The speculators behind the PEP11 project to drill for gas off the coast of Sydney-Newcastle say they are tendering for drilling equipment. Is this long-shot project really any closer to reality? What’s the scam?
The scam is that a tender doesn’t mean much. They still have no licence to drill. Punters on the share market appear to be ignoring it too.
PEP11 is the controversial licence to drill for offshore gas in the area stretching from Sydney’s northern beaches to Newcastle. The licence expired in February.
Majority stakeholder Asset Energy – a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASX-listed BPH Energy – has applied to renew the licence, and approval rests entirely on one man, Resources Minister and fossil fuels champion Keith Pitt. Those opposed to the project include Prime Minister Scott Morrison and several other MPs including NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
Despite what looks like a mountain to climb for the green light, the owners of PEP11 were last week acting as though the project is all systems go, with Asset Energy announcing to the ASX it had sought tender for the provision of subsea drilling equipment.
Director of Asset Energy David Breeze said the tender for the drilling equipment is “an important step” in ensuring the company is ready to start drilling. Or could it be an effort to raise the value of a project that has been rejected from all sides and is very nearly facing total obsolescence?
Luke Stacey was a contributing researcher and editor for the Secret Rich List and Revolving Doors series on Michael West Media. Luke studied journalism at University of Technology, Sydney, has worked in the film industry and studied screenwriting at the New York Film Academy in New York. You can follow Luke on Twitter