Metgasco Disperses Protesting Blockade, Successfully Spuds First CSG Well

Australia's Metgasco said Friday that it has managed to spud the Thornbill E04 coal seam gas (CSG) well with AJ Lucas Rig 103 on Thursday, after protesters who were manning a blockade were arrested by police on Tuesday.

The company was grappling with a stream of anti-CSG protests which started in November; several of which erupted into threatening situations. In one protest, demonstrators chained themselves to a truck at the company's Glenugie site. A spokesperson representing Metgasco told Rigzone that the contractors' on-site were also being threatened by the demonstrators.

"Due to the blockade, the drilling timeline for Thornbill E04 was slightly delayed. At present, the situation on-site is back to normal, with sufficient police forces around to ensure the safety of our employees," the spokesperson said.

"At Metgasco, the safety of our employees comes first," the spokesperson added.

In Metgasco's disclosure, the company described Thornbill E04 as a simple vertical well, whose objective is to better define coal distribution in PEL 426. The total planned depth of the well is 2,625 feet (800 meters). 

Metgasco added in its statement that the well will be "plugged and abandoned" before the rig leaves the site, and that the site will be rehabilitated.

Thornbill E04 – the first well to be drilled in Metgasco's two-year drilling campaign in the onshore Clarence Moreton Basin – is a project that has the full backing of the New South Wales' government. In December of last year, Metgasco received the approval for its work program, as well as the renewal of its licenses.


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