APPEA: EPA report shows gas exploration to be safe

APPEA: EPA report shows gas exploration to be safe

The scare campaign against shale and tight gas exploration in Western Australia has been further undermined by the state’s independent Environmental Protection Authority, APPEA said in a report.

In its latest annual report tabled in State Parliament, the EPA has set out its priorities in assessing the environmental impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing of onshore gas reserves.

It also reaffirms the EPA’s view that WA’s regulatory framework is sufficient to manage any risks associated with current onshore gas exploration activities, APPEA says.

The report says six “low-level, proof of concept” proposals involving hydraulic fracturing have been assessed in WA.

In each case the potential impacts were not sufficient enough to warrant formal environmental impact assessment because:

  • The hydraulic fracture stimulation is proposed to occur at significant depths (well below aquifers), ranging from 1,500 m to 3,500 m across the proposals. In each case, there is significant vertical separation with impermeable barriers of rock, shale or other layers that do not transmit water between the fracturing zone and fresh water aquifers.
  • The EPA is satisfied with the regulation of well drilling, casing construction, and well rehabilitation and closure by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP). In particular, it is confident that there is a negligible risk of leakage between aquifers, introduction of contaminants to other aquifers, and from abandonment of wells.
  • The management, storage and disposal of produced water, which contains contaminants associated with fracking fluid, is appropriate to manage risks, given the quantities involved and the toxicity of the materials.
  • Through DMP’s regulation, each proposal is subject to the approval of Environment Plans that are required to demonstrate that environmental risks of the activity will continuously be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable.

APPEA’s Chief Operating Officer Western Region Stedman Ellis said the report highlighted the work being done by government agencies, including the EPA, to ensure that Western Australia had robust regulation for any development plans in coming years.

He said the EPA report was confirmation that current exploration proposals involving hydraulic fracturing in the Kimberley and Mid West regions posed minimal risk to the environment.

Ellis said it was time activists opposed to natural gas accepted the facts.

“Current exploration has the potential to develop a new onshore gas industry for WA, which would provide energy security for our economy along with much-needed jobs and investment in regional communities,” he said.

“These exploration programs are already subject to strict regulation and, as noted by the EPA, any proposals for commercial development will be subject to even greater scrutiny and tougher safeguards,” Ellis said, adding, “I urge those with any concerns as a result of environmental campaigns against the onshore gas industry to look to the EPA’s independent advice for a more rational, objective and fact based discussion of the concerns and regulatory approaches.”


Press Release, October 21, 2014; Image: APPEA

Share this article

Follow LNG World News


<< Jun 2018 >>
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 1

Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON)

The 20th edition of the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) will be about inspiring change…

read more >

4th Annual Upstream West Africa Summit 2018

In June 2018, Senegal will play host to the No.1 Annual B2B Upstream Oil & Gas event, which will bring together the senior decision makers from across the prolific West Africa region to discuss the trends and challenges currently facing the Oil and Gas industry.

Since the discovery by Tullow Oil in 2007 of the Jubilee Field in Ghana, the Upstream sector has refocused its efforts to explore similar plays around the entire West and North West African coast. These efforts were rewarded with Cairn Energy’s prolific discovery in 2014 followed by Kosmos’ in 2015. The West Africa region has the industry’s spotlight firmly focused on further unlocking the potential of this largely underexplored region.

Companies that will be looking toward further unlocking the deepwater hydrocarbon potential of West Africa include: PETROSEN, BP, Kosmos Energy, Cairn Energy, FAR, Total E&P, Premier Oil, Shell, Tullow Oil along with the Ministries and key solution providers.

 More info

read more >

The 27th World Gas Conference (WGC 2018)

The 27th World Gas Conference (WGC 2018) will be the largest, most timely and most significant global gas conference and exhibition ever held.

read more >

Oil and Gas 2018

The conference will cover a wide range of topics and allow participants to discuss about the new technologies developed in Petroleum…

read more >