Coal seam gas a goer

COAL seam gas will be flowing in the Northern Rivers and Clarence Valley this year, according to Metgasco and Red Sky Energy.

Despite a new approvals delay, Red Sky Energy has confirmed it is on track to begin to drill a pilot well and perform a long-term production test at its Talma well, situated halfway between Casino and Grafton just off the Summerland Way.

Approval was expected late last year but the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Resources and Energy has requested extra information, according to Red Sky managing director Rohan Gillespie.

It was merely a case of more formalities, he said.

"It is just a case of more box ticking," he said.

Once approval has been gained a drilling rig will be sourced. From this point the Talma well can be operational in 15 days, he said.

The Northern Star's Scott Harlum has reported that Metgasco has entered its first coal seam gas-supply agreement with a North Coast business.

Richmond Dairies entered into the 10-year agreement subject to Metgasco obtaining a licence to produce coal seam gas and receiving approval to install gas-supply infrastructure at Richmond Dairies' Casino factory.

"We think using (coal seam gas) rather than liquid natural gas will reduce our factory's greenhouse emissions and also the secondary emissions from transporting liquid natural gas to Casino," Richmond Dairies managing director Chris Sharpe said.

But Mr Sharpe was keen to point out that he supports appropriate "checks and balances" being put in place to regulate the coal seam gas industry.

"We are supportive of that and the community has to be satisfied all these things are in place," he said.

Richmond Dairies employs about 55 people and specialises in the export of frozen cream, milk powders and bulk dairy ingredients mostly to South-East Asia and Saudi Arabia.

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