Underground Coal Gasification Blocked in Scotland

Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) technology, an unconventional method of extracting gas, has been blocked in Scotland. 
 
The process, which is distinct from fracking, was placed under a moratorium in 2015 while the Scottish Government reviewed evidence on its safety and environmental impact. Following this development, the Scottish Government has now announced that UCG will have no role in Scotland’s energy mix and has asked the UK Government to revoke all existing licenses in Scotland. 
 
A report by Professor Campbell Gemmell published late last week stated that the UCG industry has a history of pollution incidents and would make climate change targets harder to meet without a suitable storage method such as carbon capture. The UK government recently pulled the plug on a promised $1.2 billion (GBP 1 billion) carbon capture and storage project, expected to go to Peterhead. 
 
“Based on the evidence presented, it is absolutely right that the Scottish Government has blocked Underground Coal Gasification from taking place in Scotland,” said Scottish National Party MSP (Member of Scottish Parliament) Ben Macpherson, in a comment sent to Rigzone.
 
“There are very few examples of UCG operating commercially, and where the technology has been used there has been serious environmental impacts including soil contamination and exposure to toxins. Mistakes in Australia were so bad that a number of prosecutions have been brought,” he added.
 
“Carbon emissions would be particularly problematic without accompanying storage technology to mitigate its affects – while the Tories might be happy to bang the drum for UCG they should remember the utter betrayal of the UK Government who u-turned on their plans to invest in Carbon Capture in Scotland,” Macpherson continued.

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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