16/04/2008 - 22:00

Inpex wins APPEA environment award

16/04/2008 - 22:00

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Japanese company Inpex has attracted the ire of environmental campaigners over its planned gas project off the Kimberley coast, yet it won an environmental award at last week’s Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) conference

Inpex wins APPEA environment award

Japanese company Inpex has attracted the ire of environmental campaigners over its planned gas project off the Kimberley coast, yet it won an environmental award at last week’s Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) conference.

Inpex won an award for what was described as its truly innovative and dedicated approach to ensuring as small an environmental footprint as possible for its recent geotechnical and environmental drilling operations on the Maret Islands.

Inpex is hoping to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the Maret Islands, to process gas from its Ichthys gas fields.

Its plans could be stymied by a state and federal government review of development in the Kimberley.

The state’s preferred solution is to develop a single gas processing hub for all LNG projects in the area, including the Woodside managed Browse project.

Inpex is considering pumping its gas to the Darwin LNG plant if a Kimberley LNG plant becomes unviable.

Its recent drilling program utilised a Kawasaki helicopter and modified drilling rig that resulted in a footprint that disturbed less than one-10th of 1 per cent of the islands, instead of disturbing over 10 per cent of the islands through a traditional onshore drilling operation.

The second environmental award winner at APPEA was Origin Energy for its commissioning of Australia’s first fully integrated coal seam gas water treatment facility in Queensland.

Instead of constructing hectares of evaporation ponds to manage associated water, Origin commissioned the largest CSG water treatment facility in the world.

Origin is now producing fresh water from traditional production waste streams for a multitude of beneficial uses and improved environmental water flows in regional communities.

Announcing the awards, Apache Energy managing director Tim Wall said the winners “clearly demonstrate the degree to which the industry is up to the challenge”.

Mr Wall said the industry had welcomed the release of new seismic exploration guidelines by the federal environment minister.

“As defined by this new report, of the approximately 400,000 signals analysed from seismic surveys in the past few years, only eight signals have exceeded the behavioural disturbance threshold and not one the physical impacts threshold.”

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