Gas claims and counterclaims

THE Northern Rivers Guardians group has concerns over gas being shipped to offshore destinations if Metgasco's production plans go ahead in the Northern Rivers.

Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, which is majority-owned by Chinese interests, has plans to supply its planned Gladstone export facility with Northern Rivers gas, the group also claims.

Group Against Gas Kyogle spokeswoman Boudicca Cerese said the company planned to build an liquefied natural gas export facility at Fishermans Landing in Gladstone, and is hoping to secure 1.5 million tonnes per annum of gas from the Northern Rivers to supply it.

"In their latest quarterly report, LNG Ltd actually has a map showing Metgasco's proposed Casino-Ipswich pipeline transporting gas to a hub at Ipswich from which it would be piped on to Gladstone," Ms Cerese said.

"A subsidiary of the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation, which is state-owned and the largest oil and gas company in China, holds a 20% majority share in LNG Ltd, so gas from our region may well be bound for China should this deal go ahead."

Anti-CSG campaigner for the Northern Rivers Guardians, Michael McNamara, is outraged the State Government would consider risking the Northern Rivers so international interests could make a quick buck from exporting gas.

"Production of this quantity of gas would require in excess of 1500 wells across the region which would have a devastating impact on local communities and the environment," he said.

"Thousands of people in this region are now involved with anti-gas groups and there is no way they are going to let this go ahead in our region."

Metgasco managing director Peter Henderson said the accusation was incorrect.

"Considering that Metgasco does not currently possess any production licences discussion about exporting gas options is premature," Mr Henderson said.

"The only certainty at this stage is the approval ... of the production licence for the Richmond Valley Power Station will provide clean and reliable electricity, generated by gas, to the Northern Rivers area."

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