Notorious gas driller Dart Energy has applied to drill a third well at its site near Airth, Scotland. Dart, whose plans to drill in central Sydney Australia led 20,000 people to oppose it, has been quietly developing a Scottish site since 2011.
Dart is a specialist in Coal Bed Methane (or Coal Seam Gas as it is known in Australia). CBM is similar to fracking, but targets shallower coal seams, rather than shale rock. In Australia a 2010 report found that of 44% of wells were leaking at a CBM field in Queensland.
CBM is part of the a wave of unconventional gas extraction sweeping the UK. As with hydraulic fracturing the process threatens water pollution as gas escapes into aquifers.
Academic reports also suggest that the vast quantities of water extracted leads water tables to drop, something that gas companies admit.
In Scotland, Dart has one well nearing completion at Airth. The Australian driller intends to drill six wells across the country this year (see page 5 of Dart’s 2011 Directors report) and has plans to drill in the Midland Valley in Scotland, the East Midlands, Wrexham, Chester and South Wales.
See aerial footage of the gas field where 44% of wells were found leaking in Queensland, Australia – You can also see footage of a CBM well mysteriously leaking just south of Dart’s proposed Sydney drill site.