NSW mining and resources minister Anthony Roberts yesterday used his trip to the northern rivers to announce the government’s refusal of a CSG exploration licence to a ‘two-dollar’ company seeking to drill for CSG in Corakai and Woodburn.
‘The Office of Coal Seam Gas has advised me of a lack of financial viability for the applicant concerning PELAs 127 and 128 at Coraki and Woodburn,’ Mr Roberts said yesterday.
‘Mr Tito Trapuzzano is the sole applicant for the PELAs, he has no known petroleum exploration history and no Australian financial records or reports have been identified.
‘Mr Trapuzzano’s application did propose the use of experienced Australian petroleum consultants but the application significantly under-estimated the costs involved in completing the necessary exploratory work, ensuring adequate security bonds are held if approved and undertaking sufficient community consultation.
‘Companies with applications that don’t stack up should not be surprised when the government refuses their applications.’
Mr Roberts said the refusal came about as part of an audit of existing Petroleum Exploration Licences, most issued by the previous Labor government.
Three weeks ago, the government announced a freeze on the processing of new Petroleum Exploration Licence Applications, wchi will run until September 26.
When the freeze is lifted, Mr Roberts said, ‘a more comprehensive application process’ will be put in place.’
The application fee for Petroleum Exploration Titles has also been raised from $1,000 to $50,000,.
‘Under Labor, small companies, even two dollar shelf companies, flourished and were granted licences that blanketed New South Wales. Labor’s legacy of 39 PELs granted without due scrutiny and oversight is responsible for considerable stress across many communities in our state.’