A new proposal for fracking in the Kimberley, ‘Theia-3H exploration well stimulation program’, has been released by the EPA for a seven-day public comment period. Oil and gas company Theia Energy is proposing to drill and frack a horizontal well next to the environmentally sensitive Edgar Ranges 150km south east of Broome (see photo attached).

The company previously published an investment brochure with a conceptual plan to pipe oil through the Port of Broome, as well as a potential new port in the vicinity of Gourdon Bay on the southern Kimberley coast. A gas pipeline to the Pilbara was also on the map.

The company stated that oil production could hit 100,000 barrels a day but it would have to be fracked.

Broome-based conservation group Environs Kimberley is calling for an urgent ban on fracking in the region. It says if the McGowan Government is to be taken seriously on tackling fossil fuel emissions, a ban is needed before companies invest millions and later seek compensation from the state.

“This is the second proposal to frack the Kimberley in the past year, with the Black Mountain Energy proposal currently undergoing EPA assessment. We know that if all oil and gas companies’ plans came to fruition in the Kimberley we’ll be facing industrialisation on a landscape scale never before seen in Australia,” said Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard.

“The only global equivalent to the fracking planned here is in North America and when you look at places like the Eagle Ford and Permian shale basins, you can’t believe any West Australian government would allow that to happen to the Kimberley,” Mr Pritchard said.

Carbon emissions from fracking the Kimberley’s Canning Basin would be double Australia’s commitment under the Paris Agreement, according to a report by Climate Analytics.

“We don’t think the Premier and his Cabinet have been briefed on the potential scenario of oil and gas fracking in the Kimberley and the billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane that would be released if the region was opened up to gas fracking fields,” said Mr Pritchard.

“If the McGowan government is going to sanction carbon emissions through fracking the Kimberley that are double the whole of Australia’s carbon budget under the Paris Agreement, then they either don’t believe in the science of climate change or they don’t care,” Mr Pritchard said.

Public comment is open on the EPA website until Monday 24th January and can be accessed here https://consultation.epa.wa.gov.au/seven-day-comment-on-referrals/theia-3h/consultation/intro/


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