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Scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory



Scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory

Other title

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

Publisher name

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

Page content

BACKGROUND AND ISSUES PAPER 20 February 2017 9 3.5. Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing Water and proppant make up around 99.5% of the hydraulic fracturing fluid. Added chemicals make up the other 0.5%. The following chemicals are commonly added to the water to perform the following functions (see Figure 6 below): a gelling agent, such as guar gum, is used to create a gel to suspend the proppant in the water and transport the proppant through the fracture; a gel breaker, such as ammonium persulfate (used in hair bleach), that reduces the viscosity or thickness of the hydraulic fracturing gels so that they can transmit water, and gas surfactants, such as ethanol, together with a cleaning agent, in order to allow high pump rates and reduce pressure; a bactericide or disinfectant, such as sodium hypochlorite (pool chlorine) and sodium hydroxide (used to make soap), to control bacteria growth in the well that contaminates the gas and restricts gas flow; and acids and alkalis, such as acetic acid (vinegar) and sodium carbonate (washing soda), to assist in the initiation of the fracture and improve fluid flow in the rocks. Toxic BTEX chemical additives (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes) are banned in the Northern Territory for use in the extraction of unconventional gas. Figure 6: Typical hydraulic fracturing fluid additives that may be used. Source: Modified from US Department of Energy, 2009, Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: A Primer.