Scientific evidence supports the view that fracture stimulation in the Arckaringa Basin represents an unreasonable risk to the environment
The Coober Pedy community has until the 4th of June to submit comments to the government regarding the SAPEX proposal for fracking in the Arckaringa Basin.
Coober Pedy geologist Dr. Damien Bachmann has finalised and released his submission that highlights the scientific reasons for which he is opposed to the programme.The full report is now available for download ( www.phonolite.com.au/Submission.pdf ). Readers are encouraged to obtain a copy of this report as it is not overly complicated and should be useful to all stakeholders in this matter.
The report’s summary states the following:
“Scientific evidence supports the view that fracture stimulation in the Arckaringa Basin represents an unreasonable risk to the environment, especially the Great Artesian Basin and the ecosystems it supports.
I strongly advise for the SAPEX/Tri-Star fracture stimulation proposal not to be authorised.
The principal arguments are:
- The Arckaringa Basin presents a unique geological and hydrogeological setting.
- Within and around the project area are many artesian springs that support fragile and unique ecosystems.
- The various aquifers in the Arckaringa Basin are interconnected through various pathways including faults, fractures, juxtaposition of permeable beds and numerous boreholes in the region.
- Fracture stimulation will further increase the interconnectivity between aquifers.
- Fracture stimulation has the potential to release natural hydrocarbons and chemical additives into the interconnected pathways leading to pollution of the GAB aquifers and associated springs and unique ecosytems.
- Drawdown of the GAB is also a likely consequence of fracture stimulation activities in the Arckaringa Basin.
- Fracture stimulation activities in the Arckaringa Basin should be considered as having a high impact under the Development Act 1993 and should require an approval under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.”
Dr Bachmann’s report is well sourced, backed up by peer reviewed data, and unequivocal in its findings. It is also beyond doubt that there are many outstanding questions, unchecked boxes and incomplete processes within this SAPEX proposal.
The report also raises concerns that would call into question any future proposals to frack the Arkaringa Basin, not just the current SAPEX proposal, without further scientific research into all of the risks and the multitude of variables involved in this practice.
The full report is now available for download
Readers are encouraged to obtain a copy of this report as it is not overly complicated and should be useful to all stakeholders in this matter.