AGL reports CSG loss

AGL Energy’s 2013 financial report revealed it has suffered massive losses from its New South Wales gas assets.

The company said it lost almost $200 million on state’s gas assets, including the Gloucester and Hunter ventures, the ABC reports.

The Hunter gas venture’s book value is at just $10 million, down from over $200 million. Gloucester dropped by $100 million.

AGL pointed to State Government regulatory issues for the almost $300 million loss.

The Gloucester Gas project received federal government approval in February this year. AGL will drill up to 110 coal seam gas wells.

The approval also involves fracking and pipeline construction from Gloucester to Hexham.

It is conditional on 36 conditions, including a new hydrogeological study.

A company spokesperson said the State Government was spreading uncertainty, leading to the company looking at impairment of its gas assets.

The company said it did it despite the State Environment Protection Policy still not being firmed up.

AGL asked for changes in its Gloucester project last year, postponing Government approvals.

AGL CEO Michael Fraser criticised NSW government rules, which he said "make no sense at all", the AFR reports.

The rules prohibit CSG activity around vineyards and horse studs and also includes a 2-kilometre no go zone around residential areas.

Scientist and engineer Professor Mary O’Kane recently said there were various concerns about CSG and said tougher regulation, penalties for violations and further environmental research are needed.

AGL concurred with O’Kane’s findings.

‘AGL agrees with Professor O’Kane that CSG concerns ‘can be effectively managed through high standards of engineering, rigorous monitoring and supervision of operations,” a company spokesperson said.

“We hope that the report will help ease the concerns expressed by the community and enable the NSW government to support the CSG industry and is significant economic benefits.”

AGL previously faced outrage for removing anti-CSG signs from outside a vineyard it acquired in 2011.

The Hunter Valley Protection Alliance owned the signs and they were placed opposite Pooles Rock vineyard.

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