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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

Metgasco announces drilling delay

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Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson says the delay is owed entirely to wet weather in Queensland where the rig it had contracted to do the work was situated.

On February 6 the company was given the go-ahead by the state government to drill the test well and on February 18 in an ASX announcement said it would use a rig supplied by Atlas Drilling Services, ‘on the basis of criteria that included cost, safety, rig capability and reliability’.

But it seems Atlas has been less reliable than Metgasco may have hoped, with the rig bogged down at its current site in Queensland.

‘The reason for putting out the press release is largely that we’d told the market that we would be starting to drill in April – and there’s still a chance of activity this month – but we thought the right thing to do was to explain to people that there had been a short delay,’ he told ABC North Coast radio this morning.

Mr Henderson denied the significant public protests at Bentley were a factor in the delay.

‘The protest is not stopping us. We had protests for the two wells we drilled at the start of 2013 and that didn’t stop us, so there’s no truth in that.’

Mr Henderson also refuted the number of protesters Lock the Gate claimed were onsite, saying, ‘they tend to count in twos rather than ones’.

‘We would like to win every popularity contest in the northern rivers region. We would like there to be people onsite welcoming us, clapping our coming. We know that’s not the case,’ he said.

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  1. I have been on site most mornings at dawn and at the camp during the day on many, many occasions. If Peter Henderson really believes we count in’ twos’ and not ‘ones’ then more fool him! He will really be in for a HUGE shock when the day of reckoning comes and they try to bring in the heavy machinery and the rig. The support for the prevention of gas mining at Bentley and hence the Northern Rivers grows stronger every day. He is actually acutely aware of this but will not admit the truth to Metgasco’s shareholder!

  2. Bogged? Really? as James above states.. it hasn’t rained for two weeks.. However, there were 2000 people awaiting Metgasco’s arrival, thus my guess as to why they have cancelled… They realise that 200 riot squad will not be enough if 2000 people turn up for the arrival of the porta-loo! They will need 1000 riot squad to get that drill rig in, and they know it. Peter Henderson is not telling the investors the truth.

    I have also heard that Local police have stated that they do not want to take part in the helping of a private company to move it’s machinery in over the top of 87% of the population who has said they do not want this company here.

    What sort of industry needs hundreds of riot squad, where seedy contractors cover up their business name in shame when delivering to Metgasco, conscious local businesses refuse to work with them and reject big contracts, what sort of industry in history has EVER been so hated in Australia?

    The delay will just bring more people to the site, there will be tens of thousands by the time that drill rig leave QLD. We have too much at stake here.

  3. According to Peter Henderson the protest is never a problem to him, delays are always due to bad weather and we always get our figures and surveys wrong. We are actually educated and organised individuals putting our lives/business on hold because we care about our environment and are not prepared to stand and watch this beautiful area poisoned and destroyed for future generations. Perhaps he just cant get his head around the fact that the people of the Northern Rivers do not want a Gasfield and a large percentage of those people are prepared to take action to prevent Metgasco and any other Gas mining companies from doing so.
    The longer this is delayed the more time we have to get organised.

  4. I believe that there were 200 riot police around the area for a few days a couple of weeks ago, with Motel bookings for more days . That changed just after around 2,000 people were on the site waiting for the police and workers on Monday of last week.
    It seems to have rained retrospectively in Queensland. Well, it is a strange State.

  5. Hey Rosie, its Shaun, Jaz’s boyfriend… we met a few times at the protest.. hey is it cool if I send you a couple of questions for my journalism report as everytime I have been out at Bentley I have been too caught up in it to interview people. thanks.

  6. Peter Henderson continues to report this situation to his shareholders through an intentionally blinkered view.

    Well, he can blame the weather if he so chooses. The truth is that we know that he knows, and whichever way he tells HIS story, [his] reports aren’t going to dampen the spirits of all who have witnessed for themselves the size and ever-growing momentum of this united protection of our environment and our rights.

    Mr Henderson’s tactics have back-fired on him, though, because, despite all the heartache Metgasco has caused many, in one respect, as unthinkable as it sounds, we owe Metgasco’s insatiable greed our thanks, as this company has created within our community a previously unknown heartfelt bond between otherwise disparate members of society.

    United, we stand, and we aren’t going anywhere until sanity prevails.

  7. If it’s such a walk in the park for Metgasco & if Henderson wants to do the right thing by the shareholder then how about he tell us EXACTLY when he’s going to bring the rig in…if, as says, we are counting in twos rather than ones then he’ll only have to face 1000 people protecting the area in which we live. How hard can that be?? Metgasco should develop an exit strategy and save what’s left of its face. Then we would all be clapping, then they would win a popularity contest, then we would wave them off into the wide blue yonder.

  8. Metagasco is just the tip of the iceberg of mining that is proposed. This disgusting industry has a history of destruction that exceeds most others of this nature, and needs to be stopped here and wherever else it sticks-up its ugly head in this country. If we stop it here, we (only 89%!!!) should be able to stop it everywhere!

  9. Peter,
    I have been at Bentley most mornings. The crowds are big. I am glad Lismore is no Tara, where I have a friend living. Up there it is almost a Police state, with a private security army. We do not want the pollution, the risk of water contamination, or the industrialisation of our farms. Personally, I have taken leave from my job so I can be part of the peaceful opposition at Bentley.
    Perhaps Medgasgo should take the advice of the April Fools joke & invest in more sustainable forms of energy. That is where the financial rewards will be in the future. Otherwise Medgasgo could be seen as a Dinosaur company mining Dinosaurs!

    I ask all Medgasgo Shareholders to think of the risks of Gas Mining. Our children are more important than short term gains with long term risks to our children.

  10. The Gods must be crazy
    It hasn’t rained that much here on the north coast, must be different on the downs I suppose.
    funny how those drill rig people let their valuable machines sit round idle in the mud, for up to 4 weeks !!!

  11. Can You imagine 100 knitting nanas in their 50 plus age group being dragged away by riot police when they try and bring the rig in.The riot police own families will disown them. If Metgasco and the NSW government had any brains between them they would be negotiating to buy the leaseses back now to avoid the costs assiociated with what is going to occur at Bentlely in the next few weeks.They might be thinking 2000 people but after being out to the site and seeing a different group of people every time I think they might need to change the amount of protectors to double that 4000 when the rig arrives and this maybe a bit conservative amount .So anyone reading this get out to Bentley any day at anytime and you will be blown away by what is happening and the ground swell of people that is growing each day.I can only say how proud Iam to live amongst the people of the rainbow region

  12. if henderson thinks that we count in 2s then he should go back to school to learn how to count. just he wait until the txt message and alerts go out for the rig arrival, then he and the “share holders” will really worry about who can count!

  13. I’d like to say to Peter Henderson that I’ve met academics from Universities, Administrators from hospitals, teachers, business people, tribal elders and other people like myself at Bentley. All are astute, articulate Australians and many have at least one University degree, so I think they can count. Maybe it’s Peter who is using the press to count in halves? Anyway it doesn’t matter , everyone I talk to are against the Rosella drill and there will be thousands there to “welcome” the rig if it ever gets out of the bog (or perhaps sandstorm) it is in in Qld.

  14. Mr Hendersen, I am sorry to say that your company looks like it will have a very short life. Metgasco and other invasive gas mining companies will find the gate locked here in Bently and then all over Australia . I would like this polluting business banned by our federal government.. Our strength and numbers are growing everyday . We will protect our land water and air for future generations .Money will not win this one, Shareholders sell now and get out of this filthy business. Love will find away.


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