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Coal seam gas explorer seeks govt compo

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Metgasco is urging the NSW government to strike an out-of-court compensation deal following their legal tussle over the suspension of the coal seam gas explorer’s drilling licence.

Metgasco in April won a long-running Supreme Court legal battle over the government’s decision in 2014 to suspend its drilling licence near Lismore in northern NSW.

The resources company vowed to sue the government, but now wants to reach a deal on damages without having to return to court.

Managing director Peter Henderson said he was pleased the government had advised that it had no plans to appeal the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“We would now like to meet with government to discuss the damage caused to Metgasco as a result of the suspension decision and the future of the gas industry in the Clarence electorate,” he said on Monday.

“We would prefer to settle our claim for damages out of court.”

Fairfax reported on Monday that the government could be forced to hand over an $80 million payout to Metgasco.

Metgasco’s licence to drill the Rosella gas well near Lismore was suspended by Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts in May 2014, on the grounds the company hadn’t properly consulted the community about its exploration.

But the Supreme Court found the minister’s actions were not made according to law.

Henderson said Metgasco was ready to drill the Rosella well and hoped the government would maintain law and order at the site.

Shares in Metgasco were 3.2 cents higher at eight cents at 1032 AEST.

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