Metgasco Looks at New Business, Completing Sale of Northern Rivers Acreages

Metgasco Ltd., a Sydney-based conventional and unconventional natural gas exploration firm, reported Monday that the shutdown of its Northern Rivers' operations in the Clarence Moreton Basin in New South Wales (NSW), Australia covering its 100 percent stakes in petroleum exploration licenses (PEL) 16, 13 and 426 is nealry complete.

The firm decommissioned the remaining two coal seam gas (CSG) wells and the land rehabilitated at costs lower than budgeted. Metgasco has submitted documents indicating landowners' acceptance of the rehabilitation work to the NSW Government and the latter has inspected the sites. The company now awaits the NSW Government's release of the $177,873 (AUD 236,000) bonds associated with the operations.

Meantime, Metgasco has sold the land purchased for a power station project for around $188,350 (AUD 250,000), while the equipment and materials held for future drilling has been sold, with the remainder moved to a Brisbane site until the sale process concludes. The Casino office and storage facility has also been closed and employment of Northern Rivers staff has been terminated.

Metgasco agreed at the end of 2015 to withdraw from NSW operations and court action against the NSW Government in return for $18.9 million (AUD 25 million).

"The Company will continue to seek attractive new business opportunities within the oil and gas sector with the aim of securing the first opportunity within the first half of this year. With the close down of the Northern Rivers acreage effectively complete, the focus of the management team and the Board is solely on new business development," Metgasco said in the press release.

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