A six-month freeze on processing new applications for coalbed methane exploration licenses has been introduced by the state government of New South Wales (NSW). The cost of applying for such licences will also increase from AU$ 1000 to AU$ 50,000 under new rules.
NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, told parliament that the freeze would allow an audit of existing coalbed methane licences and pending applications to be carried out before a new assessment and allocation regime is put in place.
"Not only will this process reflect the best practice we demand of the natural gas industry, it will also reflect the expectations that the people of this state have towards the use of our natural resources," he said.
Mr O'Farrell said that, in 2002, the previous Labor government set the cost of a coal seam gas application fee at $1000, which was "simply and utterly incredible".
Anthony Roberts, minister for resources and energy, is set to raise the fee to AU$ 50,000. This announcement followed Roberts’ refusal to accept exploration licence applications from the company Grainger Energy.
Roberts will also ask another company, Leichhardt Resources, to show cause why its three licences - near Moree and Nowra and between Bylong and Denham - should not be cancelled.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/cbm/26032014/new_south_wales_freezes_cbm_exploration_licences_661/