Newsletter October 2012

Frack Off Newsletter October 2012

In this Month’s Newsletter:

  • Scotland – UK’s first unconventional production wells land in Airth – Object
  • Lancashire – Cuadrilla resources renewal of planning application – UK’s second EVER frack – Object
  • Somerset – Coalbed methane company UK Methane versus Frack Free Somerset
  • Sussex – Celtique Energy plans for 3000 wells in the Weald Basin
  • South Wales – Underground Coal Gasification plans for Swansea and the Gower Peninsular
  • Upcoming Events


It’s happened. The first UK application from a company to start PRODUCING (not just exploring or testing for) unconventional gas.

On the 7th September an Australian company called Dart Energy submitted a planning application to Falkirk Council requesting a massive expansion of their Coal Bed Methane (CBM) operation at Airth. The application includes plans for 14 new sites, 22 new wells and over 20km network of pipelines set in 3.7m wide trenches to connect the sites and to pump 80,000 gallons of toxic waste a day into the Firth of Forth. Based on the amount of gas Dart are claiming that they may be able to extract the number of wells drilling in the area could eventually rise to 600 or more, plus all the pipelines and other infrastructure to go with them.

This is the beginning of a process that could see thousands of unconventional gas wells drilled across Scotland, England and Wales.

Dart and the unconventional gas industry will only be stopped by organised people power. Step one is getting people informed. A pretty fair step two would be objecting to the planning application:

You don’t have to live in Scotland to Dart’s bid to destroy this area of Scotland:



For more information on the Airth development go to:

In other bad news for the area, the Coal Authority (part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change) are busy trying to sell off another Underground Coal Gasification licence block in the Firth of Forth, close to Airth. Three UCG blocks, which stretch across the Firth from Kirkcaldy to Musselburgh, have already been sold off.


Cuadrilla Resourcesexecutives are back at the planning office after being outed for breaching their wildlife protection agreement. This represents an unprecedented opportunity for local people, in fact everyone to get involved, as the original permissions were granted with much less publicity. 50 local residents in Banks have even received a letter informing them about the application including guidance on how to object.

Cuadrilla have applied to Lancashire County Council to extend planning permission at the Beconsall site in Banks (08/12/1032). This application if granted, will allow the resumption of shale gas extraction (Fracking) in the British Isles. More >>

Live in Lancs? Want to get involved in the campaign?  Get in touch with Ribble Estuary Against Fracking and/or Residents Action on Fylde Fracking.


UK Methane, who also operate under the name Coastal Oil and Gas, are imminently due to apply for permission to test drill for Coalbed Methane in Keynsham, Somerset.

A hugely successful public meeting was held by Frack Free Somerset on the 25th of September at which UK Methane CEO Gerwyn Williams was due face residents but failed to show.

UK Methane are boasting to investors of gas reserves of 2,098 billion cubic feet of gas in the immediate area. Extracting this quantity of gas would require roughly 2,100 wells to be drilled. Not good.

The application will go to Banes Council so keep your eyes peeled.

Do you live in the Somerset area and want to get organised around resisting this development? Then get in touch with Frack Free Somerset:


While, for the moment, Cuadrilla Resources appear too tied up in Lancashire to put much effort into exploiting their licences in Sussex (and particularly drilling the site they have planning permission for at Balcombe) the company to keep an eye on appears to be Celtique Energy who are boasting reserves of 10 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the Weald Basin. Based on average shale gas well production, Celtique would need to drill over 3300 wells to extract this quantity of gas.

Frack Free Sussex are the resident loud mouths, so join in. Plus Brighton looks to be forming it’s own Sussex-focused group. Watch this space.


South Wales

Some galvanising news for Swansea and the Gower Peninsular as a second Underground Coal Gasification site is listed in the area.

For whatever unfortunate reason Swansea Bay looks to be the most likely spot for the UK’s first major punt at the insanity that is producing synthetic gas by setting fire to underground coal seams. The company responsible for the Swansea Bay plans – Clean Coal Ltd – are joined by Cluff Coal Ltd who have set their sites on the Loughor Estuary. These are just two of the eighteen UK licences granted by the Coal Authority for companies to produce synthetic gas via UCG.

The shale gas and coalbed methane industries will ravage the British Isles if unchallenged, but UCG – the UK’s least visible planned method of producing unconventional gas – almost certainly poses an even greater threat. The few trials that have taken place in recent years have resulted in severe land and groundwater contamination.

Do you live in South Wales? Want to join or support those fighting UCG and CBM in the Swansea area? Get in touch with Fracked Swansea (soon to be Swansea Extreme Energy Network [SEEN]).

Upcoming Events

Remember you can list your own events on the Frack Off calendar here:

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