Court finds US gas drilling company guilty of water contamination, exposes lies from APPEA and Territory frackers

Published: March 11, 2016

Northern Territory gas fracking companies and gas lobby APPEA have been proven wrong overnight, after a jury found in favour of the two families in the United States who took a gas fracking company to court over water contamination.

The jury found that gas drilling company Cabot was negligent and that they caused water contamination.

Just yesterday, NT Chairman of Imperial Oil and Gas, Bruce McLeod, told NT ABC Country Hour that the upcoming US court outcome would prove that there is no risk from fracking, and that the water contamination reports that led to the New York State decision to ban fracking were "rubbish." 

Nick Kostowski has run the Nenan Station for 15 years and has been in the cattle industry for 35 years. 

"Nenan Station is about 150 kms from Katherine and all our water for cattle, hay production and household use comes from an underground aquifer. 

"The exploration companies have to be totally upfront with what happens when fracking goes wrong. 

"If Nenan looses its underground water supply, it will become unviable as a cattle and hay producing property," he said. Mr Kostowski has also written to the Federal Senate Inquiry on Unconventional Gas about the issue.

Katherine resident Charmaine Roth said, “This US court outcome of proven water contamination flies in the face of what the Territory oil and gas companies and the NT Government are telling us.”

"Just this week we had Ron Kelly from Department of Mines and Energy in Katherine trying to convince stakeholders that fracking does not contaminate water.

"It’s a bit of a slap in the face to realise our own Government is trying to sell us misleading information to prop up a risky onshore gas industry.

"Now we know that not only do gas fracking companies contaminate the water supply of families, but they lie about it and try and discredit the scientists that state the facts,” she said.

Gadrian Hoosan of the Garawa Land Trust in the McArthur Basin area, targeted for fracking, said, “We will be standing up strong to protect our land, water and communities from shale gas drilling and fracking and the risks of water contamination.

"As Traditional Owners, we have voted to reject fracking on our Land Trusts. It’s only where we haven’t had the power of veto that fracking companies managed to get a foot in the door.

"Water is precious, our land is our life and I am going to fight for my children to have a future safe from dangerous drilling and fracking for oil and gas on our country,” he said.

Parap resident and Territory business owner Ilona Kanaris was attacked in the NT News letters to the editor page by Matt Doman of APPEA today.

"Matt Doman of oil and gas lobby APPEA is attempting to discredit Territorians like myself that are actually doing our research on the impacts of fracking,” said Ms Kanaris.

"Yet this this court outcome proves yet again that drilling and fracking for gas can contaminate water. It’s simply not worth the risk in the Territory,” she said. 

Read more detailed news from the United States here.


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