WA activists loose with the truth again

July 28th, 2015

Companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange face significant penalties if they provide misleading information. Similarly, truth in advertising means that sellers and promoters of products and services need to not lie about what they are advertising.

Unfortunately activists face no such restrictions.

A case in point is the interpretation of a recent decision by oil and gas company AWE not to proceed with hydraulic fracturing the Drover-1 well in the Mid West of Western Australia.

In the announcement to the ASX, AWE made it clear that the decision was based on commercial viability of the project.

But that didn’t stop the activists.

The Conservation Council of WA was quick off the mark, claiming that AWE had abandoned the well due to community pressure.

Of course there was nothing to support their claim, it was purely self-serving, but since when did activist groups let the truth get in the way of a good story (or help to drum up a few extra donations)?

Were they part of the technical review committee that interpreted the data? No.

Where they party to the JV meeting that ultimately decided not to proceed with hydraulic fracturing Drover-1? No.

Did they have any visibility whatsoever into the decision making process? No.

But that didn’t stop them from spreading propaganda in the hope that other communities would believe their lies.

Many wells do not proceed beyond the exploration phase for a variety of reasons, both conventional and tight or shale gas wells. The purpose of drilling a well in the first instance is to assess a reservoir or target formation for its economic and geological potential.

It’s a situation of convenience for the CCWA as it seeks to justify its position in the onshore oil and gas debate by marking the decision up as a win in its favour, but when you review the background and not the hearsay, the reality is quite different.

It’s not the first time CCWA has been caught out playing fast and loose with the truth – you can read about their antics here.

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