Composite Energy wins right to drill for coal in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire
8:00am Friday 20th November 2009
By Gavin Aitchison »
Updated: ENGINEERS have been given the go-ahead to search for oil and natural gas below the fields of East Yorkshire.
Councillors yesterday backed the plans, which could lead to the first use in Britain of the fossil fuel coalbed methane (CBM).
Scottish engineering company Composite Energy had approached East Riding of Yorkshire Council with its plans, for a site off Long Lane in Market Weighton. The authority’s planning committee yesterday unanimously backed the proposals, with little debate.
Composite Energy now intends to set up a temporary rig and borehole to find and extract CBM, in a bid to help keep pace with rising demand for natural gas.
Demand is predicted to rise by 15 per cent over the next decade and cannot be met by current offshore gas supplies.
The company said the new supplies could help cut Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions by a fifth by 2010, in line with the Kyoto Protocol.
In a written report to yesterday’s committee meeting, council officer Darren Hendley said: “This temporary development is important to establish whether there are commercial quantities of coalbed methane available underground within the coal layers that could be exploited as a new energy resource for the nation.”
CBM is a natural gas formed by, and stored within, the coal layer. It is not currently used in Britain but is seen as a way of keeping up with energy demand.
Under the plans, Composite Energy would drill on a 24-hour basis, with operations lasting about 28 days and no more than 60 days.
The firm plans to build a rectangular compound of 55 metres by 70 metres and drill a borehole of 1,800 ft (549 metres).
Local parish councils objected to the plans, saying the 18-metre rig would be an eyesore.
They also feared the drilling would lead to noise and the site had inadequate road links.
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