AGL reviews well spacing amendment

AGL, which is seeking approval to frac four wells at its CSG project in the New South Wales’ Gloucester Basin, is reviewing the impact of a well spacing-related amendment to the State Environmental Planning Policy.

Blair Price

“The proposed amendment clarifies that the distance between a set of wells, and a nearby well, is measured from the centre of the set of wells,” an AGL spokeswoman said of the amendment which will remain on public exhibition until July 16.

“AGL has expressed the need for clarification on this policy to relevant government departments.”

A recent Sydney Morning Herald report on the matter commented that the amendment was specifically designed to enable AGL to frac wells near family homes without an environmental impact statement.

However, AGL said the closest well was hundreds of metres from a home.

EIS approval for its four-well fraccing plans was not required either, with AGL only needing to complete a Review of Environmental Factors which was submitted in September.

“The Waukivory Pilot Program is an exploration activity in Gloucester for which an application supported by a Review of Environmental Factors (more than 1000 pages long) has been lodged with the Office of Coal Seam Gas, and is currently awaiting approval,” AGL said.

“Stage 1 of the Gloucester gas project has already been through a full environmental assessment and received approval from the independent NSW Planning Assessment Commission, which was upheld by the Land and Environment Court.

“The Gloucester gas project has the potential to supply more than 15 percent of the state’s gas needs by 2018. All of the gas from the project will remain in NSW.”

Claims have been made that wells located near each other increase the risk of negative environmental impacts.