APPEA: moratorium on shale gas hinders NT’s development
Calls for a moratorium on shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory have no basis in science and ignore the industry’s strong safety record, Australia’s peak oil and gas body has warned.
The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association said decades of practical experience and numerous inquiries in Australia and overseas showed fracking, the process used to extract shale gas, posed minimal environmental risk.
APPEA NT Director Steven Gerhardy said in a statement that a moratorium would prevent the exploration activity needed to develop a successful shale gas industry that had the potential to deliver up to 6300 new jobs and boost government revenues by up to $460 million a year by 2040, according to a new study by Deloitte Access Economics.
“The independent inquiry into hydraulic fracturing by Allan Hawke concluded there was no need for a moratorium because there was clear evidence the industry could be developed safely with proper regulation,” Gerhardy said.
He also said that hydraulic fracturing is a well-understood technology that has been used in Australia for decades, while adding that the Hawke Inquiry report and the DAE economic study presented a strong case for developing shale gas.
“The Deloitte study found that shale gas has the potential to be the second or third largest private sector employer in the NT creating long-term, high-paying jobs well into the future,” he said.