AN ENERGY company extracting methane gas from coal seams across the North West will begin extractions in Ellesmere Port and Ince Marshes next month.

IGas Energy is stepping up operations at its Doe Green site, near Warrington, before turning its attention to Ellesmere Port.

IGas announced last week a fourth well is to be drilled at Doe Green, followed by extractions at Ellesmere Port and Ince Marshes next month.

IGAS has extraction licences for 432,000 acres of land across the North West.

It says there are recoverable reserves equal to about 290 million barrels of oil.

The company extracts gas and sells to customers close to its operations, including the national gas network.

It started operations early last year and said its wells at Doe Green and Ellesmere Port could provide power for up to 50,000 homes.

Chief executive Andrew Austen said extracting natural gas from coal is a very different process to shale gas production and does not require the injection of chemicals in a ‘fraccing’ process.