Thursday, April 5, 2012

James Price Point alarm-raised-over-impact-of-gas-hub-dredging

FLIP PRIOR, The West Australian April 5, 2012, 9:06 am

A Federal Government review of Woodside’s planned dredging program at James Price Point has revealed serious concerns about the potential impact on the marine environment from toxins, including arsenic and zinc.

The Federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities review was obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Wilderness Society.

The 2011 Federal review considered the Department of State Development’s revised coastal modelling work done after it delivered the Browse strategic assessment report, in December 2010.

The 2011 review found several deficiencies in the earlier assessment.

Reviewers were concerned that the assessment had failed to address the potential for dredging to release arsenic, nickel and zinc into the water.

While all occur naturally in the environment, at high concentrations they can be toxic to marine invertebrates and phytoplankton – a major concern for aquaculture and fishing industries in the region.

The review found that while modelling was conducted over a wide area, data had only been calibrated at one point in 18m of water, which was relatively deep. Most of the dredging will occur in shallower waters.

The basic modelling had not been tested widely.

The missing information made it difficult for the Federal reviewers to have confidence in the modelling results, particularly about the cumulative effects of the dredging plume over time.

The Federal review said the assessment was based on dredging taking 12 months but it was likely to take longer, with a potentially different impact on the environment.

Other details that would normally be addressed in a dredging assessment had either not been included or not discussed in sufficient detail, the review said.

Reviewers said additional assessments must be carried out to quantify risks before any approvals were granted.

They found “sparse information” on modelling, with insufficient data and some “counter-intuitive results” from testing.

Earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Authority announced it had delayed its decision on the proposed gas project from this month until late May to allow time for Woodside to deliver additional dredging data.

A Woodside spokesman said the company was providing additional information to the EPA based on revised modelling.

“This modelling has been informed by more detailed engineering design and environmental studies completed since the SAR was released in December 2010,” he said.

Wilderness Society spokesman Peter Robertson called on the Federal Government to conduct a fully independent scientific peer review of all modelling submitted by the proponents.
He said the public could have no confidence in their findings.


  1. Get the feeling Shell to Sea is about to move up to a new level:


    By John Donovan

    On Tuesday 3 April, a film crew from a national TV broadcaster spent 7 hours filming at my home in Colchester and nearby locations. The filming continued outside the Shell Centre for 3 hours yesterday. I am indebted to all who assisted, including Shell to Sea spokesperson, Maura Harrington.

    The feature is about our unique relationship with Royal Dutch Shell. A decade enjoying a mutually beneficial relationship, followed by two decades of acrimony, including several High Court actions and related sinister activity, including the machinations of a hapless undercover agent acting for Shell.

    Printed below is a copy of a leaflet distributed outside the Shell Centre.

    We will provide later this month a link to the documentary package after it is broadcast. "

    The leaflet is really worth reading!

    1. keep your eyes open for a documentary Heritage Fight, coming soon. Redhanded

    2. Will do.You guys are keeping up ok eh?lol

  2. This really needs to be included in the dredging forecast.
    What will the coast from Willie Creek to Manari really look like with 3 gas plants and the port and the other industies?
    This is a list of projects that missed out on the Burrup and no doubt would love to have another go anywhere around the JPP gas hub.(Yes we know only gas will be on that site,but what about "around" the hub?)

    How much dredging would really be needed,how long would that really take and how much over the life of the projects?
    And the extra pollution and shipping movements?

    "Through its dithering and procrastination, the WA state government has now lost the participation of nearly every proponent intending to establish a major industry at Dampier: Apache Energy - natural gas from the Reindeer field – (chose alternate location at Forty Mile / Devil Creek); BHP Billiton – natural gas from the Scarborough field - (chose alternate location at Onslow); Dampier Nitrogen Pty Ltd (formerly Plenty River Pty Ltd) - ammonia and urea - (abandoned); Japan DME - dimethyl ether project - (abandoned); Methanex Australia Pty Ltd - methanol plant - (withdrawn); Australian Methanol Company Pty Ltd, (a subsidiary of GTL Resources PLC) - methanol plant - (withdrawn); GTL Resources PLC - methanol plant - (withdrawn); Syntroleum Sweetwater Operations Ltd - synthetic hydrocarbons - (withdrawn); Plenty River Ammonia - ammonia and urea – (withdrawn); Sasol Chevron - synthetic hydrocarbons - (withdrawn); Shell - synthetic hydrocarbons GTL technology - (withdrawn); Woodside Aromatics project – (deferred); Chloralkali - dimethyl ether project - (deferred); Agrium Inc - ammonia and urea - (still under consideration?); Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation - ammonia and urea - (still under consideration?); LiquiGaz Pty Ltd (formerly GTL Resources and Australian Methanol Company) – methanol (unsure). In the order of $12-15 billion of investment has been lost"

  3. In 18 metres of water?
    Being as the draft of the ships using this facillity would be 12 or 13 metres plus a few metres for safety,not sure of how much that would be,but 18 metres at low tide would seem to be almost no dredging required.
    It would be fair to say nearly,if not all,of the area to be dredged has been ignored!

    The draft (or draught) of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull (keel), with the thickness of the hull included; in the case of not being included the draft outline would be obtained. Draft determines the minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate. The draft can also be used to determine the weight of the cargo on board by calculating the total displacement of water and then using Archimedes' principle. A table made by the shipyard shows the water displacement for each draft. The density of the water (salt or fresh) and the content of the ship's bunkers has to be taken into account. The closely related term "trim" is defined as the difference between the forward and aft drafts.[citation

  4. "Todays LNG carriers are around Suez Max size."
    So proclaims the Broome Chamber of Commerce LNG Hub Maritime aspects by Captain Vic Justice.

    Todays LNG carriers are not,they are in fact VLCC size.
    Suez Max = 285 mtrs
    VLCC = 350 mtrs

    The port of Dampier takes LNG tankers of Suez max size,eg 289 x 49 mtrs,draft 10.2 mtrs.

    However the LNG tankers that have been built for some time and are in use today are Q Max.

    Q Max = 345 mtrs x 53.8 mtrs x 34.7 and a draft of 12 mtrs approx.
    They carry up to 265,000 cubic metres of LNG which weighs around 120,000 tonnes.

    Vic Justice also says the LNG tankers are powered by gas.
    They are not,they are powered by diesels which use normal fuel oil.
    All boil off gas is returned to the hold.
    This results in enourmous savings to the operator of as much as $5 million a year.

    Like much of the work done on this gas hub this work by the chamber of commerce is rubbish and should be dumped.
    All Vic Justice has done is gone through odd bits of info from here and there and,at random,picked the pieces that sound friendly to people who may be worried about this project.
    But anyone who cares to do a little research will soon discover it is nothing but another pile of crap.
    Remember the full page ad,we support the CA?
    Remember the ads,take out your finance now,only people with the most up to date equipment will get work (in 2011)?

    Proctor claims to run an oil and gas consultacy,but the truth be known,he wouldn't know a drill rig if it poked him in the eye.
    And it seems he has plenty of company when it comes to that.

    So it would be very wise if someone with the know how found out if Vic's port and the Chambers hub up the coast was being dredged to Suez Max or Q Max specs otherwise somewhere down the track we will be faced with the enevitable "we must dredge out another so many million cubic metres of seabed to remain competitive."

    I'm sure you all know the rest.

    Perhaps someone should ring the bell and ask Woodside just what their dredging plans are for this disaster.


    Cost of Browse at JPP now at $46 billion.

    "Arrow and Woodside said they are sticking with their plans for new plants, although Woodside is seeking to delay Browse. The Arrow project would cost more than $20bn, while Browse may cost as much as $46bn, Deutsche Bank AG estimates.
    Australia, taking advantage of its proximity to Asia, is home to more than 70% of LNG projects under construction worldwide."

    Shale oil to make Western Hemisphere an oil exporter.