Letter to the Editor: Northern Territory News

August 26th, 2016

Letters to the Editor: Northern Territory News

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PAUL Hayes (“Think it over”, NT News, August 9) is correct to say that the NT needs to understand the impacts involved in shale gas development. But he is wrong to state that gas wells have a high failure rate. The reality is well failure is very rare.

The US Ground Water Protection Council examined more than 200,000 wells drilled in Ohio and Texas between 1983 and 2008 and found failure rates of between 0.03 per cent and 0.01 per cent.

No ground water contamination incidents were reported from any of the shale gas wells examined. This research is featured in the NT fracking inquiry report by Dr Allan Hawke, who concluded that best practice in well construction combined with rigorous integrity testing and regulatory oversight should result in “a very low probability of well failure”.

The Hawke inquiry provides an excellent analysis of the risks associated with shale gas and fracking.

After considering all of the evidence, Dr Hawke concluded that “the environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing can be managed effectively subject to the creation of a robust regulatory regime.” An informed decision on shale gas also means considering the benefits.

Matt Doman, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association

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