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Arrow Energy releases mea culpa over farmland drilling – but won’t stop

Gas producer Arrow Energy has admitted it blundered over its policy of drilling beneath the land of Queensland farmers without telling them.

Aug 30, 2021, updated Aug 30, 2021
Farmers have been fighting over subsidence claims from CSG (photo supplied)

Farmers have been fighting over subsidence claims from CSG (photo supplied)

But the Shell-PetroChina owned company said its multi-well pads and deviated well models was “overwhelmingly positive for co-existence”.

The practice caused a furore among farmers in the Dalby region when it was discovered. Farmers were concerned about public liability issues as well as potential subsidence on cropping land above the wells.

Arrow said the practice reduced surface impacts on particularly high value land. It released a list of commitments around communication, indemnity and compensation, but it has not said it would stop the practice.

“We made mistakes in the early implementation of that model and we need to do better,” Arrow said in a document released late last week.

“We acknowledge that the better view is that entry notices should have been given prior to drilling to landholders of properties where deviated wells traverse below the surface and that early and ongoing engagement with adjoining landholders about potential deviated well is vital.”

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“We are deeply committed to genuine co-existence, where both agriculture and gas businesses thrive and we know that co-existence depends on just what we do but how we do it,” Arrow said.

The Gasfields Commission said it was pleased so see Arrow had taken on board the feedback from stakeholders and it welcomed the release of its commitments to landowners as an important step forward.

The relationship between the gas companies and farmers has always been strained, particularly in and around the high value cropping land near Dalby.

 

 

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