A third gas company has indicated it could apply to reopen 'zombie' licences to explore for gas.
Carbon Minerals told the ASX last month that it could conduct "exploration in relation to proposed seismic testing" in two Liverpool Plains sites, "in advance of renewed licenses for exploration".
In a statement on December 22, the company said they also submitted environmental studies of the licence area to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
Its two exploration licences (PELs) are called 'zombies' because they have expired, but they could be revived by government in the future.
Over a dozen expired gas PELS cover a vast part of Northern NSW, stretching to Moree.
Farmers and community members opposed to gas development are concerned the PELs could turn the region into a gas field.
Mullaley farmer Margeret Fleck, whose property is covered by PEL 12, said the Carbon Minerals tenements cover some of the best agricultural land in the country.
"Extremely productive farming country across much of north west NSW must not be threatened by an expanded coal seam gas industry," she said.
Gas company Santos won approval to construct the $3.6 billion Narrabri Gas Project in and around the Pilliga forest last year. Local farmers' group the Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord has since sued to set aside the approval.
The 850 gas-well project was approved with 134 environmental conditions and is expected to create 1500 jobs.
PEL-owning companies Kerogen and Comet Ridge have also made efforts to reopen their licences.