29/05/2013 - 15:07

Department moves to clear up fraccing facts

29/05/2013 - 15:07

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Department moves to clear up fraccing facts
Department of Mines and Petroleum executive director Bill Tinapple.

The state petroleum industry regulator has lashed out at environmental activists campaigning against the shale gas industry, saying unreliable and inaccurate information could damage the sector's reputation without warrant.

Department of Mines and Petroleum executive director Bill Tinapple told the APPEA conference in Brisbane today the agency would do its best to provide correct and factual information, in the face of continued inaccuracies from activist groups.

Some of the claims spread by activists include describing fluids used in hydraulic fracturing, or fraccing, as a toxic chemical cocktail, and that fraccing causes health issues and contaminates water aquifers.

Mr Tinapple said other falsehoods include the claim that more than 130,000 shale wells will be developed in WA.

“This figure is extremely misleading as, based on current infrastructure and equipment availability, it would take WA more than 1,000 years and $1.3 trillion to complete this number of wells,” Mr Tinapple said.

Mr Tinapple said that since the first instance of fraccing occurred in 1958 in WA, 780 wells have safely undergone gas extraction processes with no adverse effects on the environment, water sources or people’s health.

“WA’s regulatory framework for petroleum activities, including fraccing, has the strongest chemical disclosure requirements of any Australian jurisdiction, as well as rigorous environmental and safety approval processes and international standards for well design and integrity,” Mr Tinapple said.

“Despite what has been claimed – all the chemicals used in fraccing in WA must be disclosed.”

There are no current applications for fraccing projects being considered by the regulator in WA.

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