NEWS BCM 4/3/2011 Generic gas pipeline images . Pic Jeff Camden
NEWS BCM 4/3/2011 Generic gas pipeline images . Pic Jeff Camden

St George resident’s concerns over Surat fracking

A ST GEORGE local has raised concerns about a new hydraulic fracturing development that has recently started in the town of Surat.

Leanne Brummell had some poignant words about Armour Energy’s Kincora Gas Acceleration Project, with three wells that commenced drilling on October 30.

Ms Brummell believes when any gas company in the world undertakes fracking activities, it leaves environmental damage that needs to be cleaned up.

“Wherever fracking occurs, there are examples of the industry causing earthquakes, water contamination, the draining of aquifers, and pollution caused by the disintegration of infrastructure over time,” she said.

“There are already serious and deeply concerning examples of this happening on the Western Downs, and the industry only began its rapid industrialisation of the landscape in earnest about a decade ago.

“I fear for the people who live in Surat, and I fear for my community of St George, which is the next town down the river from Armour’s fracking site.”

Ms Brummell believes it could be the ‘death of outback Queensland’.

The Lock the Gate Alliance believes the Queensland Environment Department has provided contradictory information to residents about Armour Energy’s plans to frack for tight gas at its Kincora project.

Lock the Gate first raised concerns the department had failed to appropriately assess Armour’s plans for an unconventional fracking gas field when the company lodged an application to amend its Environmental Authority in November 2018.

The application, later approved, referenced ‘tight gas’, which requires fracking - typically recognised as an ‘unconventional’ method of extracting gas.

Lock the Gate is concerned about the department’s continued use the term ‘conventional’ in its correspondence with residents.

The Kincora project also received $6 million in Federal Government funding in 2018 under the Gas Acceleration Program.

“Fracking for tight gas is universally recognised as an unconventional extraction method, and for the department to argue otherwise is a denial of reality,” Lock the Gate spokeswoman Ellie Smith said.

“For the department to say fracking is occurring, but that the gas field isn’t unconventional in the same letter to residents... is further proof that the Queensland Government has lost control of the fracking industry, as the state’s Audit Office found earlier this year.

“Clearly, state regulations have not kept pace as this industry has pockmarked Queensland’s Western Downs.”

Armour Energy plans on conducting a ‘clean up process’ to recover the fluids used for fracking during the operation, according to a document outlining the Kincora project.

Armour’s CEO Brad Lingo said increasing production from their Surat Basin assets is their number one priority.

“Armour has a very significant catalogue of similar projects across the Surat Basin and we are very focused on delivering them on time and on budget to deliver increased gas and liquids production, sales and cash flows,” he said.

The project will increase gas flows by four terajoules per day.

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