The report presents the findings of an assessment of the environmental risks associated with the production of natural gas in three different processes to recover methane from coal seams. The assessment covers:
- coal bed methane: the recovery of natural gas from unmined coal seams
- coal mine methane; the recovery of methane from active mines, either before coal extraction or, more commonly in the UK, from the disturbed strata immediately following coal extraction
- abandoned mine methane: the removal of methane after coaling operations have ceased and the mine has closed
The study has provided a national overview of the environmental risks and risk management controls the Environment Agency and other regulators can use to reduce environmental impacts of natural gas production.