Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Region. Call for coal seam gas inquiry

Apollo Gas, via a subsidiary, Macquarie Energy, was granted petroleum exploration licence 463 in October 2008, allowing it to prospect for coal seam gas across the region. The licence covers 3285 square kilometres - most of greater Sydney - from Kurnell to Gosford and west to Eastern Creek. But the terms of the licence say Apollo must not drill or prospect within 200 metres of inhabited houses or within 50 metres of gardens or orchards, without written consent from the owners, the Department of Industry and Investment said. This means any drilling will probably be confined to less populated areas. The director of the Total Environment Centre, Jeff Angel, said a public inquiry into coal seam gas extraction was needed. ''The gas companies and their coal mining allies have very ambitious plans in and around Sydney about which they have not told the public,'' he said.

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