NSW Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts warned CSG companies would face “use it or lose it” provisions once the state government’s buyback scheme ended in September – with the government paying $212,000 cash per CSG licence.
Roberts’s threat “seemed to be directed at Metgasco” according to the Australian Financial Review yesterday with the minister revealing buyback negotiations were underway with this company.
He is still considered to be looking positively at AGL’s Gloucester CSG project and Santos’ Pilliga CSG project.
AGL held on to its Gloucester CSG project but yesterday announced the move to sell PELs 2, 4 and 267, which hold the Camden North and the Hunter gas projects, back to the NSW government.
Last month NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals Leader Troy Grant backed plans to extend the buyback scheme to all of the state’s north, which put pressure on the seven Northern Rivers mining licences owned by Metgasco, ERM Power and Dart Energy.
In the previous month the NSW government conceded defeat by not electing to appeal a Supreme Court decision that overturned the government’s suspension of Metgasco’s drilling approval for the Northern Rivers region-based Rosella-1 gas exploration well last year.