BATTLE LINES: Sonya Gibbons and Judi Emmett, of Keerrong, are part of a 24-hour vigil to stop Metgasco from drilling at Bentley.
BATTLE LINES: Sonya Gibbons and Judi Emmett, of Keerrong, are part of a 24-hour vigil to stop Metgasco from drilling at Bentley. Doug Eaton

Rosella gets govt go-ahead

THE battle lines are being drawn outside a property at Bentley, on the Lismore/Kyogle Rd, as Metgasco prepares its next step to drill at the exploration site known as Rosella.

With recent approval by the New South Wales State Government of the Review of Environment Factors for the Rosella E01 conventional well, a more definite target for commencing drilling has been established.

Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson confirmed while no firm date had been set, the company was aiming to start in April.

"More precise times will be available when we have selected a drilling rig," he said.

"This will probably occur in the next few weeks."

The Rosella site is not a coal seam gas well, Mr Henderson said as he explained Metgasco was exploring for conventional and tight gas, held in sandstone.

"Based on the results of two earlier wells drilled south of Casino, we hope to find gas at the Rosella location," he said.

"If we do, it could indicate the presence of a very large gas accumulation."

Mr Henderson said Metgasco hoped to find enough gas in the rock to flow at commercially attractive rates, with simple vertical wells.

Production of more gas from the well on a sustained basis would require further government approval and take some time.

"If the well is not successful in finding commercially attractive gas, we will decommission the well and rehabilitate the site," Mr Henderson said.

Thousands of exploration and production wells have been drilled in Australia in the past 60 years, Mr Henderson said. "This is standard technology, used safely, over and over again."



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