Scottish Regulator to Probe Reported Leaks at Dart Energy CBM Site
Scotland’s environment agency is investing reports that drilling at operations by coal bed methane specialist Dart Energy is leading to an escape of gas.
SEPA, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, will look into reports that methane is “bubbling up” from wells drilled in coal seams near Canonbie in Dumfries and Galloway.
Scotland’s Sunday Herald quoted Claire Baker, Labour's environment spokeswoman, said the report was an example of the “legitimate concerns surrounding unconventional gas."
"There is a desperate need for clarity, transparency and a truly robust scrutiny process to assess the safety of such sites before we start to see a rapid expansion of unconventional gas," commented the MSP.
A spokesperson for SEPA confirmed the investigation.
"SEPA has recently become aware of information regarding the potential release of gas from coal-bed methane wells in the Canonbie area," said a Sepa spokesman. "Sepa will shortly be carrying out investigations into this."
Eight exploration and pilot production wells in the Canonbie area were drilled by Greenpark Energy in 2007 and 2008. Greenpark was acquired Dart Energy in a transaction announced in December 2011.
Greenpark had received approval from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency for the use of hydraulic fracturing in the extraction of coal bed methane gas at the Canonbie site.
SEPA said that it would consider whether follow-up work in line with its enforcement policy would be needed once its investigations were completed.