Thanks for your question Dan.
We are happy to report that we are on track to progressively decommission wells and rehabilitate sites at Camden prior to ceasing production in 2023.
In FY 19 (July 2018 – June 2018), 9 wells were decommissioned.
In FY 20 (July 2019 – June 2020), 14 wells were decommissioned.
More information about the decommissioned wells is outlined in the AGL Camden Gas Project 2019-2020 Annual Environmental Performance Report available on our website www.agl.com.au/camden
Will AGL be monitoring the coal seam gas wells they decommission in the Camden Gas Project to see if they are leaking dangerous gases into the community for the next thirty years? Or will you just cease to have any responsibility after 2023?
The government regulators for gas wells in NSW are:
Work activities on the wells are undertaken with a high level of regulatory oversight by the NSW Government’s Division of Resources and Energy and the NSW EPA as lead regulator, and to standards set in the NSW Government’s Code of Practice for Coal Seam Gas.
AGL provide a financial security bond to the NSW government for our existing NSW gas wells against all future rehabilitation requirements at the sites.
When the wells are decommissioned at the end of their life cycle, the government regulators approve and monitor each stage of this process.
Once the government regulators are satisfied that this has been completed to set standards, and the surface has been rehabilitated to the satisfaction of the landowner and NSW EPA, the government regulators inform AGL when no further works are required and AGL can relinquish ownership of the former gas well site and receive the bond back for that particular well. The former gas well site is then tracked by the government regulators.
Please see attached factsheets from the government regulators that explain how they regulate, and who is responsible for, the gas well industry in NSW.