SA Mines and Energy Journal : October - November 2013
25 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL FEATURE formation travel within the well back to the surface. About 40-60 percent of this fluid is recovered, ideally for treating and recycling for future stimulation operations, or disposed of under highly policed environmental practices, including lined pits or tanks. Community concerns over both fraccing and de-watering have arisen from increased shallow CSG activity on agricultural land in Qld and NSW in recent years. Coal seam dewatering is a different process to fraccing. It is used to remove water from a coal seam to reduce pressure and release any gas present. In South Australia only very deep coals have high gas contents and these have been naturally dewatered by burial compaction. The majority of South Australia's unconventional gas is located in the world-class, remotely located Cooper Basin. There is also potential in other onshore basins, but as with the Cooper Basin, prospective rock layers are mostly located very deep and far removed from groundwater. All South Australian oil, gas and geothermal activities are regulated under the South Australian Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 and DMITRE employs a range of technical experts, including drilling engineers to ensure the necessary approval conditions are in place, and procedures are strictly adhered to. Any company wishing to extract hydrocarbons must submit a Statement of Environmental Objectives (SEO) based on an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which details all aspects of the project, including potential impacts, together with measures to be taken to avoid or minimise these. In addition, where applicable, coal seam gas projects may be subject to assessment and approval under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conser vation Act 1999, where the project proponent must demonstrate that activities will not have significant impacts on water resources. Some of the typical compliance requirements for fraccing include, first and utmost, that there shall be no contamination of aquifers with frac fluids or hydrocarbons extracted from any reservoirs as a result of fraccing operations. Other regulatory requirements include groundwater sampling and reporting, both prior to and post fraccing; hydraulic fracture fluid testing and reporting and undertaking of geological risk assessments to ensure that there is no risk of contaminating aquifers as a result of fraccing. There are some misunderstandings in the community surrounding earthquakes and fraccing. Although it is true that fraccing operations may cause minor seismic activity, these events are rarely even detected by people on the surface. Other man made events have been known to cause seismic activity, including the construction of dams and reservoirs. There is a possibility that higher seismic activity could be induced if operations were to hit a fault line that was already close to failure. These locations are usually known and activities adjacent to any suspect fault lines are not permitted. This article has been compiled with the assistance of Prof Stefaan Simons and Dr Navinda de Silva, International Energy Policy Institute, University College London, UCL Australia, Adelaide, and contributors from DMITRE and SACOME. Almost everything has a second life. To discover what we do and how we've developed new ways to recycle, reuse and recreate materials, scan the QR Code in this image. At ResourceCo, you'll find nothing is wasted, not even your time. Visit w w w.resourceco.com.au TOMORROW'S SOLUTIONS. TODAY To download a QR Code reader on your smartphone, search your app store for "QR Scanner". There is no such thing as waste.
August - September 2013
December - January 2013-14