Portobello Community Council undertook a consultation to ascertain community views on Underground Coal Gasification (UCG). This is the most relevant form of unconventional gas extraction to the immediate area. The results show overwhelming opposition, with 90% either objecting or strongly objecting.
UCG is a process which converts coal into syngas. The gasification is carried out in-situ, in non-mined coal seams. Boreholes are drilled some distance apart on the seam, injecting water/oxygen mixtures down one pipe, igniting and partially combusting the coal and extracting the syngas through the other pipe. A number of areas in the Firth of Forth have been conditionally licensed for UCG, including the UCG/0028/N “Musselburgh” licence which runs from Portobello Beach at Kings Road east to Cockenzie and out in to the Forth. While this area has been licensed, there does not appear to be any immediate effort to exploit it.
The consultation ran from 1 to 14 October 2015 and was carried out as a controlled sample of 1000 people, randomly selected from our email distribution list. Further information and full results at goo.gl/xoqB5X
(note: while our consultation was running the Scottish Government announced a planning-based moratorium on UCG)