AROUND-the-clock drilling could take place if the green light is given to mineral exploration work.
Wrexham Council has received an application from GP Energy Ltd for coalbed methane exploration on farm land off Borras Road, Commonwood, between Gresford and Holt.
The work would include spells of drilling from a borehole for 24 hours a day. Mineral core would be analysed for coal properties and gas content.
Should the temporary exploration prove successful, it could lead to a further appraisal stage and then possible commercial production.
In 2008, a Department of Energy and Climate Change licence was granted for exploration in the Wrexham area to Greenpark Energy.
Scottish-based Dart Energy has since acquired parts of Greenpark Energy.
In documents submitted with the proposal, senior environmental consultant Katharine Blyth of RPS planning and development, on behalf of GP Energy Ltd, writes: “In the event that this exploration borehole shows positive results and the future appraisal phase is successful, moving to production on a commercial scale, a number of full-time posts both centrally at Dart’s European headquarters in Stirling and close to the site will be created.”
Documents submitted with the application state there are several farms within a short distance of the site but the nearest settlement is Gresford which is about 1.7km away.
The work would last for about 60 days and and the application is for a 24-hour drilling operation.
Assurances have been given about the work not leading to pollution or problems with noise on the land.
Ms Blyth said site management techniques would ensure “pollution of water, land or air does not occur” and there would not be noise disturbances.
She said noise surveys had been performed at its previous drilling sites near Airth, Falkirk.
“These surveys took place on operational drilling sites, so took real time measures of noise arising from the equipment, and measured how this noise spread over the flat agricultural landscape surrounding the sites,” she said.
“The results indicate that by implementing the strategy of shielding the most significant sources, noise from well drilling and pumps should not cause annoyance to residential receptors at distances above 220m.
“Sleep disruption may be avoided at distances in excess of 400m.”
She said the noise prediction was based on the “worst case measurements” and ignored the screening effects of barriers.
“As the development is small scale, it is considered the temporary nature of potential noise and air quality impacts from the drilling rig and maintenance vehicles are not significant,” she added.