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NT does not need fracturing enquiry

Oilfield Technology,

The APPEA believes that the fracturing enquiry recently announced by the Northern Territory government will merely reinforce the findings of previous investigations, which have proven that hydraulic fracturing poses minimal environmental risk.

APPEA’s CEO Western Region, Stedman Ellis, explained that the inquiry was unnecessary and risked delaying the exploration activity needed to encourage shale gas investment in the Australian state.

Safe practice

Ellis commented: “Properly regulated, hydraulic fracturing is a safe, well-established and well-understood industry practice.

“The process has been used in Australia since the 1950s without incident. Worldwide, more than 2.5 million wells have been hydraulically fractured and nowhere has the process been identified as the cause of groundwater contamination.

Minimal environmental risk

“The outcomes of the numerous inquiries, reviews and studies that have already been held in Australia and overseas should be more than enough to reassure Territorians that hydraulic fracturing poses minimal risk to the environment.

“For example, the highly-respected Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) last year released a 252-page study, peer-reviewed by the CSIRO, which is a comprehensive scientific statement on shale gas operations in Australia.

ACOLA report

“The ACOLA study, which had been commissioned by the Commonwealth government, found that hydraulic fracturing, if robustly regulated and adequately monitored, presents a low risk of environmental harm.

“APPEA urges the Territory government to look to authoritative references like the ACOLA report as a starting point rather than initiating yet another ‘ground zero’ examination of well-travelled ground.”

The ACOLA study can be found here.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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