Fracking wells' water use double CSIRO's estimate


p22100-Naomi-HoganLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The much anticipated Interim Report of the NT Fracking Inquiry shows that the drilling and fracking processes used for shale gas extraction come with inherent risks and can lead to unsafe outcomes and water pollution.
The summary of the report states: “There is a risk that groundwater and/or surface water will be contaminated as a result of spills, of chemicals, flowback water or produced water … There is a risk that groundwater will be contaminated as a result of leaky wells.”
The interim report reveals that in their submissions, the gas industry “did not comment on how the long-term integrity of abandoned wells is assured”.
The report makes clear that every part of the shale gas extraction process does come with risks, from the chemical transportation, to a grid of thousands of wells and pipelines, to faulty well integrity causing water contamination.
Importantly, the inquiry puts forward that regional baseline studies are required to better understand the impacts to water, fire regimes and community health.
The report documents a litany of concerns that have been put forward by Territory families, pastoralists and traditional owners about the impacts surrounding the fracking industry and polluting shale gasfields across the Territory.
Gas lobby group APPEA admitted in their submission that fracked gas wells in the Beetaloo Sub-basin would likely use a whopping 47 million litres of water per well, more than double what CSIRO had predicted. More research on the water impacts have been identified as a key body of work for the inquiry team.
There is ever increasing pressure from the Federal Government and the oil and gas lobby to start fracking the Territory regardless of the documented risks to land and water or the community concerns.
Naomi Hogan (pictured)
Lock the Gate NT


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