AGL announce review of CSG activities

AGL has announced a comprehensive review of the company’s upstream gas business just weeks after toxic chemicals were detected at its Waukivory project.

AGL’s CEO Andy Vesey said the review will encompass the management structure and the operational and management practices required to safely explore for and produce gas resources.

Head of CSG at the company, Mike Moraza, retired in conjunction with the review.

Vesey said that as AGL prepares for a new phase in the development of its gas projects, it was important to adapt the structure and governance frameworks.

“The gas business has the potential to provide vital gas resources for our NSW customers and is set to contribute significantly to our balance sheet and deliver solid returns for our shareholders. It is important that we get the structure right,” Vesey said.

The announcement comes just weeks after AGL suspended fracking at its Waukivory project near Gloucestor after detecting BTEX chemicals in four pilot wells and a water storage tank.

Both the Environment Protection Authority and the Department of Resources stated AGL will not be able to resume work at the site until full investigations into the incident have been conducted.

BTEX refer to benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene which can have harmful effects on the central nervous system.

These chemicals can occur naturally in coal seams. The Government banned the use of BTEX chemicals in hydraulic fracturing and are prohibited in Environment Protection Licences issued by the EPA.

In early February the EPA started testing the Waukivory project. Its report is due to be released in the next few days.

Chair of activist group Groundswell Gloucester, Julie Lyford, said AGL should suspend its CSG operations altogether.

"If AGL want to keep their good corporate name, exploring and drilling for coal seam gas in the Gloucester Valley and in Camden – they need to pack up their bags, and walk away," Lyford said.

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