Australia – Northern Territory

Pausing can always be prudent when preparing to drill, pump and pipe. Proven gas reserves in the Northern Territory have not been tapped...
Pausing can always be prudent when preparing to drill, pump and pipe. Proven gas reserves in the Northern Territory have not been tapped in the last two years because of a moratorium. The government forced the pause so they could come up with a regulatory framework that would satisfy those opposed to fracking. The final report has been issued and commented on by the public. The ban has recently been lifted contingent on the recommendations outlined in the report becoming requirements. Here are some of the requirements that apply to water:
  • Develop an auditable system for tracking movements of wastewater (gas companies must have a water extraction license to extract water for hydraulic fracturing)
  • Prohibition on the use of surface water
  • Prohibition on groundwater extraction bores within 1 km of an existing or proposed domestic or stock water supply bore
  • Prohibition on the reinjection of wastewater into deep aquifers and conventional reservoirs
  • Mandatory disclosure of all in hydraulic fracturing fluids, flowback and produced water
  • Prohibition on the discharge of treated or untreated wastewater into waterways
Matthew Doman, the director of the Northern Territory’s Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), responded positively to the government’s decision to lift the moratorium. However, he warned that the timing and method of enforcing the inquiry’s 135 “recommendations” would impact the industry’s commercial viability.



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