Farmer Mick Fields of Keerrong is happy with Arrow Energy’s approach to exploration for coal seam gas on his rural property.
Farmer Mick Fields of Keerrong is happy with Arrow Energy’s approach to exploration for coal seam gas on his rural property. David Nielsen

The search is on for gas reserves

KEERRONG Valley farmer Mick Fields was slightly bemused when Arrow Energy contacted him and said it wanted to test drill for coal seam gas on his rural property.

“They told me they dropped a pin on a map and it hit my farm,” he said. “They said they will be drilling for a couple of weeks and would restore the site for me.”

That was about six months ago and last week workmen erected the towering drill surrounded by Brahman bulls and dairy cows.

The exploratory drilling in the pristine rural valley, which has piqued the interest of locals, is one of five test drills across the region, Arrow Energy spokesman Gareth Quinn told The Northern Star.

“We will have two rigs drilling five test sites to the end of the financial year,” he said.

“It’s not intensive. It’s a government requirement that we do some work so we don’t lose the rights.”

The testing sites form a ‘horse shoe’ shape and include two holes at Bexhill, four at Geneva, two at Peacock and one at Tunglebung, as well Mr Fields’ at Keerrong.

Mr Quinn said while the company was hopeful about finding large gas reserves, even a positive result would not mean mining in the Northern Rivers for the foreseeable future.

“Our activity for some time will be concentrated around the Dalby gas field (in Queensland),” he said.

Mr Fields said he was happy to see what happens. Since Arrow started preparatory work on his property last Saturday they have put in two new gates and improved the dirt track to the drilling site, and paid him a small amount of money for his troubles.

“I’ve got no complaints,” he said. “They told me ‘anything I need just let them know’ and when I have they have fixed things immediately.”

“If they decide to mine it will be a totally different issue because I don’t know what I am up for.”



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