Monday, 18 June 2012

Fullerton Cove Pilot Project Approved

The NSW Government has given Dart Energy approval to drill pilot coal seam gas wells north east of Newcastle. Local residents are concerned about contamination of nearby RAMSAR listed wetlands, the Hunter River estuary and the Tomaree Sands groundwater system which is a component of their water supply. This is compounded by the history of earthquakes and floods in the area.

Dr Pease, Echonetwork, Port Stephens -  to NSW government Inquiry into CSG at

Despite the approval Dart Energy’s share price is today at 17.5 cents just above it’s all time low of 16 cents in May 2012.

Dart Energy ASX Release
Dart Energy (ASX:DTE, “Dart”) is pleased to announce that it has received government regulatory approvals to drill its proposed pilot wells north east of Newcastle in PEL458. The company has also secured the necessary land access agreements, is in advanced negotiations to secure a drilling rig and will commence site preparation in the coming weeks.

This approval is a significant step forward for the company’s business in Australia and progression of Dart’s first Gas Sales Agreement (GSA) in NSW with Maria’s Farm Veggies Pty Ltd (“MFV”).

Dart commenced its application for regulatory approval for the Fullerton Cove production pilot in September 2011, with the submission of a Review of Environmental Factors (“REF”). The REF has been reviewed and now approved by the Australian Federal Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas (CSG) and Coal Mining and the NSW Department of Trade and Investment Regional Infrastructure and Services (NSW Trade and Investment).

The pilot wells will target the prospective Borda and Medowie coal seams within the Tomago coal measures at depths between 650m and 700m using horizontal well drilling technology.

Four lateral wells will each extend approximately 1000m into the coal seams giving a total of 4000m of in-seam access to optimise gas drainage potential. Each lateral will intersect a single vertical well and gas will be produced from the vertical well. Hydraulic fracturing will not be required.

Approval of the Fullerton Cove pilot is a further step towards first gas to the Maria’s Farm Veggies project as part of the GSA terms with MFV announced on 7 December 2011. It will also facilitate a greatly improved understanding of the gas resource in PEL458, potentially leading to reserves bookings and further gas sales.

Dart’s CEO Australia, Robbert de Weijer said “the approval of the Fullerton Cove pilot project is a major milestone for Dart in PEL458 and towards our commitment to both Maria’s Farm Veggies and sustainable gas supply to the NSW domestic market.”

For and on behalf of the Board
Paul Marshall, Company Secretary 

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