AGL Energy Limited (AGL) today advised the local community that site works at its Waukivory pilot exploration program at Forbesdale will resume next week for the Gloucester Gas Project.

The exploration program will provide information to assess the local natural gas potential of the area and to gather additional information about the surrounding hydrogeology.

Originally scheduled to commence in December 2011, the exploration program was voluntarily suspended by AGL to allow time to respond to concerns raised by the community. AGL suspended the drilling program until two commitments were met:

  • An independently peer reviewed hydrogeological study of the Stage 1 area had been completed and the results made public. This study was made publicly available in May this year, and
  • The Land and Environment Court released its ruling on the validity of State Government approvals for the production project. This decision was handed down on 27 August, upholding the approvals for the Stage 1 program.

Mike Moraza, AGL's Group General Manager Upstream Gas, said: "I am pleased that we have now met these commitments. We will now re-commence our exploration drilling program, which has all necessary government approvals in place, so that we can advance a project that could help meet the annual gas needs of more than one million homes in New South Wales."

Earlier this year, at the request of the Gloucester Community Consultative Committee, Dr Rick Evans was appointed to perform an independent peer review of the Project's surface water and groundwater studies. Dr Evans noted that the Waukivory flow testing program should proceed as soon as possible so that AGL could collect further water management data to build on its knowledge of the connectivity of the different groundwater systems across the area.

Local contractors will undertake the civil works associated with the program, building access roads and the drill pad sites.

For further information about the project or the work currently being undertaken, please visit the Gloucester Project wesbsite.

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.