Peter Henderson, Metgasco CEO.
Peter Henderson, Metgasco CEO. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Doubtful Creek drill nearly ready to go

METGASCO's exploratory drilling program at Doubtful Creek is nearing completion after its drill rig reached the well bottom on Wednesday, said CEO Peter Henderson.

"We drilled as deep as we need to and we are now in the process of logging the well, which is lowering equipment into the well to measure the different qualities of the various geological layers," Mr Henderson said yesterday.

"By the weekend we should have completed the well and filled it with cement and then over the next few weeks, subject to weather, we will have completed the rehabilitation of the site."

While some anti-CSG protesters said there was no planned blockade of the exiting drill rig, Facebook chatter suggested otherwise.

The drill rig was expected to return to its Queensland home instead of being transported to a new drill site.

Next on the agenda for Metgasco is drilling three horizontal CSG pilot wells at Dobies Bight, west of Casino.

Mr Henderson said the company had submitted a 700-page Review of Environmental Factors for the lateral wells.

In 2011, the Environmental Defenders Office published a critique of the environmental assessment process for CSG exploration, stating the REFs were "poor quality, and often constitute a fairly generic lists of impacts."

It also stated the community had little opportunity to challenge REFs.

Mr Henderson said there would be no impact on aquifers in the drilling process because the wells would be cased and cemented as they passed through "surface water bearing zones".

The company is also planning a test well in the Bentley area, north of Casino.

Mr Henderson said the government had begun posting the REF on the Department of Primary Industries website.



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