O’Farrell floundering on coal seam gas facts

Media Release

31 August 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today said Premier Barry O’Farrell was floundering on coal seam gas after getting his facts wrong several times this week on approvals, compensation liability for cancellation of gas exploration licences, and on future gas supply.

“Barry O’Farrell is floundering on coal seam gas.  Under pressure over gas drilling in the marginal seats of Newcastle and Campbelltown, the Premier has got some key facts wrong,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

APPROVALS: The Premier claimed Dart Energy’s approvals at Fullerton Cove (near Newcastle) “were granted under the former government” and that “his hands were tied”. 

The application to drill for pilot production (Review of Environmental Factors) at Fullerton Cove was made to the O’Farrell Government in September 2011 and approved by DITRIS on 5 June 2012.    DART ASX Statement: http://bit.ly/PvuhzE    DITRIS Statement: http://bit.ly/TBIfRH

COMPENSATION: The Premier has claimed that if his government were to cancel petroleum exploration licences, then the state would be liable for billions in compensation.  However, the Petroleum (Onshore) Act explicitly rules out compensation due to cancellation of petroleum titles where there has been a breach of conditions or the land is “required for any public purpose”.

PETROLEUM (ONSHORE) ACT 1991 – SECT 22 Cancellation and suspension of title
(5) No compensation is payable by the Crown for or in respect of the cancellation of, or a suspension of operations under, a
 
petroleum title. http://bit.ly/O7uJUv

MYTHICAL GAS SHORTAGE: It is illogical to claim the Eastern Australia is running out of gas while at the same time giant LNG export facilities are being built.  The Parliamentary Inquiry into coal seam gas recommended a domestic gas reservation policy be implemented to avoid any future shortages due to the establishment of east coast gas exports.

BHP Billiton Petroleum chief Mike Yeager on 14 May 2012 said his company had plenty of gas for sale to supply east coast markets:

“We want to make sure that the market knows that the Bass Strait field still has a large amount of gas that’s undeveloped,” Mr Yeager said. “We have a lot of gas in eastern Australia that’s available. It’s more important to let the citizens of Victoria and New South Wales, and to some degree, you know, even Queensland … there’s plenty of gas to supply those provinces for – you know, indefinitely.”  “We have gas for sale and we will work with anybody at any time.” http://bit.ly/QGhyhN 

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

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