10/05/2022 - 15:56

Black Mountain amends fracking plan

10/05/2022 - 15:56

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Black Mountain Energy has applied for approval to more than double groundwater extraction for its planned fracking exploration program in the Canning Basin.

Black Mountain amends fracking plan
A drilling rig in operation.

Black Mountain Energy subsidiary Bennett Resources has applied for approval to more than double groundwater extraction for its planned fracking exploration program in the Canning Basin.

A plan for Bennett’s Valhalla drilling works was first submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority in 2020, with the EPA committing to undertake a full-scale public review.

It has not yet been approved.

The company was hoping to drill 20 exploration wells at 10 sites in the Kimberley, and had initially wanted approval to use up to 40 megalitres of water at each well.

But an amended submission released this week is now seeking approval for 100ML of water per well.

The changed submission also asks to increase the number of drilling intervals- or the locations where there’s stimulation of the underground rocks-  per well from 50 to 70.

The drilling is to take place in Petroleum Exploration Permit EP 371, about 120 kilometres south east of Derby.

Bennett plans to drill to between 2,000 metres and 4,000 metres into the shale of the Laurel Formation.

In October, Bennett was given a special exemption by the state government to export from the project, which had previously said it would not allow onshore gas producers to sell outside the domestic market.

The company has a number of hurdles to jump before it reaches that stage, not the least of which would be finding a commercial quantity of gas.

Mitsui & Co and Beach Energy’s Waitisia project was also previously given an exemption.

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