Seaspray residents launch direct action 'pledge' campaign against Tight Gas drilling

no_drill_no_spill_Seaspray_Feb_2014.jpgLocals from Seaspray in Gippsland have announced their intention to blockade drilling operations if the government approves Lakes Oil Tight Gas activity.

Lakes Oil have applied to the state government to gain approval to carry out horizontal drilling in the Seaspray area in Gippsland.

Please support the community and tell the Minister not to approve the application.


Background – what’s happening at Seaspray

seaspray_sign.jpgIn December 2013, Lakes Oil applied to the state government to gain approval to carry out horizontal drilling in the Seaspray area in Gippsland.

The following was reported in the Latrobe Valley Express in November 2013.

According to the company, their proposed operations:

“Would involve a horizontal drill at 1500 metres below the surface.

"As you drill vertically down, the rock gets tighter and tighter. The rock that we'll be accessing was on the surface millions of years ago, so the permeability is better than what you're looking at another 1000m deeper," Mr Annells said.

"By keeping ourselves within that top weathered zone and going horizontal within it, we believe we'll get that (gas) flow naturally, without any artificial stimulation, which hopefully will be commercial."

Lakes Oil is awaiting approval to proceed with its horizontal drilling plans in March next year.

"Hopefully the government may see this as a way they can still have their fracking ban, and if we're successful, have the gas as well," Mr Annells said.

Lakes Oil has said it applied to drill the Wombat 5 gas well in the Strzelecki Formation covered by their Petroleum Retention Lease 2 (PRL2) just near Seaspray.

According to company sources:

PRL2 covers several tight conventional reservoirs in the Strzelecki Formation of the Gippsland Basin, onshore in Victoria. The southern half of PRL2 is considered by Armour Energy to be geologically very similar to the highly productive offshore section of the Gippsland Basin.

Numerous wells have been drilled within PRL2 by Lakes Oil in the past and have encountered gas and/or oil. Successful stimulation of the reservoir in vertical drill holes in the Wombat Field, within PRL2, has led to several encouraging flow tests in 2009 and 2010.

Can we stop the drilling?


The government has not yet approved Lakes Oil plan.

In a community survey 98% of people in Seaspray supported the town declaring it gasfield free. Lakes Oil have no social license to operate.

For details on the local community campaign, see the facebook page Gasfield Free Seaspray.

Lakes Oil has applied to drill the Wombat 5 gas well. In late 2013, the paperwork was submitted to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) to gain approval to drill.

Once the Department makes an assessment, it will need to gain approval from the Minister for Energy and Resources, Russell Northe.

On 7 February 2014, local residents announced their intention to peacefully blockade drilling operations if the government provides approval to the company (see below for media release and images).

As of mid April 2014, there had been no decision by the Minister.


We still have time to stop this

Please write to

The Minister for Energy and Resources
Mr Russell Northe

Urging him to refuse the application from Lakes Oil to carry out horizontal drilling at Seaspray.

Cut and paste the letter and send to:

Simple letter:

Dear Mr Northe

I am writing to you to urge you to refuse the application from Petro Tech Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Lakes Oil N.L., for an operation plan to drill a horizontal appraisal well near Seaspray.

I support the stand being taken by the Seaspray community against the proposed drilling.  The community has door knocked the entire town and found 98% support for the question ‘Do you want to declare Seaspray and surrounds Tight Gas and Coal Seam Gas Free? The gas industry does not have a social license to operate.

Please respect the communities wishes and refuse this application.

Yours sincerely,

Or call his office

or call his office and leave a brief message:

If you use social media


Please send a tweet to the Premier and Deputy Premier:
Possible text. Please post the image below.

will @Vic_Premier & @peterryanMP intervene & refuse gas drilling application for Seaspray?


Post a message on your facebook pages mentioning Denis Napthine and Peter Ryan

You may want to use this image, with the text below.


Lakes Oil want to drill for Tight Gas near Seaspray

98% of the community says no, but the company isn’t listening

Tell the Premier Denis Napthine and Deputy Premier to intervene and direct the Energy Minister to refuse Lakes Oil application

Check here for details.


Contact the Premier and Deputy Premier and express your concern

Write to the Premier and Deputy Premier or call their office and leave a short polite message.

Hon Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria
Hon Peter Ryan, Deputy Premier, Leader of the National Party
(03) 9651 5000
(03) 9651 1222

Please ask them to intervene and direct the Energy Minister not to approve the current application by Lakes Oil for horizontal drilling operations in the Seaspray area in Gippsland.

Please add your contact details and email him, and cc to the following members of the Coalition.,,,,,, david.o',,

Write to your local papers

·    Please make the point that the moratorium on fracking doesn’t stop companies from drilling, only fracking.
·    The government needs to decide whether it will approve an application from Lakes Oil to carry out horizontal drilling near Seaspray shortly. Call on them to listen to the local community – 98% have said no to drilling – and refuse the application.
·    They should extend the moratorium to include all horizontal drilling, seismic testing, drill site preparation, flaring off, and any approaches by mining companies to pressure landowners to sign access agreements.

Sign our petition

Please sign our petition which calls on the Premier to extend the moratorium to include all drilling and exploration activity.

Check here for some background on the problems associated with Tight Gas drilling.


This morning, locals from Seaspray in Gippsland have announced their intention to blockade drilling operations if the government approves Lakes Oil Tight Gas activity.

Check below for images.


Friday 7 February 2014

The state moratorium is not protecting us, say Seaspray locals

Residents of Seaspray were shocked to learn that the moratorium extended by the state government late last year would not prevent further exploration drilling from going ahead in their community.

As mining company Lakes Oil moves ahead with plans to conduct risky horizontal drilling in the Seaspray community as early as March, residents have been left once again feeling let down and abandoned by their government. The pending application for a licence to drill could still be rejected by the Energy Minister Nick Kotsiras and locals are calling on Mr Kotsiras to do so.

As Premier Napthine stated on November 21, 2013 the day the moratorium was extended ‘We will never, ever allow onshore gas, if it jeopardises our underground water, if it jeopardises our environment, and if it jeopardises our food and agricultural production’.                            

Locals from across Gippsland feel that the regions water, environment, food and agricultural production will all be put at risk if Lakes Oil’s plans to drill go ahead.

“Our region produces crops, dairy and beef. Tourism is also a large industry here. Our high biodiversity must be protected. We do not want our land devalued, and our soil and waterways polluted” said local beef farmer Tracey McGuiness.

Local resident Gary Evison said “we reject the suggestion that the moratorium, as it currently stands, will protect us as Lakes Oil moves ahead with plans to conduct further drilling. The outcome of this ‘moratorium’ is that the industry can expand here, and put at risk our communities, farmlands, water, and environment”. 

“We are taking a pledge today as a community to do whatever if takes to protect Seaspray, even if it means conducting peaceful direct action and risking arrest” said Mr Evison.

Frustration with the Nationals is also building. “The Nationals are meant to protect farming communities and this is the perfect opportunity to do so” said Lock the Gate Victorian Coordinator Ursula Alquier.

A group of locals met at the entrance to one of the Lakes Oil drilling sites today to launch their direct action pledge campaign.

“We are asking Peter Ryan to stand up and represent his rural community. He must call on the Energy Minister to reject the pending application for Lakes Oil to drill in Seaspray. Without the intervention of Mr Ryan and the Premier to protect rural communities like Seaspray, we will be left with no other option but to commence peaceful direct action and blockade Lakes Oil if they attempt to drill here again” said Ms Alquier.

For further information or comment contact:

Kerrin Schelfhout - Gasfield Free Seaspray                                                                                   

Ursula Alquier - Lock the Gate 0499 991 324                                                                   

Cam Walker - Friends of the Earth 0419 338 047                                                             

Gasfield Free Seaspray is a local community group made up of residents from Seaspray, The Honeysuckles, Glomar Beach, Giffard, Stradbroke and Longford.                                          

Last year a door to door survey was conducted in which residents were asked ‘Did they want to declare Seaspray & surrounds coal seam gas and tight gas free?’ An overwhelming 98% said yes, sending a very clear message that the residents and the community in our area do not support development of an onshore gas industry.

For more information about unconventional gas go to: or or visit our facebook page at ‘Gasfield Free Seaspray