Police move protesters back along The Avenue as they close the road around the Glenugie CSG site.
Police move protesters back along The Avenue as they close the road around the Glenugie CSG site. Adam Hourigan

Metgasco starts Glenugie drilling

FOUR days after the NSW Public Order and Riot Squad broke the Glenugie blockade, Metgasco announced yesterday that drilling commenced at the site on Thursday night.

The company is drilling an 800m deep vertical well to better establish the distribution of coal within its Petroleum Exploration Licence area (PEL426) near Grafton.

"Metgasco advises that the Thornbill E04 well was spudded with AJ Lucas Rig 103 last night. The current operation is drilling a surface hole and installing surface casing," the company's media release stated.

Drilling specialist AJ Lucas, which owns the largest fleet of drilling rigs in Australia, is conducting the operation.

After completion, the well will be "plugged and abandoned" and the surrounding land rehabilitated, according to Metgasco external relations manager Richard Shields.

"Once we have completed drilling our exploration wells, we will drill some lateral wells to demonstrate the productivity of the coal seams, before drilling our conventional prospect, the Greater Mackellar structure," Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson said.

The drilling operation is expected to last several weeks.

A group of anti-CSG protesters has remained camped on private land some 800m from the site.



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