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Stops drilling after BTEX found

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Origin Stops Drilling after BTEX found in 2010

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Employment, Skills and Mining
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fracking with BTEX chemicals banned: Hinchliffe

Mining Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has reassured landholders that the use of BTEX chemicals in the CSG extraction process have been banned and will continue to be banned.

Responding to claims by AgForce, Mr Hinchliffe said that BTEX compounds were naturally occurring chemicals already in many coal seams but companies were not permitted to use the compounds in the extraction process.

“The fact is, BTEX compounds are already underground and are naturally occurring chemicals,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“They’ve been there before the CSG industry started ten years ago and would still be there if the industry hadn’t started.

“BTEX chemicals are also common components of products such as plastics, petrol and diesel used by industry and farmers alike.

“Therefore it is impossible to rule out that it could show up at trace levels in monitoring data.

“What we are ensuring is that companies are not allowed to actively use BTEX chemicals as a deliberate component of fraccing fluids.

“We are committed to ensuring water quality is protected, and that the activities of any company do not pose a risk to the community or the environment.

“The CSG industry is an important industry for Queensland and Australia and is an important low emission transitional fuel as we move towards greener energy sources.

“This Government understands the need for its development to be balanced with agriculture, environmental considerations and social impacts.”

New regulations that are now in place require a petroleum tenure holder to give to each owner or occupier of land notice of activities conducted on their property, including:

• a notice of intention to drill a well or bore at least 10 business days before the start of drilling

• a notice of completion, alteration or abandonment of a well or bore within 10 business days after completion or alteration happens

• a notice of intention to carry out a seismic survey or scientific or technical survey at least 10 business days before the survey starts

• a notice of completion of a seismic survey or scientific or technical survey

• a notice of intention to carry out hydraulic fracturing activities at least 10 business days before starting the hydraulic fracturing activities

• a notice of completion of hydraulic fracturing activities within 10 business days after finishing the hydraulic fracturing activities

Companies are required to provide notices to landholders of fraccing fluids being used on their properties.

This information will allow landholders to find out what chemicals have been used and in what proportions.

The regulations also require companies to provide:

• a report to the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation within 2 months of the end of the hydraulic fracturing activities for the petroleum well; and

• a hydraulic fracturing fluid statement stating the composition of the fluid used.




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