In Australia, Dart Energy has a portfolio of 8 Petroleum
Exploration Licences all located in the state of New South Wales.
On 2 April 2013, Dart Energy announced a decision to suspend field operations in
Australia until there is clarity and certainty around State and Federal policies
to support the industry. The company intends to preserve its high quality
licence areas in Australia until Government policies are reformulated and an
initiative is underway to identify consolidation and farm-out opportunities for
the Australian assets.
Commenting, Nick Davies, Chairman, said: “The Board of Dart is extremely
disappointed with the uncertainty created by recent NSW and Federal government
decisions in relation to CSG development in Australia. The consequence is that
investment is leaving the country, field operations are being suspended,
Australian jobs are being lost, and the impending energy crisis in New South
Wales is not being addressed, and indeed, will only get worse. This is in direct
contrast to the United Kingdom, where the Government is actively seeking to
support the responsible development of unconventional gas resources.”
PEL 456 - Upper Hunter
Location: Liverpool Ranges, Upper Hunter Valley, NSW
PEL 456 is located in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales
covering an area of 5,953 km2. Dart Energy holds an 85% interest in
the licence with Santos holding the remaining 15%. Santos has
elected to exercise its farm-in rights for a further 35% by funding
additional exploration and appraisal activities.
The Central Ranges Gas Pipeline (CRGP) and proposed Queensland
Hunter Gas Pipeline (QHGP) traverse the licence area in addition to
nearby high capacity power transmission lines, both of which present
commercialisation opportunities for gas sales and regional gas-fired
PEL 458 is located near the city of Newcastle, New South Wales, and
extends over an area of approximately 2,000km2 from Belmont in the
south to Myall Lakes in the north, Raymond Terrace in the west to
the coast in the east.
Exploration in PEL458 commenced in January 2010 with four
exploration holes drilled to date. Dart Energy has full state and
federal regulatory approval for a pilot project at Fullerton Cove,
north of Newcastle, assessing the prospective Medowie and Borda
seams at approximate depths of 650 metres and 700 metres
respectively. Drilling is to take place from a single well pad to
minimise the environmental footprint, reduce site preparation time
and truck movements.
The focus of the proposed pilot operations in the Fullerton Cove
area north of Newcastle are the upper Tomago Coal Measures.
A review of all environmental factors, encompassing all risks and
relevant studies has been completed and submitted as part of the
regulatory approvals process. Approvals from the Federal Department,
SEWPaC (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water Population
and Communities) and the State Department, DTIRIS (Department of
Trade, Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services) have been
received. The application was also assessed and approved by the
federal Independent Expert Scientific Committee.
Legal proceedings brought by the “Fullerton Cove Residents Action
Group” in relation to the project were successfully defended by Dart
Energy in the NSW Land and Environment Court.
Future exploration activities will continue to target the Tomago
coal measures in addition to the equally prospective Greta coal
Maria’s Farm Veggies Project
Dart Energy has taken a 20% equity interest in a project being
undertaken by Maria’s Farm Veggies Pty Ltd (MFV) adjacent to the
Fullerton Cove project site. MFV is a state of the art A$65million
glasshouse development that will grow high quality vegetables for
sale to Australian markets. The project is expected to create 125
jobs in the Newcastle area or up to 200 jobs if the project is
expanded. Gas produced from the Fullerton Cove project will supply
gas for heat and power generation to the MFV project with produced
carbon dioxide being re-used as part of the growing process.
Dart Energy and MFV won the FutureGas 2012 Innovation Award as a
model of sustainability that demonstrates the benefits that coal
seam gas brings to the communities and the economy.
MFV has also executed a Gas Sales Agreement (GSA) with Dart Energy
for gas supply from the Fullerton Cove project. The GSA is for a
10-year term at A$7.50/GJ linked to CPI.
PEL 445 - Bruxner
Location: North Eastern NSW
Interest: Dart Energy 100% (currently being acquired from Arrow
PEL 445 covers an area of approximately 7,100 km2 and is located in
the Clarence Moreton Basin (“CMB”) adjacent to the border of NSW and
Queensland, and to tenements held by Metgasco and ERM. The CMB
represents an extension of the productive Surat Basin into northeast
NSW. In Metgasco’s CMB licence areas, which are of similar size to
PEL 445, 3P and 2P gas reserves of approximately 2,500PJ and 400PJ
respectively have been booked.
Based on the work undertaken in the CMB to date by Arrow Energy and
others, the basin is considered to be highly prospective for coal
seam gas as well as other unconventional and conventional gas
deposits. Since 2002, Arrow Energy has drilled 15 exploration wells.
Exploration results indicate that the area contains significant gas
resources, which are over-pressured, contain significant free gas,
and are generally close to 100% saturation with a gas composition
regularly over 95% methane.
Dart Energy’s management team is familiar with the licence area and
its potential as they carried out the majority of exploration work
done to date whilst at Arrow Energy prior to its acquisition by the
JV in 2010.
Dart Energy intends to undertake a detailed assessment of further
exploration activities required to gain a better understanding of
the area’s potential.