AGL Energy Limited (AGL) strongly refutes claims made by the Sydney Morning Herald regarding its coal seam gas project in Camden, which has been operating safely in the area for 13 years.

The article on Thursday 12 February, “AGL not up front on gas release data at Camden” presented information regarding a gas safety valve incident last year that AGL believes was misleading and misrepresented the facts.

The story focused on the disclosure of gas volumes released during the incident on 31 August last year.

In correspondence to the NSW Office of Coal Seam Gas AGL provided a figure of 100,000 standard cubic feet (scf), as an upper estimate of the volume of natural gas released on 5 September. This was a conservative upper estimate in the early stages of the investigation.

Further analysis and review saw the figure revised to the more accurate 10,000 scf, the equivalent of 283 cubic metres, or a room 10m long x 10m wide x 2.84m high, which was then reported to the EPA as part of the investigation and released publicly on the AGL website.

The newspaper stating that the gas released from one of the Camden wells was “10 times more” than the public was later told is a complete distortion of the facts that occurred and were presented to the reporter.

The original figure assumed that the gas had flowed continuously over the period in question. The later figure was based upon an accurate analysis of the intermittent release of gas.

“AGL was upfront in notifying the public and media about the safety valve incident last August so it’s disappointing the Sydney Morning Herald has distorted the facts in an attempt to sensationalise this incident,” said Jenny O’Brien, Head of Community and Stakeholder Relations.

“AGL believes it was the correct approach to provide regulators with a conservative upper estimate prior to undertaking a detailed analysis, which was then released to both the regulators and the community.”

The Camden Gas Project has been operating for over 13 years, with 96 wells currently producing natural gas. AGL is committed to the safe operation of the project, which supplies around five percent of NSW’s gas needs.

To see the full list of answers we gave the Sydney Morning Herald, go here.

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated energy companies and is the largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in the country. Drawing on over 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 taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for investors, communities and customers.