|Communities across South Wales threatened by new wave of onshore gas extraction
Licenses have been sold from Cardiff to the Gower Peninsula to companies seeking to extract unconventional-gas. The licenses sold by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)  permit companies to extract gas from coal seams inaccessible via conventional mining methods.
The License holders  are proposing two main processes for extracting gas; Coal-bed Methane, which involves drilling down to, de-watering and often hydraulically fracturing the coal seam and Underground Coal Gasification, whereby coal seams are set-alight underground in an effort to produce and collect synthetic gas which can be burnt at the surface.
Both technologies have attracted controversy in the US and Australia where the industry has been associated with water contamination and environmental degradation.
Communities across South Wales are organising in response to the threat posed by these new technologies. Throughout July the Frack Free Wales coalition , in conjunction with Swansea-based campaign group Safe Energy Wales, will be holding a series of public meetings in threatened areas.
Lyn Blythe, campaigner with Frack Free Wales said,
‘The scale of what is being proposed in South Wales is astounding. For coal-bed methane extraction to be viable, thousands of wells will need to be drilled. What is seems like a few innocuous exploration wells in the Bridgend and Swansea area is the beginning of a process that will completely industrialise the South Wales countryside.’
‘We are particularly concerned about underground coal gasification. The whole of Swansea Bay and the Loughor Estuary have been sold off. The Gower Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places in the world, communities treasure these bodies of water and are not going to sit back and let some gas company set fire to the coal under either.’
 UK map of licenses
 DECC onshore licenses: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/63948/licensed-blocks-on.zip
Underground Coal Licenses: http://coal.decc.gov.uk/en/coal/news/categories/Licensing/Licensing.aspx
 Dart Energy, UK Methane, Coastal Oil and Gas, Eden Energy, Cluff Natural Resources, Clean Coal Ltd
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