Fracking Coalbed Methane in Scotland: Dart ‘desperate’ to revive Airth plan

Fracking Coalbed Methane in Scotland: Dart ‘desperate’ to revive Airth plan by Shan Ross, September 5, 2013, The Scotsman
Responding to the Australian energy firm’s announcement today that it was placing new shares on the Australian Securities Exchange to raise £12 million for its UK operations, Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES) claimed the company had failed to mention HSBC had frozen the company’s loan facility due to delays at its Airth project near Stirling. … Mary Church, FoES campaigns co-ordinator, said the firm which has its European headquarters in Stirling, was pinning its hopes on the Airth project going ahead but had also not highlight the development was currently subject to a lengthy public inquiry after widespread protest. Ms Church said: “This looks like a last desperate attempt by Dart to convince investors to salvage its highly uncertain and controversial coalbed methane plans. “The company’s portfolio has been shrinking ever since Dart was kicked out of Australia and had to slash its global workforce by 70 per cent earlier this year. It’s clear that Dart’s hopes of generating income are now pinned on the Airth coalbed methane scheme, but the project faces strong local opposition and a lengthy public inquiry process.

“In today’s announcement Dart carefully fail to mention that HSBC have frozen its loan facility due to delays with the Airth project, and that new Scottish Government planning proposals could make its operations unviable. Dart also fail to recognise the major risk to its gas plans presented by the strength of community opposition at Airth, and throughout the UK as demonstrated at Balcombe. Potential investors should beware and think twice before throwing good money after bad money on Dart. Unconventional gas is unsafe, unnecessary and unwanted, and Dart has a Sisyphean task ahead of it to convince communities otherwise.” The development at Airth which does not involve the controversial fracking process but is based round a series of wells testing for coalbed methane. The company’s proposals have been submitted to the Scottish Government’s reporter and is a meeting is due to be held early next month. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

A 2013 peer-reviewed study found correlation between coalbed methane (CBM) wells and radon concentrations in the atmosphere and that radon “may be useful in monitoring enhanced soil gas fluxes to the atmosphere due to changes in the geological structure associated with wells and hydraulic fracturing in [CBM] fields.”

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about 40 percent of every fracturing treatment remains in the ground where it poses a threat to groundwater; CBM requires five to ten times more fracturing than conventional natural gas wells. [Emphasis added]

Above from: Brief review of threats to Canada’s groundwater from the oil and gas industry’s methane migration and hydraulic fracturing ]

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