Dart Energy has applied to Shropshire Council for permission to investigate coalbed methane (CBM) reserves in the north of England. The company hope to dig one exploratory borehole and the associated infrastructure on farmland in Dudleston.
The temporary borehole will be used to analyse the coal structure and check if it is appropriate for gas extraction. If accepted, the drilling permit will be for a maximum period of 60 days, after which time the site will be restored to its former condition.
Peter Reilly, a spokesman for Dart, said: “The aim of the borehole is to extract core samples from the coal seams for testing of the gas content. It should be noted that this application relates only to this borehole and does not relate to hydraulic fracturing.”
The application is for a borehole with a total depth of 830 m – just over half a mile.
Reilly said: “The drilling fluid will be water or brine with drilling starch or in some cases biodegradable viscosifiers.”
“Dart Energy will use a chemically benign drilling mud to lubricate the drill bit and return drill cuttings to the drill floor,” Reilly added.
Reilly said the chemicals used in the drilling would be naturally biodegradable and water-based.
The company has also stressed that, for stability, steel pipe casing will be inserted and cemented in place to form an impermeable barrier.
The depth of the casing is anticipated to be about 280 m.
Once drilling perations have been completed, the steel casing of the drill hole will be cut to around 2 m below ground level and the borehole will be cemented to the top of the cut casing.
Dart Energy was granted planning permission to create a test borehole at the site in 2010, but it expired last year.
Once the application has been validated and registered by Shropshire County Council it will be available to the public to see and comment upon before councillors make a decision at a later date.
If the plan is approved, exploratory drilling begins and tests are successful, it could lead to full-scale extraction, although this would require separate permission.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/cbm/23062014/dart_energy_targets_coalbed_methane_in_shropshire_cbm57/