Metgasco to fill wells and repair

METGASCO is appealing for patience from the anti-CSG fraternity as it decommissions its remaining wells from next month.

The program is being vetted by the Mine Safety office at the Department of Resources and Energy, with a green light expected for a start in early May.

Remediating the 19 sites, mostly near Casino Airport and Dobies Bight, will cost at least $3 million and take up to six months.

Metgasco drilling manager Simon Hann said the company board had elected to fully decommission the sites out of "fundamental corporate responsibility".

"The company feels... the most responsible and decent thing to do is to invest the money upfront in decommissioning the field," Mr Hann said.

"Regardless of your ideology around CSG, this is the best outcome for those wells and the local community."

Only a skeleton crew remains behind to oversee the operation, most of whose positions will become redundant after the recent shake-up - including Mr Hann.

The NSW Code of Practice for CSG Well Integrity requires wells to be completely filled with high-grade concrete below a 2m layer of earth and the complete remediation of vegetation around the site.

Mr Hann said residents could expect to see "engineered slurry" being delivered in large rigs to fill the drill sites, and emphasized they were not drill trucks.

Lock the Gate spokeswoman Boudicca Cerese said there was a consensus among those active at blockades that allowing the wells to be decommissioned in the proposed timeframe was the best way to minimise environmental impacts.

Each site will take 6-10 days to complete and cost around $50,000 in concrete filling.

To receive an electronic copy of the decommissioning schedule email land@metgasco.com.au.


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