Fracking well 'unstable'


Sir – We are deeply concerned following news overnight that the Origin Energy/Falcon Oil and Gas owned Kyalla well in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin has become unstable during horizontal drilling.
Origin’s joint venture business partner Falcon Oil and Gas released a statement overnight admitting “operational challenges” at the much-hyped well.
The NT public deserves more than the scant detail and industry-speak contained within Falcon’s statement.
It could be that the driller can’t keep the borehole open and that the rock is collapsing around the drill bit. Risks will increase if Origin and Falcon push ahead to frack shale rock from a different horizontal well nearby.
A halt on all activity and a full investigation of this incident should now be required until all the issues are made clear.
Minister Eva Lawler has approved this dodgy drilling without fully understanding the risks.
It is critical no more approvals are made until full scientific studies are completed and the risks are fully investigated.”
Graeme Sawyer
NT Protect Country Alliance


  1. Why are we not surprised?
    No matter how many conditions are placed on the fracking industry, there will always be “accidents”, not to mention the long-term costs that governments (read taxpayer) will have to pay for long after these companies have left.
    Time for another moratorium on fracking?

  2. It is still an early exploration and evaluation stage of this basin which means that geoscientists learn about detailed basin geometry and characteristics and properties of the rocks.
    Industry handles such well conditions safely using advanced technology, very often in more challenging geological conditions.
    To make a valid evaluation of resources and plan safe gas extraction in the future, more analysis and modelling need to be undertaken based on data collected from drilling and hydraulically fractured wells.
    In my opinion, it would be unwise re-introducing moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the region based on results from that one particular horizontal well.

  3. Until you know all the answers, don’t go there.
    Ground water is the basis of survival in inland Australia, especially the Great Artesian Basin.
    Yes, at least a moratorium to enable us to avert a real and imminent disaster.

  4. Fracking has been in Colorado for many years.
    It is just now the Colorado has passed a bill where the industry will have to pay $270,000 towards the clean up of their old sites. Many times they would shut down with no clean up of sites.
    We have recently had house explosions caused by oil / gas pipes. It can be a dangerous business if not monitored by outside organisations, and not just allowing the fracking industry to monitor itself.
    As a past resident of Alice for a period of 30 years I am aware of the water situation, I am also aware of the amount of water used in fracking, plus the illegal disposal of the water and chemicals returning to the surface while fracking.
    Water is far more precious than any amount of oil.


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