In September 2016 the Northern Territory Government announced a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of onshore unconventional reservoirs including the use of hydraulic fracturing for exploration, extraction and production. This was followed by the announcement of an independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing of Onshore Unconventional Reservoirs in the Northern Territory particularly the environmental, social and economic risks and impacts. The Inquiry was chaired by the Honourable Justice Rachel Pepper. Justice Pepper oversees a panel of 10 scientists with expertise in disciplines such as water, geology, ecology, health, sociology and engineering.
Detailed to follow is part one of an edited summary of the Draft Final Report that was released for comment in December 2017.
- Hydraulic fracturing or fracking, is the process of pumping a fluid mixture into the earth to fracture impermeable rock to access gas resources.
- A strong antipathy surrounding fracking exits in the community, however, this view is not universal.
- The Northern Territory Government established an independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing of Onshore Unconventional Reservoirs in the Northern Territory.
- The Inquiry’s task is to identify the known problems of fracking and assess the ways in which those problems can be dealt with.
- The conclusion of the Inquiry is that the challenges and risks associated with any onshore shale gas industry in the NT are manageable provide the necessary safeguards are adopted.
*Please note: the accompanying Part 2 report can be accessed here