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Company granted permission to extract gas

Mon 23 January 2012, 8:58 pm

An Australian energy company has been granted permission to extract gas in the Thames Estuary, in a move that could create jobs for Medway residents.

Riverside Energy has been granted a license by the UK Coal authority, allowing it to extract gas on a site stretching from Cliffe to Sheerness.

Underground coal gasification (UCG) involves turning deep underground coal into gas by drilling boreholes from the surface and injecting oxygen and steam down one pipe and igniting and partially combusting the coal.

Gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane can then be extracted to provide fuel for power generation.

A spokesman for the firm confirmed it had been granted a licence for UCG in Kent.

The company’s chairman Dr John Bishop said there was currently no fixed date for start of exploration in the Thames Estuary.

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