Why is there interest for unconventional gas production in the Chew Valley?
- The Chew Valley is located in the Bristol-Somerset coal fields where coalbed methane (CBM) may occur. CBM can be extracted by lowering the pressure in the coal seam to enable the gas to escape. CBM may also require hydraulic fracturing to increase gas flow.
- The Chew Valley is also located in an area where shale and shale gas may occur and which may be extracted by using hydraulic fracturing.
- Because of 1 & 2 above, a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence has already been issued by the Government to UK Methane and Eden Energy.
So what exactly is the Chew Valley? Taken literally it is the water catchment of the River Chew. Water security is a key issue in relation to unconventional gas so a catchment approach makes sense. Here it is:
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013
The water catchment of the River Chew is 147 square kilometres of which 119 square kilometres (80%) is within the coal field. The Chew Valley Lake is owned and operated by Bristol Water and its 20,000 million litres of water supply Bristol and the sourrounding area.
See the About page for a list of the parishes within the valley.