Metgasco records a $3.8 million loss

NORTHERN Rivers gas explorer Metgasco's annual report has revealed the company is still the worse for wear despite winning its Supreme Court battle with the NSW Government last year over the suspension of its exploration licence.

Chairman: disappointing resutls

Chairman Len Gill and managing director Peter Henderson summed up the year as "disappointing" in the annual report's opening letter to shareholders.

The company recorded a $3.8 million loss in 2014-15 financial year.

Among the company's woes are a second imminent court battle with the NSW Government - this time over compensation for losses associated with the suspension of its drilling licence - and stalemated talks with the government over a potential licence buyback.

Buyback conditions

Mr Gill and Mr Henderson said any buyback offer from the government "must reflect" that the company had "in good faith invested $128 million in operations on licences issued and renewed by successive governments over more than 10 years".

The annual report notes the company lost 40% of its stock market value following the government's suspension in May last year of Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) 16 a loss from which its share price has never fully recovered.

Legal action

It has launched legal action over compensation with the first court hearing scheduled in December.

In the annual report's letter, it listed compensation as including "damages associated with drilling cancellation costs, higher costs for future drilling, overhead costs while the court action was taking place, delays to its exploration and development program, and damage to investor confidence."

Reduced equity

The $3.8 million loss last year has reduced Metgasco's total equity to just $8 million, mostly cash.

The company has now cost investors $116 million since inception.

The report also lists managing director Peter Henderson's salary package as $612,000, of which includes a cash salary of $425,000 plus benefits, super and shares worth $90,000.

Mr Henderson has taken an $80,000 cut in his package since last year, when it was worth $705,000.