LONDON, April 7 (UPI) -- British energy company Five Quarter said it wants the government's approval to try to coax natural gas from coal deposits under the North Sea bed.
Five Quarter wants government support for its $2 billion plan to use oxygen and steam injection to produce gas from coal beds in the North Sea. So-called syngas would be processed onshore and fed to the chemical industry.
Five Quarter Chief Executive Officer Harry Bradbury told the Daily Telegraph his company was looking for financial backing for a pre-drilling phase that could began later this year.
Unlike hydraulic fracturing, another unconventional source of natural gas, Bradbury said coal seam gas would provide a reliable and less risky source of natural gas for the British economy.
"Gas has become a global geopolitical issue as the supply and demand map has changed," he said Saturday. "Accelerating the development of North Sea unconventional gas has never been more important."
In February, the British government said it expects to secure $330 billion in the next two decades through the recovery of the 3 billion to 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent it says are still left in the North Sea.