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Scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory



Scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory

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Scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing of unconventional reservoirs in the Northern Territory; Interim report into hydraulic fracturing; Final Report: Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing; Final Report Appendices: Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing; Draft Final Report : Scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing; Draft Final Report Appendices : Scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing; Summary of Draft Final Report : Scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing; Background and issues paper; Fracking implementation plan; Fracking implementation plan Parts 2 - Recommendations


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The report sets out the work undertaken by the Inquiry to date in assessing the impacts and risks associated with any potential onshore unconventional shale gas development in the Northern Territory. The report explains the method by which the Inquiry proposes to gather and then assess the evidence relevant to the issues that have been identified and discussed with the public. Where appropriate, the Interim Report makes some preliminary assessments about the likelihood of some of those risks eventuating as well as the methods to mitigate the risks. Finally, the report de4scribes the future work of the Inquiry that will be undertaken prior to the release of its draft Final Report by the end of the year.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).


The Inquiry is Chaired by Justice Rachel Pepper. The panel comprises 10 eminent scientists across a range of disciplines. Includes bibliographical references : pages 161-170. Publication spans 2017-2018; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Executive summary -- Purpose of the Inquiry -- Work of the Inquiry to date -- Evidence and risk assessment methodology -- Summary of discussions at community forums and the revised list of issues -- Shale gas development and management -- Shale gas in Australia and the Northern Territory -- Water -- Land -- Greenhouse gas emissions -- Public health -- Aboriginal people and their culture -- Social impacts -- Economic impacts -- Regulatory reform -- Future work of the Inquiry -- Appendices 1-14




Gas wells -- Hydraulic fracturing; Coalbed methane -- Environmental aspects -- Northern Territory; Coalbed methane -- Economic aspects -- Northern Territory; Shale gas

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Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry; Northern Territory Government

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10 volumes : colour illustrations, colour maps ; 30 cm.

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https://hdl.handle.net/10070/444277; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/444275; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/444278; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/444280; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/444282; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/444284; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/444287; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/444290; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/444291

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BACKGROUND AND ISSUES PAPER 20 February 2017 11 Amungee NW1H was the first horizontal well in the Northern Territory that was stimulated using multistage hydraulic fracturing. Following the hydraulic fracturing, the well was tested for 57 days with gas rates in excess of 1.1 million standard cubic feet per day. This indicates that there is a high likelihood that the Beetaloo Sub-basin may be comparable to some of the most productive unconventional shale gas basins in the United States. Shale gas is found in several basins throughout the Northern Territory. To date, notwithstanding ongoing exploration, only the Beetaloo Sub-basin of the Greater McArthur Basin has demonstrated any potential economic viability for shale gas extraction and production. The Beetaloo Sub-basin lies beneath the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer (a freshwater aquifer). 5. Prior reports relating to hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory The development and regulation of the onshore unconventional gas industry and, in particular, hydraulic fracturing, is a highly controversial matter in the Northern Territory, as it is elsewhere in Australia and the world. The last three Northern Territory governments have commissioned reviews and inquiries into the onshore petroleum industry to address the communitys concerns in respect of the industry. In 2011 the former Labor government commissioned Dr Tina Hunter from the Faculty of Law at Bond University to report on the capacity of the Northern Territorys legal framework to regulate the development of shale gas in the Northern Territory (the 2011 Hunter Report). A key recommendation from the 2011 Hunter Report was that government should prioritise the development and implementation of environmental regulations under the Petroleum Act 1984 (NT). In March 2014 the former Country Liberals government appointed Dr Allan Hawke as the Commissioner of an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 1945 (NT) into hydraulic fracturing. Dr Hawke provided his report to government in November 2014 (the 2014 Hawke Report). The 2014 Hawke Report is an important document for the Panel. The Panel will build on the findings of the 2014 Hawke Report while responding to broader terms of reference, which include the Panels consideration of the impacts and risks of the unconventional shale gas industry on the environmental, social, cultural and economic conditions in the Northern Territory. One of the recommendations of the 2014 Hawke Report was that the government conduct a review of the environmental assessment and approval processes in the Northern Territory. The Country Liberals government therefore re-engaged Dr Hawke to conduct this work. Dr Hawkes second report (the 2015 Hawke Report) was released in late 2015. The 2015 Hawke Report did not relate directly to hydraulic fracturing, rather it provided the government with guidance on how activities with environmental impacts, such as hydraulic fracturing, might be effectively regulated. Following the 2011 Hunter Report and the two Hawke reports, the Country Liberals government developed draft Petroleum (Environment) Regulations (the draft Petroleum Regulations). The draft Petroleum Regulations sought to implement many of the recommendations made in the earlier reports. In early 2016, the Country Liberals government commissioned Dr Tina Hunter to conduct an independent assessment of the draft Petroleum Regulations to ensure they complied with the principles of best practice regulation (the 2016 Hunter Report). Although Dr Hunter described the draft Petroleum Regulations as a quantum leap from the Northern Territory regulations of old, she also noted that further reforms to the regulatory framework were required in order to increase industry certainty, the accountability of the regulator, and the transparency of decision making.