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, with emphasis on the environmental, social and economic risks and impacts. The Inquiry is 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.
This paper is Part Two of an edited Summary of the Draft Final Report, which 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.
- There is strong antipathy to fracking within the community, but that attitude 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 determine the best ways of dealing with them.
- The Inquiry concludes that the challenges and risks associated with any onshore shale gas industry in the NT are manageable, provided the necessary safeguards are adopted.
*Please note: the accompanying Part 1 report can be accessed here