Fears over plans to test drill for coalbed methane near Keynsham
A petition has been launched over plans to test drill for coalbed methane near Keynsham, we can reveal.
The Frack Free Keynsham & Saltford Campaign website says that UK Methane Ltd is in the process of putting in a planning application for the drilling of land near the Hicks Gate roundabout to extract methane gas.
This would involve three months of exploratory drilling, with a year's evaluation to assess the viability of making it a production site.
The campaign's website says that the extraction of coalbed methane - the gas found in coal seams - can lead to water and land contamination, including agricultural land, as well as destroying surrounding areas of countryside by creating an industrial landscape.
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Frack Free Keynsham & Saltford Campaign also says this could be the start of extensive 'onshore' gas exploration throughout the South West.
The online petition, launched three days ago, already has amore than 220 signatures and comments from people opposed to the idea.
It was started by Laura Corfield, of campaign group Transition Keynsham, and will be sent to Bath & North East Somerset Council and Keynsham Town Council.
She said that UK Methane, which holds the Petroleum Exploration Development Licence for the Keynsham area, has requested a meeting with Transition Keynsham to discuss the proposal which at this stage does not not include any "ground stimulation".
Let us know what you think about the drilling plans