Tag Archives: Fracking

Coal seam gas has no social licence in NSW

MEDIA RELEASE – 26 September 2017

NSW Greens resources spokesman Jeremy Buckingham rebuffed Prime Minister Turnbull’s call for the Narrabri coal seam gas project to be approved, saying that the industry did not have a social licence and even if it was approved it would not solve a gas crisis created by policy failure to protect the domestic gas market from unregulated exports.

“For years now the citizens of NSW have made it clear that coal seam gas does not have a social licence to operate and political parties of all persuasions have listened to this message to varying degrees,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“This is a crisis forged by greedy multinational oil and gas companies, with successive Labor and Liberal-National governments failing to properly regulate gas exports despite repeated warnings from the manufacturing industry, unions and the Greens.

“Even if the Narrabri gas project was approved tomorrow, it will face fierce opposition and direct action from concerned farmers and others, it will be several years before the gas will hit the market, and the relatively small amount of gas will have no impact on the international gas price which is now dominating the domestic market.

“Why do Australian politicians cower before the idea of sovereign risk?  This is a construct of the big corporations and their lobbyists with the result that multinationals feel they can walk all over Australian interests with virtual impunity.

“The concept of sovereign risk should not stop governments acting in the national interest, especially when the risk to the manufacturing sector impacts on far more jobs than are in LNG exports.

“The pursuit of coal seam gas for export as LNG has been a monumental policy failure and has had catastrophic consequences for the environment and our economy.  Now households and businesses are paying the price with rising energy costs and job losses in other sectors of the economy,” he said.

Greens accuse Santos of CSG production by stealth

MEDIA RELEASE – 25 July 2017

NSW Greens energy and resources spokesman Jeremy Buckingham accused the NSW Government of allowing coal seam gas production by stealth at the Narrabri gas project after it approved an extension of the Wilga Park gas-fired power station CSG utilisation project on 14 July 2017.

The Department of Planning has approved Santos supplying coal seam gas to power the 12 megawatt generator from their existing gas wells in the Pilliga Forest for an addition three years, despite the Department putting a specific three year sunset clause on the original approve in 2014 as a “reasonable period” for genuine assessment purposes.

“This is coal seam gas production by stealth.  Santos have already had three years to assess the flow of gas, so this extension is unnecessary and is about Santos generating income from gas production,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“When this was approved in 2014, the Department inserted a specific condition that limited the assessment period to three years and noted that this was a reasonable period to conclude assessment.

“Given Santos has already submitted an extremely detailed Environmental Assessment for their 850 coal seam gas well Narrabri Project, this additional assessment period is not necessary and is clearly production of CSG by stealth.

“The Greens oppose coal seam gas as unnecessary, unwanted and unsafe.  We do not need a new fossil fuel in an age of climate change and competitive renewable energy technologies.

“Energy and Resources Minister Don Harwin should clarify whether Santos is genuinely using the Wilga Park power station for assessment, or whether this is in fact production?”

Blame coal seam gas for price hikes.  It is more expensive to produce

MEDIA RELEASE – 28 April 2017

The cost of producing coal seam gas at Santos’ Narrabri project will be almost double the production cost of conventional gas in Bass Strait according to the Australia Energy Market Operator, and will be unlikely to reduce the price of gas in the domestic market.  It is the drive into unconventional gas and the cartel dominating the gas market that has led to the massive price rises.

Unconventional gas is more expensive to produce due to the large amount of salty water that must be extracted to depressurise the aquifer and the large number of wells and associated infrastructure that must be drilled and fracked.

The Core Energy Group report commissioned by AEMO in February 2015 found:

  • Bass Straight conventional gas production cost – $4.05
  • Cooper Basin conventional gas production cost – $5.30
  • Narrabri coal seam gas production cost – $7.25

NSW Greens energy and resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said:

“The cost of producing coal seam gas is far more expensive than conventional gas and was only made financially viable by the push into exports and the associated price hikes.”

“The current ultra-high gas prices are the result of letting a cartel loose on a vulnerable market.  The only way to fix it is to place controls on the cartel to stop it extorting its market power.

“Now that sensible regulation of the gas market has begun to be applied, it will be even less politically palatable to force fracking down farmers’ throats. Australians will rightly want stronger regulation of the gas market rather than has their community turned into a gasfield to prop up the profits of big gas companies that made poor investment decisions or signed bad contracts.

“Prime Minister Turnbull’s push to help the gas companies force their way into fracking more expensive unconventional gas will be rightly rejected by the community and state governments who do not want to lose office.  Coal seam gas does not have a social licence.”

Santos reignite coal seam gas war lodging plans for Narrabri project

MEDIA RELEASE – 1 February 2017

The Greens NSW Resources and Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said today that Santos’ lodgement of plans for their Narrabri project would reignite the war over coal seam gas in NSW and called on the called on the new NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to clarify whether she will support the development of a toxic coal seam gas industry in NSW.

Santos announced today that they have lodged their Environmental Impact Statement for their proposed Narrabri coal seam gas project with NSW Planning as well as a deal with the APA Group to build a new pipeline to connect the project to APA’s existing pipeline between Moomba and Sydney.

“The news that Santos has lodged their EIS will reignite a massive battle in NSW over coal seam gas which the farmers and community will win,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“Santos has recently made it clear they have little interest in developing the project and have instead spun it off into a separate entity, ready for sale.  The government should not allow Santos to jerk people around, waste their time and create uncertainty just to fatten up the project for the stock market.

“This is a huge test for Premier Berejiklian who should clarify whether she will support the development of a toxic coal seam gas industry in NSW, when it is clear it has no social licence.

“The community has clearly rejected this unnecessary and unwanted industry because it will lead to the industrialisation of the landscape and the pollution of groundwater resources.

“The NSW Government were punished for supporting this industry at the last state election and can expect similar electoral pain if they do not change course.

“Santos and the APA Group can expect to be met with persistent non-violent civil disobedience and direct action should these projects be approved.

“The last pipeline route met with significant resistance from farmers and APA should respect landholders who do not want them on their property.

“The Greens will stand up for farmers and the community every step of the way both on the front lines and in parliament.

“The real drivers and opportunities in our economy are agriculture, tourism and renewable energy, not a new destructive fossil fuel industry,” Mr Buckingham concluded.

Santos spin off of Narrabri CSG project should prompt cancellation

MEDIA RELEASE – 8 December 2016

Santos’ announcement today that they would concentrate on core conventional gas assets  and that the Narrabri coal seam gas project would be “packed and run separately for value as a standalone business” shows that the controversial project has no future and that the government should step in and cancel the licence to provide certainty to the community and protect the land and water.

NSW Greens energy and resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said:

“It’s clear that Santos has little interest in developing the Narrabri coal seam gas project and are likely to try to sell it off.  It’s time for the government to end the uncertainty and put this project out of its misery by cancelling the licence.

“It’s now been almost three years since the Narrabri project was given “Strategic Energy Project” status to fast track it through the planning system.  There is still no Environmental Impact Statement lodged and now the company has said they intend to spin it off and concentrate on other conventional assets.

“We’ve seen farmers and others protest and be arrested trying to protect the land and water, and particularly the Great Artesian Basin.  How long must the community remain vigilant and suffer uncertainty?

“The world is quickly moving to renewable energy.  Developing new fossil fuels, particularly when they pose risks through fracking and the extraction of vast amounts of saline water, is negligent behaviour.

“Victoria has banned fracking and the South Australian Liberal Party has called for a ten year moratorium on fracking.  The NSW Government should show leadership on renewable energy and climate change by banning unconventional gas and boosting renewable energy investment.”

Oil & gas exploration free fall – welcome to the future

MEDIA RELEASE – 5 September 2016

The Greens NSW  energy and resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said the free fall in spending on oil and gas exploration (down by almost two-thirds), revealed by data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is good news for the climate and shows technology is rapidly changing the energy market.

“The global glut of oil and gas means exploration for new reserves has dropped off, which is a good thing for the climate and is a trend that is likely to continue as our energy system rapidly switches to renewable energy and battery storage,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Many of the existing gas plays in Australia were based on wildly optimistic assumptions, the consequences being LNG export terminals that are not financially viable, and a hike in the price of domestic gas that is causing strife for some parts of the manufacturing sector and for residential households.

“Technological progress in energy generation, energy storage, the electrification of motorised transport, and climate related policies around the world will decrease demand for fossil fuels over the medium and long-term. Investments in new fossil fuel exploration will increasingly face the risk of being stuck with stranded assets or useless data.

“From an ethical and financial perspective, Australia should invest in clean energy technologies rather than fossil fuels.”

Gas and oil exploration

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