December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
An energy company has said it has no future plans to explore the potential of producing gas from underwater coal seams off the Cromer coast.
The North Norfolk Labour Party this week raised fears that the controversial process of fracking was coming to north Norfolk through the bid.
But energy firm Clean Coal has quashed concerns and clarified that it was not exploring the coast for fracking.
Clean Coal was given a conditional licence to investigate offshore underground coal gasification (UCG) – a process that involves drilling boreholes into coal seams – at Cromer in November 2009.
But since the licence expired in November 2012, the firm has said it has no plans to further its explorations in north Norfolk.
Rohan Courtney, Clean Coal chairman, said: “We know there’s a lot of coal there, but beyond that we have no plans to review it or develop it at all and I don’t see that changing. It’s not a big priority for us to do UK stuff – we’re looking at other countries.”
There are no other licences for UCG in the Cromer area and no consent for fracking.
The North Norfolk Labour Party expressed concern about fracking coming to Cromer, saying there should be more investment in green energy, but Mr Courtney clarified UCG was a different process.
With UCG two wells are drilled and the coal is ignited to produce gas, while fracking uses one borehole and a high-pressure water mix - directed at the rock - to release shale gas.