New document shows fracking at Airth for six years

Dart Energy’s drilling plan for Airth in Scotland

Residents of Airth have been exposed to fracking for nearly 6 years, an internal government document reveals. The document, recently discovered by Frack Off Scotland, shows that wells at Airth were fracked as early as 1997.

In December the owner of the Airth site, Dart Energy, refused to answer when locals asked if the driller plans to frack under their feet. Dart have admitted they plan to extend the drilling site to hundreds of coal bed methane wells, with 22 wells currently in planning.

An honest answer would be that fracking had been going on for over half a decade.

The technique of hydraulic fracturing is used to extract gas from shale rocks. It is also commonly used to extract methane from coal beds.

The new document gives a detailed breakdown of drilling, then fracking, activities at Airth six years ago. In Appendix 1 “The Drilling and Stimulation program”, a frack is shown in action as the chemicals and water are injected (“pump stimulation”) and then held underground (“Shut in for 30 minutes monitor pressure”): see #012 & #013 on p23.

“Stimulation” – is a widely-used industry euphemism for fracking – is openly used throughout the document as the then-owner of the site details it’s well plan for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

While no-one has – until now – told residents of Airth that they have been subject to the dangerous process of hydraulic fracturing – questions arise as to what chemicals are going into the well. It seems the Scottish government don’t know. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has not visited the site or monitored the waste water there.

If the Department of Energy and Climate Change knows, it’s not saying. Freedom of Information requests on the subject have been continually rebuffed. So we are left with P18 of the new document which appears to show an air/foam fracking mix – what’s in the foam is unknown.

Issues also arise around the water contamination. No-one has provided a baseline survey of water quality at Airth, therefore it’s impossible to say whether any chemicals found in the water table are due to the gas industry. A convenient situation for a driller to be in.

Coalbed Methane Ltd performed the fracking detailed above. By 2004 Coalbed Methane Ltd had been taken over by Composite Energy. They drilled – and presumably fracked – more wells. Composite were in turn taken over by Dart Energy a few years ago, who have developed the field further and refuse to say whether they’re fracking or not. Continuing the merry-go-round of ownership, Dart Energy is currently in discussion with yet another company about buying the Airth interest

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