in the UK to have failed this year. Outrage from the local community stopped plans for Coal Bed Methane drilling in South Lanarkshire. Dart Energy have applied for planning permission for full-scale Coal Bed Methane production in Airth. This is also resisted by the local community.

Thank you to everyone who submitted objections to the planning application in Keynsham. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything about a new application.

Posted on: December 23, 2012