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Metgasco to Start Drilling First CSG Exploration Well in 2013

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Metgasco disclosed Monday that field work for the first of its coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and pilot wells in the onshore Clarence Moreton Basin will start in January 2013, following the company's success in obtaining all landholder and government approvals required for work to commence.

The first well to be drilled – in Metgasco's two-year drilling campaign – will be the Thornbird E04, a vertical well which will test the coal distribution in the PEL 426 permit.

Metgasco said in its statement that the approval of this work program and the renewal of the company's licenses clearly demonstrate the support of the New South Wales' Government towards the company and the CSG industry in general.

The company's reaffirmation of the government's support comes amid a stream of anti-CSG protests which started in November. In one protest, demonstrators chained themselves to a truck at the company's Glenugie site.

"Once we have completed drilling our core/exploration wells, we will drill some lateral wells to demonstrate the productivity of the coal seams, before drilling our conventional prospect, the Greater Mackellar structure. One of the short to medium term goals of this program is to provide competitively priced natural gas to local businesses," Metgasco's Managing Director Peter Henderson said in the issued statement.

Metgasco stated in an investor presentation in June that supplying liquefied natural gas projects in Gladstone and offshore of the Northwest Shelf are among its primary aims.

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