Origin Energy Limited - ASX code ORG
Employment, Skills and Mining
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Fracking with BTEX chemicals banned: Hinchliffe
Mining Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has reassured landholders that the use of
BTEX chemicals in the CSG extraction process have been banned and will continue
to be banned.
Responding to claims by AgForce, Mr Hinchliffe said that BTEX compounds were
naturally occurring chemicals already in many coal seams but companies were not
permitted to use the compounds in the extraction process.
“The fact is, BTEX compounds are already underground and are naturally occurring
chemicals,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“They’ve been there before the CSG industry started ten years ago and would
still be there if the industry hadn’t started.
“BTEX chemicals are also common components of products such as plastics, petrol
and diesel used by industry and farmers alike.
“Therefore it is impossible to rule out that it could show up at trace levels in
“What we are ensuring is that companies are not allowed to actively use BTEX
chemicals as a deliberate component of fraccing fluids.
“We are committed to ensuring water quality is protected, and that the
activities of any company do not pose a risk to the community or the
“The CSG industry is an important industry for Queensland and Australia and is
an important low emission transitional fuel as we move towards greener energy
“This Government understands the need for its development to be balanced with
agriculture, environmental considerations and social impacts.”
New regulations that are now in place require a petroleum tenure holder to give
to each owner or occupier of land notice of activities conducted on their
• a notice of intention to drill a well or bore at least 10 business days before
the start of drilling
• a notice of completion, alteration or abandonment of a well or bore within 10
business days after completion or alteration happens
• a notice of intention to carry out a seismic survey or scientific or technical
survey at least 10 business days before the survey starts
• a notice of completion of a seismic survey or scientific or technical survey
• a notice of intention to carry out hydraulic fracturing activities at least 10
business days before starting the hydraulic fracturing activities
• a notice of completion of hydraulic fracturing activities within 10 business
days after finishing the hydraulic fracturing activities
Companies are required to provide notices to landholders of fraccing fluids
being used on their properties.
This information will allow landholders to find out what chemicals have been
used and in what proportions.
The regulations also require companies to provide:
• a report to the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation
within 2 months of the end of the hydraulic fracturing activities for the
petroleum well; and
• a hydraulic fracturing fluid statement stating the composition of the fluid