Hear more about plans for 24-hour-a-day gas drilling scheme near Keynsham
By BeckyFeather | Monday, October 22, 2012, 08:05
A big turnout is expected at a public meeting in Keynsham tomorrow at which controversial plans to drill for coalbed methane gas at Durley Hill are discussed.
Transition Keynsham and Frack-Free Somerset have organised the meeting which is due to take place at the Royal British Legion in Charlton Road, Keynsham, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
The meeting is also to inform residents about alternative renewable energy options for Keynsham, including hydro-electric power and solar panels on public buildings.
UK Methane Ltd, based in Bridgend in south Wales, has applied to Bath & North East Somerset Council for 24-hour a day test drilling at Durley Hill, 300 metres from the Hicks Gate roundabout. The plans were submitted at the end of September and there have been lots of objections.
Laura Corfield, one of the organisers of the public meeting, said that the application could be the first of many to explore thousands of pockets of gas across Somerset. Campaigners say that previous drillings have been connected to earthquakes, environmental damage and water contamination.
The land at Durley Hill was used for tipping during the building of the ring road and is currently used as a timber yard and for grazing.
A report from UK Methane says that the nearest residential property is 285 metres away from the proposed drilling site and that the area is shielded by trees; there would be noise barriers around the rig, and the firm stresses that the borehole would not enter the carboniferous limestones to affect the waterflow to the Bath hot springs.
UK Methane adds that if the tests prove positive, a further planning application will be submitted to "extract and ulitise methane as a clean energy source for the local area or for electrical generation". The applicants say that any methane produced could also be used as a "lower cost, clean vehicle fuel as an alernative to petrol".
If the borehole proved not to be productive, it would be filled in with concrete.