A company which expressed interest in carrying out a controversial gas extraction technique in Fife has confirmed it is still interested in the area.
Cluff Natural Resources (CNR) has been granted a license to carry out underground coal gasification (UCG) at Largo Bay.
UCG involves drilling into the coal seams beneath the sea, piping oxygen into the seam and extracting the resulting gas which is then piped ashore.
In December, chief executive of the company Algy Cluff and CNR consultant Keith Leighfield – a former chief surveyor for British Coal – attended a public meeting in Methil to discuss the controversial process with a large crowd of interested locals.
At the time, the pair explained that CNR was still in the process of carrying out feasibility studies in each of the areas it has been granted licenses, which also include the Firth of Forth at Kincardine, two areas in England and one in Wales.
So far, deep underground UCG has never been tested off-shore.
Earlier this week, a spokesman from CNR confirmed to the Mail that these studies were still being carried out, and would most likely carry on into next year.
The spokesman said: “Largo Bay is one of five licence areas granted to Cluff Natural Resources in 2013.
“All are under active consideration as potential sites for a UCG development, but no decisions have been made yet.
“Our plan is to identify a number of locations for a UCG project within the portfolio and select one or two sites for further development.
“The geological process is quite involved, Largo Bay is one of the largest and we do not expect to complete it before the end of the year.”
The spokesman also noted that although no further meetings are planned for the near future “we will be keeping the press and local community informed of progress”.
Councillor Tom Adams, chairman of the Levenmouth area committee, helped to organise the public meeting held in December.
He confirmed to the Mail that he had had no contact with CNR or Mr Cluff since then.