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Natural gas plan for coal seams

3 September 09 09:57 GMT

Test drilling for natural gas will be carried out in the Wrexham area if an energy company's plans are approved.

A report recommends councillors approve an application by Composite Energy Ltd for a borehole on farm land at Bowling Bank, near Wrexham's industrial estate.

The company wants to do round-the-clock test drilling for up to two months to find methane in deep coal seams.

The council has received 12 letters of objection and more than 60 people have signed petitions opposing the scheme.

Residents have said they are concerned about noise disturbance and heavy traffic.

However, in a report to be discussed by Wrexham's planning committee on Monday, council officials recommend approval for the scheme, subject to conditions to ensure minimum disturbance.

They say the land would be restored to its original state once drilling was completed.

Scottish-based Composite Energy Ltd has invested £15m to develop up to 18 test drilling wells after it was awarded coal bed methane licences last year across Scotland, Wales and England.

In 2004, another power company, ENER.G Natural Power began extracting methane from the former Llay Main Colliery in Wrexham.

The company said the coalfield was producing enough electricity to power 3,000 homes.

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