EK Media Release
Conservation group Environs Kimberley is calling for newly issued fracking leases in sensitive areas of the region to be withdrawn. One lease covers two national parks – Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek – and two conservation parks – Devonian Reef and Brooking Gorge. Another lease covers the Margaret River that flows into the Fitzroy.
“These parks are world famous for their incredible beauty, and environmental, historical and cultural importance. We can’t believe the Department of Mines and Petroleum have put leases for fracking anywhere near places like this,” said Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard.
“We’re calling on the Minister for Mines Sean L’Estrange to withdraw these leases before companies waste time on putting in bids. There is no doubt that any attempt to frack in these areas will be met with widespread opposition,” Mr Pritchard said.
“We’re also calling on the Department of Mines and Petroleum to hold open public meetings in Broome and Fitzroy Crossing so that communities have an opportunity to ask questions about what’s being proposed for their country. The DMP’s current weeklong visit is invitation only and not advertised so the general public can’t go along.”
Director, Environs Kimberley
0427 548 075
Media release DMP
Kimberley stakeholder engagement over latest petroleum acreage release
Six onshore areas within Canning Basin released for bidding
Date: Monday, 07 November 2016
Senior staff from the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s (DMP) Petroleum and Environment Divisions are travelling the Kimberley this week to conduct stakeholder and community information sessions about the latest petroleum acreage releases in the Canning Basin.
Six of the blocks released are located in the Canning Basin ranging in size from 1,770 square kilometres to more than 8,000 square kilometres.
Executive Director of Petroleum Jeff Haworth said that the meetings and information sessions were an opportunity for Kimberley community leaders, government organisations, and business and Indigenous groups to discuss onshore petroleum exploration and development with department experts.
“DMP assesses and regulates onshore petroleum activities throughout the State, ensuring that operators apply world’s best safety, health and environmental practices,” Mr Haworth said.
“We are also committed to effective stakeholder engagement to ensure that the communities which host resource industries and the wider WA community are informed about resource activities locally and throughout the State.
“These stakeholder engagement sessions will also provide an opportunity for the department to learn more about the community and the questions that people have in regard to onshore petroleum exploration.”
During the weeklong visit DMP staff will meet with Indigenous groups, State Government department heads, Chambers of Commerce, pastoralist groups, and shire representatives to discuss various petroleum topics including the processes involved in the latest petroleum acreage release and the state of the industry.
Mr Haworth said title would not be granted until a preferred bidder is selected and they successfully complete native title negotiations.
Mr Haworth said further exploration of these recently gazetted acreage release areas would provide valuable geoscientific information and knowledge for the State.
“The geoscientific data that is collected through exploration is important. It helps provide insights into the petroleum prospectivity and potential resources of the State,” he said.
Petroleum discoveries made from such exploration activities, have the potential to enhance the State’s future energy security.
As part of the approvals process, petroleum operators are required to submit detailed environmental plans.
“Petroleum operators are also required to undertake open and ongoing community engagement activities throughout the life of the project,” Mr Haworth said.
In 1996, sparked by the threat of dams to the Fitzroy River and irrigated agriculture in the west Kimberley, three people gathered around a kitchen table in Broome and launched the region’s peak conservation group, Environs Kimberley.
Traditional Owner concerns about the future health of the River and the savannah all the way to Bidyadanga, led to the formation of a coalition that eventually put a stop to the dams and the piping of water to Perth.
Environs Kimberley, or EK, is now celebrating 20 years of work protecting the natural assets of the region.
Environs Kimberley Director, Martin Pritchard, said, “It just goes to show what a small, passionate group of people can do when they put their minds to something.”
An investigation has been launched into how a valve at a fracking gas well in Western Australia’s north came to be damaged after activists claimed dangerous levels of gas were leaking at the site.
The ABC has obtained a video of a hand-held gas metre reading at the Yullerroo 2 site, about 70km east of Broome, showing what activists said was likely to be high levels of methane.
A rotting dingo found in a poisonous plastic-lined pond operated by a West Australian gas explorer has prompted concern from the Greens.
Buru Energy’s Yulleroo operation in the Kimberley has seen the creation of numerous plastic-lined ponds which trap water.
But Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple said when the ponds are dry they become death traps for animals.
Big gas producers have more to worry about than the immediate problem of tumbling energy prices.
Mr Burns believes Woodside’s still unsanctioned $40 billion Browse LNG project off Western Australia is also at risk in the current environment, with its final investment decision already being pushed back into late 2015.
“On-shore, greenfield LNG projects are effectively dead, however there still is potential for floating LNG offshore which removes the exposure to high Australian costs,” he argued.
Broome locals opposed to fracking by Buru Energy have set up a camp at the Jackeroo turn-off. ABC News: Erin Parke
Broome locals opposed to a fracking program planned in the Canning Basin are gearing up for a wet season camp-out to try to stop Buru Energy’s work in the area.
In recent weeks, the company has cleared more than 100 hectares of land to lay a grid of seismic testing lines in the area 70 kilometres from Broome.
The mining company is also due to start a series of so-called ‘mini-fracks’, where high-pressure guns are used to test rock strength, at two wells in coming weeks.
About 10 people have occupied the Perth headquarters of Buru Energy over concerns about fracking, protestors say.
Police arrived this morning after the protestors refused to leave the company’s second-floor offices in the CBD.
Organiser Jaime Farrant said the group was protesting against fracking in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.
The West Australian
Buru gets hands on gas with Yakka Munga deal
Oil and gas explorer Buru Energy has paid millions of dollars to secure a prized cattle station which covers 189,000ha in the heart of the Kimberley.
Buru trumped five other bidders to purchase Yakka Munga and in doing so strengthened its access to oil and gas in the shale-rich Canning Basin.
Analyst says Kimberley gas fracking company suffering at the hands of traditional owners and environmentalists
Buru Energy’s Yulleroo 4 well site where the company plans to frack for shale gas in 2015. (file) (Ben Collins -ABC Local)
Buru Energy has sacked 30 per cent of its workforce and delayed its fracking program as the company’s share price sinks to less than one-fifth of its all time high.
Industry analyst Peter Strachan says the trouble comes largely from problems with traditional owners and environmentalists.
“Uncertainty surrounding traditional owner approvals is the main drag. The company has said that it will do nothing without community support,” he says.
The traditional owners of Broome have voted to oppose fracking on their land, but have agreed to keep negotiating with the company behind the plans.
Buru Energy wants to use the contentious hydraulic fracturing technique at several sites in the West Kimberley next year, and earlier this month secured the support of Aboriginal families in the Nookanbah area.