First gas rig headed for NSW coast  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The SMH reports that we may soon see drilling for gas off the coast of greater Sydney - First gas rig headed for NSW coast.

A PERTH company has announced it is set to become the first to do an underwater exploratory drill for gas in the Sydney basin off the NSW coast. Advent Energy plans to start drilling into the seabed in federal government-controlled waters 55 kilometres east of Newcastle in mid-October, according to its executive director, David Breeze. ...

However, Mr Breeze said that the site off Forresters Beach was one of four which it was considering in the area and it has now moved its focus over the horizon to the New Seaclem-1 site, which is not visible from the shore.

The company intends to tow the Ocean Patriot rig from Victoria so it can test the New Seaclem-1 site for the presence of gas 826 metres below the sea floor, Mr Breeze said. This would take about 20 days, during which sensors on the drill would send information to a computer aboard the rig and then the hole would be plugged, he said. ''You put cement casing into it and you seal it off and have a three foot [0.9 metre] cement plug just under the sea floor,'' he said.

If the exploratory drill is successful, extracting the gas would entail putting a platform out of sight on the sea floor and burying a pipe which would convey it into the existing Newcastle-Sydney gas pipeline ashore, he said.

The offshore Sydney basin covering 8200 square kilometres could possibly contain almost as much gas as the massive Bass Strait fields, but it has not been explored more extensively because it was so close to a plentiful supply of coal, he said.

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