Gas chief admits company at fault
METGASCO chief executive Peter Henderson has conceded the Casino-based gas company was remiss in not cleaning up two water-storage ponds after drilling at a site at Dyraaba was abandoned.
However, he stressed the ponds never presented environmental danger.
Video footage of two ponds near Dobie's Blight Rd has been posted on YouTube, showing one near-empty pit with a torn liner and another near-full pit that appears to have overflowed in the past.
“We are a bit embarrassed about this situation but it's a housekeeping issue rather than any environmental issue,” Mr Henderson said.
“Certainly the appearance isn't great at all but the water in the ponds is fresh water – rain water and general seepage.”
Residents have expressed concerns that the water may have been “production water” containing toxic contaminants used during drilling and fossil water from deep underground.
However, Mr Henderson rejected those concerns.
"It is all fresh water.
"There are no environmental issues there,” he said.
When the drilling was active, the pits were used to store water and potassium chloride (a fertiliser), but that water has since been removed, he said.
“When we finished drilling we had no more use for them (the pits) and as time has gone on they have filled with rain water and general seepage.
"Because we didn't need them we didn't pay any attention to them,” he said.
“If we had been a bit more diligent in our housekeeping we would have refilled the pits and returned them to their normal state and removed the liner. We are now doing that.”
Mr Henderson said the company was in talks with the landowner to see if he wanted the larger pit retained as a dam for his own purposes.