Metgasco gas operation in Casino, which has now been suspended. 
Photo Northern Star Archives
Metgasco gas operation in Casino, which has now been suspended. Photo Northern Star Archives Northern Star Archives

Metgasco at the centre of takeover bid

THE company behind the failed bid to extract coal seam gas at Bentley is making news again.

Metgasco directors today announced their unanimous recommendation to reject a takeover bid by Melbana Energy Limited.

In a Target Statement, chairman Philip Amery said accepting the "inadequate" bid by Melbana would significantly undervalue their shares.

He said the bid was "an unsolicited, highly conditional, off-market, all-scrip bid for Metgasco Ltd".

Shareholders were told to note that "Melbana chairman Andrew Purcell was removed from the Metgasco Board, by a majority shareholder vote" in April last year.

Metgasco said the company has a "compelling future", listing current "highly prospective projects and opportunities" in the Cooper/Eromanga and Perth Basins and the US Gulf of Mexico.

Lock the Gate Alliance has raised concerns about the projects planned for Queensland.

Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith said it was a shame Metgasco hadn't learnt from its experiences in NSW.

"Lock the Gate Alliance is deeply concerned Metgasco, which so blatantly defied community opposition to unconventional gas exploration and extraction in Northern NSW, is now planning to drill in Queensland's iconic Channel Country," she said.

"The company's activities in the Northern Rivers region triggered a broad social movement encompassing farmers, traditional owners and townspeople from all walks of life coming together to oppose the company's plans.

"Metgasco clearly had no qualms about operating without a social licence when it invaded the Northern Rivers, and was only prevented from drilling due to people power and eventual government intervention.

"There's nothing to suggest Metgasco has learnt its lesson in the years since.

"The company's recent failed attempt to establish a well during a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico in the United States is further indication that Metgasco is not an operator communities can risk gambling with.

"Lock the Gate Alliance stands with traditional owners, graziers, and other community members who are calling for the rivers and floodplains of the Channel Country to be protected from unconventional gas and oil exploration and production."