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SEPA to investigate alleged leaks from coal-bed methane wells

17 April 2013

Scottish newspaper the Sunday Herald says it has information that gas is escaping from wells drilled to test for the gas in coal seams near Canonbie in Dumfries and Galloway The information has been passed to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), which has promised to investigate. The claim is denied by the company that owns the wells.

Eight exploration and pilot production wells were dug in the Canonbie area by Greenpark Energy in 2007 and 2008, and SEPA issued two licences permitting fracking to extract the underground gas.

Greenpark was taken over by Australian company Dart Energy in April 2012.

"We strongly deny that we have well integrity issues with any of our wells, nor is there danger of leaking of natural gas," a spokesman for Dart Energy said, adding: "SEPA has confirmed that the only suggestion that wells are leaking has come from the Sunday Herald newspaper."

Friends of the Earth and other anti-fracking campaigners are claiming this is a nail in the coffin for Dart's coalbed methane plans in Scotland, and for any future fracking activities in the country.

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