Protect Country Alliance is deeply concerned following news overnight the Origin Energy/Falcon Oil and Gas owned Kyalla well in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin has become unstable during horizontal drilling.
Origin’s joint venture business partner Falcon Oil and Gas released a statement overnight admitting “operational challenges” at the much-hyped well.
Graeme Sawyer from the NT Protect Country Alliance said this troubling event was yet more evidence that fracking was too risky for the Northern Territory.
“Origin Energy and Falcon's blind fervour to frack the Northern Territory could lead to more serious environmental harm as drilling and fracking problems continue,” he said.
Mr Sawyer said the NT public deserved more than the scant detail and industry-speak contained within Falcon’s statement.
“It could be that the driller can't keep the borehole open and that the rock is collapsing around the drill bit,” he said.
“Risks will increase if Origin and Falcon push ahead to frack shale rock from a different horizontal well nearby.
“A halt on all activity and a full investigation of this incident should now be required until all the issues are made clear.
“Origin Energy and Falcon should be upfront with Territorians about the problems they are experiencing.
“There are critical risk issues relating to the underlying structures in the NT and salty aquifers which need to be better understood before a full risk assessment can be made as.
“Minister Eva Lawler has approved this dodgy drilling without fully understanding the risks.
“It is critical no more approvals are made until full scientific studies are completed and the risks are fully investigated.”
Dan Robins from NT Protect Country Alliance said, “It is critically important to diversify the future economy of the Territory away from relying on risky and water intensive fracking.
“Ongoing drilling problems like what we have seen overnight could mean the hype around fracking the Beetaloo is just hot air.
“There is no need for this expensive and polluting fracking activity in the beautiful Northern Territory.
“The sooner the NT Government wakes up and realises that it is not worth risking our precious water for fracking, the better.
“The NT Government needs to stop spending any public money on subsidising and propping up fracking activities. Millions of dollars are spent on fracking in the NT budget each year. It's a high risk industry that could cost us far more than we ever get back.”