Archive for January, 2014
THE West Australian government has rejected calls by the Australian Conservation Foundation for a Victorian-style moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Kimberley region, which holds some of the biggest reserves of unconventional gas in the world.
This comes after The Australian reported this week that the Environmental Protection Authority had declined to do a formal environmental assessment on Buru’s controversial drilling plans, sparking anger from green groups that claim the activity will contaminate groundwater.
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has ordered a ban on fracking until at least next year in response to community concerns about potential environmental impacts. The oil and gas industry insists fracking is safe and says there is no evidence that it has contaminated groundwater reserves in other parts of Australia or overseas.
The West Australian
Schlumberger, the oil services giant which has become a major benefactor of the US shale boom, has unveiled plans for a $12.5 million supply base in Broome to service a likely frenzy of fraccing activity in the Canning Basin.
It is the first concrete sign of the boom that could sweep across the Kimberley, based on much-hyped expectations the region east and south of Broome could hold some of the world’s richest untapped shale reservoirs.
Anti-fracking campaigners are gearing up for a showdown with unconventional gas explorers in WA’s Kimberley region ahead of a series of public hearings next month.
Environment groups and pastoralists have called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, in the Canning Basin, one of the world’s largest onshore shale gas reserves.
But the oil and gas industry is trying to assure the public that the fracking process is well-regulated and not harmful to the environment.
This map shows the location of Buru Energy’s interest permits
Preparations are underway for Buru Energy’s first crude oil shipment from the Kimberley.
The company is currently extracting 1400 barrels a day from the Canning Basin and the first full ship will be ready to leave next week.
Japanese investors have abandoned a deal to buy more than a million tonnes of gas each year from Woodside Petroleum’s planned Browse development in Western Australia.
Woodside had two deals with the investment company MIMI – one to jointly market liquefied natural gas in Asia, and one where MIMI committed to buy 1.5 million tonnes of LNG per year off Woodside’s Browse development.