IT may have been intended as an April Fools joke, but Metgasco boss Peter Henderson is not laughing about a mock media release announcing his company's withdrawal from the region.
The mock media release was emailed to North Coast media outlets with the Metgasco logo and the title "We won't go where we're not wanted" and has prompted a vow of action from the company.
The release, which appears to have been sent from a high school student's email account, says "it has become clear to us that communities in the northern rivers are overwhelmingly opposed to the development of industrial gasfields".
It even goes as far as apologising to the region.
"We would like to sincerely apologise for the stress cause to the communities of the northern rivers as a result of the ill fate of our industrialization plans and congratulate them for the peaceful and united way in which they have demonstrated their enthusiasm to remain a gasfield free region," it says.
The fake release says Metgasco would cease all gas-related activities and begin community consultation on constructing a solar-thermal power plant near Casino.
Mr Henderson said he did not take the hoax email lightly.
"I do take exception in the company's logo being used and will be pursuing appropriate avenues in response," Mr Henderson said.
"Metgasco looks forward to continuing its exploration program for conventional and unconventional gas."