Campaigners fight North Sea gas plans

Some of the members of Seaham's Anti-Fracking and underground coal gasification group on Seaham sea front
Some of the members of Seaham's Anti-Fracking and underground coal gasification group on Seaham sea front
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CAMPAIGNERS calling for a halt to plans to tap into gas beneath the seabed off the North East coast will meet tonight to further their fight.

Seaham Action Group will host the session to discuss the licences approved to carry out Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) along the East Durham coast.

Cluff Natural Resources has been awarded a licence by the Coal Authority to carry out the process in the North Sea off Seaham.

Five Quarter has been granted licences to carry out the work in an area between Whitburn and Ryhope and a section off the mouth of the River Tyne.

The Government has said operations can only take place once it has satisfied a host of conditions.

The process would involve driving boreholes below the seabed from land, with steam and oxygen then being injected to oxidise the coal and surrounding rock, and does not involve fracking or injecting chemicals.

Maureen James, an organiser for the Seaham group, said: “It’s disgraceful what could happen if gets the go ahead, but it’s not going to happen, we’re adamant about that.”

The meeting will be held at Dawdon Miners’ Welfare Social Club in Mount Stewart Street at 6.30pm. It will feature DVDs made by other campaign groups opposing the UCG process in other parts of the country as well as discussions about future strategy.