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NSW extends freeze on CSG licences

World Coal,

The government of New South Wales has confirmed an extended 12-month freeze on Petroleum Exploration Licence Applications (PELAs), including those issued to coal seam gas exploration.

The suspension of PELAs also includes Petroleum Special Prospecting Authority applications (PSPAs). The move follows an earlier 6-month freeze announced in March 2014.

Both PELAs and PSPAs will not be processed until 26 September 2015. Petroleum Assessment Leases will be available to companies with existing PELs or those who applied before the freeze.

Minister for Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, said the extended timeframe will allow the Office of Coal Seam Gas (OCSG) to properly examine current PELAs and assess the application process for petroleum titles.

Roberts also highlighted comprehensive regulations the NSW government has put in place to “ensure that gas extraction from coal seams is done in a way that is safe and has minimal impacts on the environment and other industries”.

Since March 2014, the government has refused 10 PELAs across NSW. In most cases, companies have been required to give further information around environment, exploration and production reporting, community consultation and work programs.

“The NSW government is committed to increasing our domestic supply of gas and is working to ensure only safe and sustainable gas supply projects proceed,” Roberts concluded.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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