Petrel Energy has sold its stake in three Petroleum Exploration Licences in the Gunnedah Basin to Comet Ridge, a joint venture partner with Santos.
Comet Ridge paid $750,000 for the three licences.
The PELs include PEL Six located 50km south-west of Goondiwindi, stretching south to Bellata and east of Moree.
PEL 427 and PEL 428 are located west of Moree stretching from the QLD-NSW border, south to Maules Creek.
Chair of the Belatta Gurley Coal Seam Gas Action Group Penny Blatchford said it was the same CSG exploration problem “barging in” all over again, but with a different company.
“It doesn’t look like they are going anywhere anytime soon,” Mrs Blatchford said.
Comet Ridge managing director, Tor McCaul, says Comet is now waiting for the New South Wales Government to carry out its due diligence on the planned purchase.
It’s anticipated approval will be granted in four to six weeks.
Mr McCaul says it will be Comet Ridge’s JV partner, Santos, who’ll be approaching Narrabri and Moree Plains Shire Councils to begin seismic survey work.
“We’re hopeful we’ll be able to get out there and do some seismic work and start some exploration before the end of the year,” he said.
“It really comes down to the interaction with the NSW Government and with the local councils.”
Moree Plains Shire Mayor Katrina Humphries said the moratorium from council was still in place, and would remain in place.
“My understanding is the community is still very united,” Cr Humphries said.
“We have seen lots of companies come and go so we are not worried.
“Seeing as though it was a unanimous decision by council to put forward the moratorium, I’m quite confident that these companies will not persuade us.”