DART Energy has successfully completed a three-month production test period of its flagship coal-bed methane (CBM) site in Airth, Stirlingshire.

The Australian company said peak flow rates of 800,000 standard cubic feet of gas per day were recorded.

According to Dart, the data gathered during the test period validates its long-term investment plans at Airth.

Loading article content

It said the sustainable commercial gas production had been demonstrated, and well flows greater than one million standard cubic feet of gas per day are obtainable without the need for fracking.

CBM is a technique which extracts gas from coal by compressing the rock with water pressure, whereas fracking involves splitting rocks apart by injecting liquid at high pressures.

Dart already has an agreement with SSE to provide gas from Airth over a period of eight years, with production on course to start in the final quarter of 2013.

Dart Energy International chief executive John McGoldrick said: "We have invested significant capital in this area and are proud to be the first company to generate electricity from CBM natural gas in Scotland.

"During our Airth 12 well-production test, we have achieved sustainable and con-tinuous flow rates, significantly higher than any other CBM well production in Europe.

"This test has provided us with continued confidence as we move forward in developing the PEDL133 [Airth] project.

"We see our production test results as being good news for the further development of CBM resources in the UK and, more broadly, in mainland Europe."

Dart is waiting on further regulatory and planning approvals before it drills more wells at Airth.