The public inquiry into Dart Energy’s drilling plans has been told not all the land it owns near Airth will be drilled on.
Chartered accountant and Dart Energy director Douglas Bain said the £40 million investment at Letham Moss will only require 10 production wells at 14 locations and take up one third of the site.
Mr Bain dismissed claims from objectors that Dart had ever said 600 wells were planned or would be needed to reach an estimated 10 to 15 billion cubic feet of methane gas in underground coal seams over the 25-year life span of the project. He also said the methane will be extracted by means of a de-watering process and not by hydraulic fracturing which has caused controversy at methane gas fields in Australia.
Under cross examination from Advocate Sir Crispin Agnew who is representing Concerned Communities of Falkirk Mr Bain said: “There are no plans to expand on what this planning application covers and if there were that would require a future planning application.”
Mr Bain was giving his evidence on day nine of the inquiry before Scottish Government Reporters only after an objection from Sir Crispin that he not be allowed to take part was over ruled by the Reporters. Sir Crispin claimed Mr Bain was a director of Dart Energy Europe and not the applicants Dart Energy Forth Valley Limited and as such had no part to play.
Mr Gordon Steele QC for Dart said it was “quite improper” for CCoF to make that submission at such a late stage of the proceedings and added: “Mr Bain is a director of both companies. This is just another attempt by CCoF to put a spoke in the wheel. Mr Bain has every right to be here.”
The inquiry will continue next week.