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Plans to develop UCG project in Warwickshire scrapped

World Coal,

Cluff Natural Resources has withdrawn its application to develop an underground coal gasification (UCG) project in Warwickshire, UK.

The company first contacted Warwickshire County Council to announce that it would abandon the UCG plan, before officially withdrawing the application for a license.

The UK Coal Authority has confirmed a licence application to explore the area has now been formally withdrawn.

A Coal Authority spokesman said: “I am able to confirm that Mr Cluff of Cluff Natural Resources contacted the Coal Authority to request that the application for the UCG project known as Hawkhurst Moor, in Warwickshire, be withdrawn.”

“Therefore, in accordance with Mr Cluff’s instructions, the application will not be processed by the Coal Authority and will be removed from our statutory register and mining reports database,” the spokesman added.

Cluff made its initial application in May 2013, however, the company has now set its sights on the North Sea and sees UCG as a way of addressing the UK’s “chronic” energy crisis.

"It is quite a dangerous situation for the country to find itself in," said Cluff. "There is a massive energy deficit and we see ourselves as going a long way to meet that energy shortfall."

Cluff added: "I realised how much coal there was in the North Sea, but, because I was looking for oil, thought no more about it until I came back from Africa a couple of years ago and thought that in light of the energy problems we have here [...] and the huge concentration of energy, the coal merited examination."


Cluff has also said he considers developing UCG projects in the North Sea to be relatively free from controversy – and therefore also free from the attention of campaigners, such as those opposed to hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’.

"When you are dealing with fossil fuels, you are dealing with campaigners, but it is certainly less controversial. In fact, I would not know what is controversial about our gasification process," Cluff said. 

Written by Sam Dodson

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