Positive economic and environmental facts keep mounting

September 11th, 2015

In very different ways, two recent reports highlight the substantial benefits which can be delivered by development of natural gas resources.

A Deloitte Access Economics report, commissioned by APPEA, outlines the multi-billion dollar estimated economic benefit to the Northern Territory from development of onshore shale gas resources.

The Deloitte report estimates that development of onshore shale gas reserves in the Top End could deliver a $22.4 billion economic boost over 20 years from 2020. It could deliver to the NT more than 6000 jobs and Government revenues of almost $1 billion.

The NT is already reaping significant benefits from the development of the Ichthys offshore LNG project, but according to APPEA Chief Executive Malcolm Roberts, the development of onshore shale reserves could be “a game changer” for future NT Governments.

In an environment of challenging economics, due to the drop in the global oil and gas prices, Mr Roberts described the shale prospect as a great opportunity for the NT Government to demonstrate consistent management of a stable and competitive investment framework.

In NSW, confirmation from hydrologists that the proposed gas project in the Pilliga region won’t pose a risk to the Great Artesian Basin.

There are two key elements to the findings, outlined by former CSIRO hydrologist Dr Richard Cresswell:

  1. The Pilliga project is not in the recharge area for the GAB; and
  2. Water drawn for the project will come from the Gunnedah Basin, which is below the GAB and separated from it by layers of rock.

Dr Cresswell’s findings torpedo activist claims that the GAB will be threatened by the Pilliga project.

They add to the findings of the NSW Chief Scientist who last year found there is no evidence of aquifer contamination due to hydraulic fracturing and that CSG extraction is “low risk”.

The Chief Scientist referenced research from the US Environmental Protection Agency, which has since confirmed that there hasn’t been any serious instance of drinking water impacts from gas extraction in the United States as part of their landmark review of hydraulic fracturing.

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