Who pays the bill when fracking goes wrong?


p2327-Braedon-EarleyLETTER TO THE EDITOR
The 1 Territory Research Team is releasing a paper that challenges the economic scenarois being put forward by gas industry corporations and other economic models for the Unconventional Fracturing of Shale Gas in the Northern Territory.
The paper includes an economic model that has been constructed by Sue Fraser-Adams [1 Territory’s vice-president] that attempts to assess the cost of remediation of wells that fail over two specific periods of time, namely 24 years and 100 years in the future.
The two major macro economic models that have been constructed to date. The first report, commissioned by APPEA (Deloitte Access Economics in July 2014 and the ACIL Allen Consulting Report dated October 2017 commissioned by the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the NT) do not appear to include well remediation costs.
The modeling shows that the cost could be significant. The results indicate that at a full development scenario of 67,000 wells over 24 years at a failure rate of 6%, the costs could be in the order of $4.5b. If a failure rate of 15% is used, the costs could be in the order of $11.
Over 100 years with gradually increasing failure rates to 20%, the cost could exceed $50b.
The existing number of exploration and production wells that have already been drilled in the NT will over time also need remediation. On the assumption of a 6% failure rate, over the next 24 years, more than $16m could be required to be spent on well remediation and over 100, the cost could be over $1b.
The policy question is that who should be paying for this well remediation and should taxpayers have to foot the bill when the corporations are long gone?
Braedon Earley (pictured)
President, 1 Territory



  1. Conspiracy theory: When fracking fails and uses up or pollutes all our underground water we will no longer be able to live here. Mining companies however will be able to truck in water for their workers and it will be open slather, mine everything everywhere, no one left to care.

  2. Yes, the mining companies can truck in their water and their CEOs and shareholders can sit back at home and enjoy their unpolluted grounds and water while the silly stupid Aussies weep in sorrow having been sucked in once again by the foreign giants with their false smiles and assurances.

  3. Just like the 1967 referendum, we all know how that turned out.
    Alice will suffer because those who do not rely on the local water will have the final say.
    Fracking is not worth the damage left behind.


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