Index | Australia | UK | Europe | USA | Canada | Africa | Russia | China | Asia | South America
  Gas Accidents | Environment | Economics | Health | Politics | Citizen Journalism | About Us | Links | Contact Us

Index > Australia > Australian Unlisted &
ASX Listed Companies > Origin Energy >
Stops drilling after BTEX found

Bookmark and Share

Origin Energy against renewable energy

ACCC takes action against Origin for alleged false or misleading representations

Apex Energy

Gina Rinehart

Related Stories:

Australian Unlisted &
ASX Listed Companies

Solar Booster Shot for Natural Gas Power Plants

Natural Gas Pricing Reform to Facilitate Carbon Tax Policy

Investing in fracking

Global Investors Call For Action on Methane Emissions from Shale Gas And Oil Fracking

Investors Press Oil and Gas Companies to Reduce and Report Risks from Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

Investors Press Continental Resources to End Wasteful Flaring of Natural Gas

Shale Development in Western U.S. Poses Significant Risks to Investors

New Tool for Companies, Investors to Manage Risks of Worldwide Water Supply Pressures

Report Shows More Corporations Disclose Water Risk Following SEC Guidance

New York State Pension Fund and Other Investors Urge Utilities to Ramp Up Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Natural Gas Transition to Renewables

Business as Usual More Risky for Electric Utilities

Major Investors Warn Energy Companies of Business Risks in Flaring Gas at Shale Oil Wells

Major Investors Warn Energy Companies of Business Risks in Flaring Gas at Shale Oil Wells - letter

Big Oil and Gas Companies Failing to Inform Investors of Deepwater Drilling and Climate Change Risks

Apex Energy

Gina Rinehart

AGL

AJ Lucas

Armour Energy

Austin Exploration

AWE

Beach Energy

Buru Energy

Dart

Karoon Gas

Magnum Gas & Power

Metgasco

Molopo

Origin Energy

QGC - Owned by BG Group

Santos

Senex Energy

Rawson Resources

Red Sky Energy

CSIRO rejects claims made by APPEA regarding groundwater and coal seam gas

Gasfields Land & Water Commission

 

Federal | NSW | Victoria | Queensland | Western Australia | South Australia | Tasmania

Origin Energy - Coal Seam Gas


Origin Energy Limited -
ASX code ORG

Origin stops coal seam gas drilling after BTEX chemicals found in water

On 19 October 2010 Origin Energy advised the share market that BTEX have been found in fluid samples taken from eight exploration wells in the Surat Basin, west of Miles.

The announcement came two weeks after Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade,  Stephen Robertson had issued a press release entitled "BTEX ban enforced through legislation".

"The Minister said BTEX petroleum compounds were not used in Queensland CSG operations."

Farmers near a coal seam gas 'fracking' site in Queensland will have their water supplies tested for toxic benzene and other chemicals today after Origin Energy found contaminated water near drilling sites.

The discovery of BTEX - a mixture of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene - around eight coal seam gas wells near Miles, west of Brisbane, marks the first time a resources company has admitted to contaminating water at a fracking site.

Origin detected the chemicals a week ago and told the Queensland government - which is legislating to ban the use of BTEX chemicals during coal seam gas drilling - on Friday.

Most landholders in the area have been notified of the contamination. There is no known impact on drinking water in the gas field. Origin has shut down all 17 of its drilling rigs across a 40-kilometre-wide area while an investigation is carried out.

The controversial process has fuelled protests from landholders in Australia and the United States, where government tests have detected harmful levels of hydrocarbons, including BTEX, in drinking water wells in areas where fracking is used.

Origin refused to disclose the mixture of chemicals used in the fracking fluid that it was using on the site. The US company Halliburton supplied the fluids.

____________________________

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Stephen Robertson

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Government bans BTEX use in Coal Seam Gas Sector

The Queensland Government has moved to ban petroleum compounds containing benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, commonly referred to as B-TEX, from use in coal seam gas (CSG) operations or ‘fraccing’.

Minister for Natural Resource Mines and Energy, Stephen Robertson, said the emerging CSG to LNG industry has the potential to generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment for Queensland.

“But our number one priority is the health and safety of the community and the environment,” Mr Robertson said.

“We want to make sure we strike the right balance between environmental sustainability and economic growth.

“I have already sought and received assurances from industry that these chemicals are not currently being used.

“But further to that, to ensure the protection of the community and the environment is our commitment to legislate to ban them from ever being used in Queensland.

‘The message is very clear - no one is allowed to use these chemicals in the extraction of CSG.

“I will also be writing to all companies involved in CSG extraction to advise them of the new regulations and my expectation that the current non-use of B-TEX chemicals will continue until such times as new legislation is in place.

“Queensland has a rigorous mining approvals and Environmental Authority process but to ensure this process continues to address new questions that may be raised by changes within industry technology, government must adapt to these processes.

The Government will use the existing head of power in the Environmental Protection Act 1994 to require the Department of Environment and Resource Management to refuse any application for new coal seam gas activities that involve the use of B-TEX chemicals to fracture the coal seam.

The Government will also move to amend the Environmental Protection Act 1994 to include a provision that ‘deems’ a new condition on all existing coal seam gas environmental authorities.

Fraccing involves pumping fluid at high pressure into a coal seam to fracture the seam and allow gas to flow readily into gas wells, although the vast majority of gas wells do not need to be fracced.

“In Queensland, fraccing fluids are commonly 99 percent sand and water. Around 1 percent is made up of additives: typically widely used chemicals including sodium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid (both used in swimming pools), cellulose (used to make paper), acetic acid (the active part of vinegar) and small amounts of disinfectants.

“It is estimated that since 2000, around five per cent of coal seam gas drilled in Queensland have been fracced, although this proportion is expected to increase as CSG production increases,” Mr Robertson said.

CSG companies are required by law to provide daily bore logs to the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) and DEEDI had requested operators to provide it with the results of any fraccing and CSG water ponds sampled to date.
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2010/8/4/government-bans-btex-use-in-coal-seam-gas-sector

 

Media Release

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Stephen Robertson

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

BTEX ban enforced through legislation

The Queensland Government has made good on its commitment to ban petroleum compounds containing benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, known as BTEX, from coal seam gas (CSG) operations.

The ban will be enforced through legislation contained in a Bill introduced to State Parliament today by Minister for Natural Resource Mines and Energy, Stephen Robertson.

The Minister said BTEX petroleum compounds were not used in Queensland CSG operations.

“With the Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2010 tabled today in State Parliament we are well on the way to ensuring they never will be,” Mr Robertson said.

BTEX compounds have been used in overseas oil and gas operations during what is known as the fraccing process.

Fraccing involves pumping fluid at high pressure into a coal seam to fracture the seam and allow gas to flow readily into gas wells, although the vast majority of gas wells do not need to be fracced.

It is a long-established and widely used process in other countries.

“In Queensland, fraccing fluids are commonly 99 percent sand and water.

“Around 1 percent is made up of additives: typically widely used chemicals including sodium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid (both used in swimming pools), cellulose (used to make paper), acetic acid (the active part of vinegar) and small amounts of disinfectants.

“It is estimated that since 2000, around five per cent of coal seam gas drilled in Queensland have been fracced, although this proportion is expected to increase as CSG production increases,” Mr Robertson said.

Mr Robertson said CSG companies were required by law to provide daily bore logs to the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) and DEEDI had requested operators to provide it with the results of any fraccing and CSG water ponds sampled to date.

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/Id/71854

 

On 19 October 2010 Origin Energy released this announcement to the market:

ASX/Media Release

Coal Seam Gas well-monitoring update

Australia Pacific LNG has advised relevant landowners, Western Downs Regional council and the Queensland government that traces of BTEX have been found in fluid samples taken from eight exploration wells in the Surat Basin, west of Miles.

Water produced from the relevant wells is contained in lined and fenced ponds and tanks for treating, as per normal operational practice.

It is isolated from water courses and livestock.

Australia Pacific LNG has briefed the environmental regulator (the Department of Environment and Resource Management) and the Minister for Sustainability and Climate Change, Kate Jones.

The Minister has requested, and Australia Pacific LNG has agreed, that confirmatory testing be undertaken by an independent service provider.

The traces were found as part of Australia Pacific LNG’s routine testing, from samples of fluids from hydraulic fractured exploration wells.

However, Australia Pacific LNG does not use BTEX in its fracture fluids and the supplier has confirmed that the fluids do not contain BTEX.

Comprehensive testing is currently underway, aimed at determining the source of the BTEX. BTEX is found in a range of oil-based products including lubricating oil, diesel and petrol.

Australia Pacific LNG is in the process of consulting with relevant landowners and the community.

The fracture stimulation of exploration wells will only continue upon a satisfactory resolution.

All evidence available to Australia Pacific LNG indicates there has been no impact on surrounding landholder bores.

The company will undertake further testing in consultation with landholders in the coming days.

Editors note: BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene)

________________________________

On 10 December 2010 Origin Energy released this announcement to the market:

Media Release
10 December 2010
Australia Pacific LNG exploration wells clear investigation
process

Australia Pacific LNG has confirmed that a comprehensive investigation into traces of BTEX found in produced water from its coal seam gas exploration activities in October has been completed.

Findings from the investigation confirm that there is no significant risk to the environment or human health associated with these activities.

Australia Pacific LNG has kept the Queensland Government fully informed of the investigation, providing detailed information to the Queensland regulator, the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM).

DERM has confirmed the company’s proposed monitoring and reporting guidelines to manage Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation (HFS) programs are appropriate.

The investigation identified possible sources of BTEX contaminants, including small amounts of lubricants and diesel which may have been introduced inadvertently in the course of operations.

Processed mineral oil present in an additive previously used in HFS fluids was also identified as containing trace levels of TEX chemicals (well below Australian Drinking Water Guidelines).

These potential sources are being addressed with strengthened control measures put in place for future HFS operations in collaboration with HFS service providers.

Steps have been and will continue to be taken to ensure that all HFS fluids meet laws passed by Queensland Parliament on 23 November 2010.

The investigation has also indicated that trace levels of BTEX may be naturally occurring under certain conditions and operations will be conducted in a manner that manages environmental risk and protects water sources both at the surface and below the ground.

Australia Pacific LNG already has strict controls in place to ensure that water produced from wells is contained in lined and fenced ponds and tanks ahead of treatment as part of its current operational practice.

This ensures that produced water is isolated from water courses and livestock during its treatment.

Following the investigation and the implementation of additional controls and assurance processes, Australia Pacific LNG will recommence HFS operations.

Australia Pacific LNG will continue regular testing of water from its operations and reporting of results to DERM and is committed to meeting its monitoring and reporting obligations to DERM.

Editors note: BTEX is an acronym that stands for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes.

___________________________________

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability
The Honourable Kate Jones

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

STATEMENT BY CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY MINISTER KATE JONES

Australia Pacific LNG has today briefed the Queensland Government on the detection of small traces of hydrocarbon chemicals (known as BTEX) during routine testing on eight exploration wells near Miles.

Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said the company had today advised that there is no evidence of environmental harm or risk to landholder bores.

“While the company advises there is no evidence of environmental harm, Australia Pacific LNG is investigating the source of chemicals that have been detected, and I have requested that this additional testing be undertaken by an independent service provider.

“The company will provide these test results to government and landholders as a matter of priority to confirm that no environmental harm has occurred.

“The Department of Environment and Resource Management will then assess these additional test results.”
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2010/10/19/statement-by-climate-change-and-sustainability-minister-kate-jones

 

 

 

site search by freefind