Tuesday, November 12, 2013

THE FLOWBACK: The Costly Consequences of Hydrofracking | NEOGAP

THE FLOWBACK: The Costly Consequences of Hydrofracking | NEOGAP

Run for your life! Run for the lives, health, safety and well-being of your family members and loved ones! Run for the value of your estate! There are billions of dollars under your feet and people are coming to get it. They do not care who or what they have to run over or through to get it. It is an under-ground gold rush, with you and your property in the way.
They have the legal right to take control of your property and do with it what they will. Their rights trump the rights of all others. They can and will take any portion of your property they want and turn it into a heavy industrial zone, toxic waste site and visual eyesore, which will spew toxins, carcinogens and noise.


  1. Dredging concerns Whitsundays businesses

    PORT expansions and the dumping of dredged spoils on the Great Barrier Reef could ruin the Whitsunday Islands' tourism industry, north Queensland businesses warn. Whitsundays tourism operators are voicing their concerns about a proposal to expand Abbot Point coal port near Bowen at a forum of government, reef, port and industry representatives in Airlie Beach on Wednesday.

    The project involves dredging three million tonnes of soil and would transform the port into one of the largest in the world.

    Sailing tour operator and the spokesman for lobby group Business United for Reef Protection, Al Grundy, says there are major concerns about the long-term effects dredging will have on water quality.

    "We need to have good water quality for visibility for the customers for snorkelling, swimming and diving," Mr Grundy told AAP.

    "But also the soft coral reef which grows on the edge of the Whitsundays Islands - they need good water quality for their survival." He says that during the past seven years, sediment levels have built up significantly and visibility has declined.

    "We're not sure why this has happened. There's a lot of information being thrown around - everything from land-use practices to flooding events," Mr Grundy said.

    He says farmers have been working hard to reduce the amount of pesticides and nutrients running into the reef.

    "However, we're still seeing declining water quality, so the only variable that's different is that we've seen these port-dredging operations going ahead to our north (Abbot Point) and to our south (the Hay Point coal port)."Mr Grundy insists the group isn't anti-development but instead wants the project stalled until studies have been carried out on the long-term effects of dredging.

    North Queensland Bulk Ports, the corporation that has proposed the dredging project, has said dredging could possibly make the water cloudy during a short period and may damage seagrass, but was unlikely to affect other flora and fauna.

    Whitsundays Regional Council Mayor Jennifer Whitney says the Abbot Point project will add to the "future prosperity of the region".

    Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt is expected to decide in December whether to allow the expansion of Abbot Point.

  2. Activists protest major Qld coal railway

    ACTIVISTS dressed as corporate beggars have gatecrashed Aurizon's AGM, urging shareholders to reject plans to build a major coal railway in Queensland. About 50 protesters gathered outside the company's Brisbane headquarters to make shareholders aware about environmental risks posed by its joint venture with GVK Hancock in the Galilee Basin.

    Greenpeace spokeswoman Louise Matthiesson says there are also serious questions about whether the rail line is even economically viable.

    "Protesters were dressed as corporate beggars because GVK is basically begging Aurizon for money to get their coal mine off the ground," Ms Matthiesson told AAP."There are serious questions about whether this is a good investment for (Aurizon) shareholders.

    "Queensland's government announced in March that GVK Hancock and Aurizon would work together to develop rail and port infrastructure for the Galilee Basin. Ms Matthiesson says the railway, port terminals and the mines spell environmental disaster.

    "We are asking Aurizon to not take part in opening up the Galilee Basin as these mines will emit as much carbon as some small countries," she said.

    Environmentalists are also concerned about the impact of coal ships traffic on the Great Barrier Reef and the effects that mines and associated infrastructure will have on water and land.

  3. Electricity Bill Vs Tangles Tony and Sweaty Joe.


    Carbon tax repeal stalls as Labor poised to demand four-month inquiry

    Senate vote to be delayed when Labor seeks answers about cost and effectiveness of Coalition’s Direct Action climate plan

    Labor will demand a four-month inquiry into the cost and effectiveness of the Coalition’s Direct Action climate plan, delaying until next March a Senate vote on the new government’s top-priority carbon tax repeal bills.

    The Senate inquiry – to run throughout the long summer break – would play into the political arm wrestle between the major parties in which the prime minister, Tony Abbott, is pressing Labor to back the repeal by maintaining public attention on the hip pocket costs of the carbon tax, while Labor and the Greens seek to raise concerns about the viability of the Coalition’s alternative climate policy.

    The inquiry is likely to win support from the Greens, and if Labor sticks with its current stand, means the final decision on the carbon repeal is likely to be made by the new Senate which sits from July, where the businessman Clive Palmer – who said Tuesday the government could sue him if it wanted payment of a $6.17mn carbon tax bill owed by his company Queensland Nickel – is likely to control crucial balance of power votes.

    Abbott will personally introduce the eight repeal bills on Wednesday morning, and has used almost every public appearance since the 7 September election to demand Labor accept the government’s mandate and pass them. Labor insists it will not.

    “The people got to vote on the carbon tax at the election and in the days to come this parliament will get to vote on the carbon tax and I trust that ‘Electricity’ Bill Shorten will have a light bulb moment and will appreciate that the people's verdict must be respected if the pressure on families is to reduce and if the pressure on jobs is to reduce,” Abbott said on Tuesday.

    But, tapping into a campaign by environment groups like the Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF-Australia, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Climate Institute and the Investors Group on Climate Change that the government reveal (its alternative plan) before repeal, the leader of the opposition in the Senate, Penny Wong, will move that the Senate environment and communications committee report by March 2014 on the impact of the repeal on Australia’s ability to meet its emissions reduction targets and address climate change, the fiscal and economic impact of Direct Action, the capacity to reach Australia’s 5% minimum emissions reduction target by 2020 using Direct Action and whether Australia could still meet the higher targets it had previously committed to, under certain conditions.

    The capability to meet higher targets is now a moot point, as Abbott said on Tuesday Australia would not be moving beyond the minimum 5%. The Greens have also called for an inquiry into Direct Action, to report next March, but say they would be happy to vote against the repeal bills before then.

  4. Fukushima residents may never go home, say Japanese officials

    Admission deals blow to government assurances that radiation near the Daiichi nuclear plant can be brought down to safe levels

    Japanese officials have admitted for the first time that thousands of people evacuated from areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may never be able to return home.

    A report by members of the governing Liberal Democratic party [LDP] and its junior coalition partner urges the government to abandon its promise to all 160,000 evacuees that their irradiated homes will be fit to live in again.

    The plan instead calls for financial support for displaced residents to move to new homes elsewhere, and for more state funding for the storage of huge quantities of radioactive waste being removed from the 12-mile evacuation zone around the plant.

    The parties' admission that some areas closest to the wrecked facility will remain too contaminated for people to make a permanent return is a blow to official assurances that radiation can be brought down to safe levels.

    The government has come under pressure to abandon those promises amid evidence that attempts to reduce radiation to its target of 1 millisievert a year are failing.

    Decontamination is woefully behind schedule in seven of the 11 selected towns and villages, forcing authorities to concede recently that they will not finish the work by the March 2014 deadline.

    The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco], is supposed to pay back government loans to fund the cleanup, but has balked at the huge expense while it focuses on a costly decommissioning operation at Fukushima Daiichi that is expected to last at least 30 years.

    The government is prepared to borrow another 3tn yen to compensate evacuees and speed up decontamination of homes, schools and other public buildings in areas where reducing radiation levels is more realistic, reports say.

    The new funding will bring Japan's expenditure on the nuclear crisis so far to $80bn (£50bn). That figure does not cover the cost of decommissioning the damaged reactors.

    "At some point in time, someone will have to say that this region is uninhabitable, but we will make up for it," the LDP's secretary general, Shigeru Ishiba, said recently.

    It now appears that officials will abandon efforts to clean up highly irradiated areas closest to the plant and focus on areas where there is a more realistic chance of success.

    The evacuated region is divided into areas where people may return but not stay overnight, those that are preparing for similar status, and those that will remain no-go zones for at least five years because radiation doses exceed 50 millisieverts a year.

    The last category includes the small town of Okuma, where evacuated residents told the Guardian more than two years ago that they had given up all hope of ever returning.

    On Tuesday, evacuees reacted with anger at the government's about-turn.

    "Politicians should have specified a long time ago the areas where evacuees will not be able to return, and presented plans to help them rebuild their lives elsewhere," Toshitaka Kakinuma, a 71-year-old Okuma resident living in nearby Iwaki, told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

    Mental illness, alcohol abuse and physical ailments such as deep-vein thrombosis owing to inactivity are reportedly on the rise among tens of thousands of Fukushima evacuees still living in temporary housing units.

    As of August, the number of people in Fukushima who died from illnesses connected to the evacuation stood at 1,539, just short of the 1,599 deaths in the prefecture caused by the 11 March tsunami.

  5. Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says Premier Barnett has a dream of industrializing the Kimberley.

    Senator Siewert

    She says the government acquiring land at James Price Point is a step towards realizing this dream.

    “Acquiring land to supply the Browse FLNG facility or for future onshore industrial projects clearly signals the Premier’s intent to proceed with industrialisation at any cost,” she said.

    You can read her statement here:

    12 November 2013

    JPP acquisition brings Kimberley industrialisation closer

    “WA Premier Colin Barnett has taken a step closer to realising his dream of opening up the Kimberley to industrialisation, after finalising the acquisition of the land at James Price Point,” WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

    “From the very start of this flawed and drawn out process, the Premier’s priorities have been skewed in favour of industrialisation, rather than supporting the WA community and a building a sustainable future for the Kimberley.

    “Acquiring land to supply the Browse FLNG facility or for future onshore industrial projects clearly signals the Premier’s intent to proceed with industrialisation at any cost.

    “This decision comes after the WA Government has also introduced legislation to provide 25 year leases over the Canning Basin for the purpose of gas fracking, which is another significant threat to the Kimberley.

    “It is concerning to see the Premier link important support for traditional owners in the region to his industrialisation and development agenda which jeopardises the region’s culture, heritage and environment.

    “The Greens have committed to a better future for the Kimberley, built on diverse sectors, which means we need to make investments in culture, conservation, renewable energy, research and innovation to underpin a resilient jobs-rich economy. Smart and responsible investments are ones that provide job security and are drivers for community investment for many decades.

    “Gas extraction is not a good long term investment for WA people or their environment,” Senator Siewert concluded.
    - See more at: http://www.kimberleypage.com.au/2013/11/rachel-siewert-on-james-price-point-2/#more-32721

  6. Chris Hartcher announces coal seam gas ban in Sydney catchment

    Coal seam gas exploration and mining in the Sydney drinking water catchment areas have been placed on ''immediate hold'' pending an investigation by NSW Chief Scientist Mary O'Kane.

    NSW Resources Minister Chris Hartcher said the decision was a response to community concern that coal seam gas activity in catchment had affected the quality of water supplies for Sydney and the Illawarra.

    ''The NSW government supports the principle of restricting activities in the special areas until there is greater understanding of potential impacts of exploration and extraction of natural gas from coal seams,'' he said.

    Previously, Mr Hartcher had branded state Opposition Leader John Robertson an ''absolute hypocrite'' for proposing a bill banning coal seam gas activity in the catchment areas earlier this month.

    Mr Hartcher pointed out the former Labor government had approved coal seam gas drilling in the special areas.

    The Sydney Catchment Authority has opposed coal seam gas mining in the areas because it ''may significantly compromise'' the water supply. Mr Hartcher said there were no existing approvals for coal seam gas drilling in the catchment areas.

    The group Stop CSG Illawarra welcomed the move but called on Premier Barry O'Farrell to keep his election promise to ban all mining in water catchment areas.

    Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said the ban should be permanent and extended to catchment areas throughout NSW.

    NSW has banned CSG activity within two kilometres of residential areas and in horse-breeding and wine-growing areas.

    The eastern Australian head of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, Paul Fennelly, accused the NSW government of ''policy on the run''.

    ''The NSW government's continued disregard for science-based regulation sends a terrible message to potential investors and risks higher-than-necessary energy costs and lost jobs,'' he said.

  7. APPEA: Australia’s Potential to Rival Qatar as Largest LNG Exporter at Risk

    Regulatory reform to address Australia’s sliding cost competitiveness is now more important than ever following the release of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2013 overnight.

    The reputable IEA report says Australia’s gas production growth would see the nation rival Qatar as the world’s largest exporter of LNG by the year 2020, but only if plans to export are realised in full.

    “Commitments to new resource developments in Australia have slowed markedly over the last year or so, and the prospects for another round of major Australian LNG projects will depend heavily on how costs evolve, on the deployment of new, potentially less costly technologies, such as floating LNG, and on competition from other regions, notably North America,” World Energy Outlook 2013.

    APPEA Chief Executive David Byers said: “Not only is there increased competition from North America, there are offshore developments in East Africa, and the IEA has identified the possibility of Russia expanding LNG export capacity to reach into the coveted markets of Asia.

    “Australia has enormous potential supplies of natural gas but if we fail to harness the opportunity to remain competitive in global markets further resources will remain undeveloped and jobs will be lost along with the potential for cheaper, cleaner energy and future tax revenues.”

    According to the IEA, more than two-thirds of current global investment in LNG is in Australia, where there are already three LNG export projects operating and a further seven under construction.

    Worldwide, there are 12 LNG export plants under construction with a combined capacity of around 130 billion cubic metres per year.

    New capacity is set to come into operation between 2015 and 2018, although the timetable is “heavily contingent on what happens in Australia, where seven of the 12 terminals are located and where projects have seen cost escalations and delays”.

    APPEA is currently running a public information and advertising campaign to inform Australians of the escalating risks that threaten jobs, investment and the next wave of the resources boom

  8. Arrow LNG a likely target in Shell spending rethink

    LONDON (Reuters) - The Arrow gas export project in Australia is a likely casualty of a tighter spending regime at Royal Dutch/Shell as the company's new boss considers feeding output earmarked for it into a rival plant instead.

    Industry sources say the move could be among the first actions of Ben van Beurden. He inherits a recent promise to invest with care when he takes over as chief executive on January 1, and is due to outline his strategy on March 13.

    "We will need to make some hard choices over the next few quarters between the best new investment opportunities from this emerging portfolio.... This is as much about what we choose not to do as what we choose to do," chief financial officer Simon Henry said at Shell's October 31 presentation of quarterly results.

    The world's top international oil companies are under pressure to keep a lid on spending, whose growth has outpaced production and profits in recent years.

    Shell is spending more than $40 billion (25 billion pounds) a year and is seen as among the least willing to rein in its investment plans. Analysts say it could save about $5 billion by cancelling Arrow LNG based on a rough $10 billion building cost estimate for the plant, which would be shared equally with partner PetroChina.

    "Anything due for FID (a final investment decision) in the next couple of years is in the front line, and Arrow is certainly one to kick into the long grass," said a source with knowledge of Shell's decision-making set-up.


    Arrow Energy is one of a new generation of LNG schemes in Australia's north east that are fed from Queensland coal seam gas (CSG) and piped to liquefaction plants at the coast.

    Three liquefaction plants, QCLNG, GLNG, and APLNG, are already under construction adjacent to each other on Curtis Island to receive the CSG, and industry experts, critical of a lack of co-operation, have questioned the economics of a fourth.

    Local conditions are not the only consideration. LNG project managers worldwide are hesitating as U.S. shale gas threatens their market. No liquefaction projects outside the United States have won FID for almost two years.

    GLNG is being developed by Australian group Santos and Malaysian state group Petronas, while APLNG is a joint venture of ConocoPhillips and Australia's Origin Energy . Shell's Arrow would be a fourth plant on the island and a fifth, Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd's Gladstone LNG, is also under consideration.

    The concentration of LNG engineering efforts both in this region and in the country's northwest has ramped up industry cost inflation - even though this year's mining slump has cooled the pressure somewhat.

    Questions have also been raised about whether there will be enough gas to supply all the projects over the long term.

    A year ago, Shell was already citing cost overruns elsewhere in Australian LNG, and saying there was "no rush" to take FID on Arrow. In February, CEO Peter Voser said Abadi, a floating LNG project in Indonesia where Japan's Inpex <1605.T> is the operator, "may well be Shell's next LNG project".

    Arrow was not mentioned at all in Shell's October third quarter results presentation to investors and analysts.

    Despite all the doubts, LNG in Australia, coupled with its Gas to Liquids (GTL) developments, remain a big and lucrative part of Shell's business.

    LNG and GTL earned Shell $9 billion in 2012, 40 percent of its bottom line. Australian LNG coming on stream in the years up to 2017 will increase its LNG capacity there by 30 percent and a further 20 million tonnes a year "under study" - including Arrow - could add a further 70 percent after 2017.

  9. ExxonMobil, BHP get environmental nod for Scarborough LNG scheme

    ExxonMobil Corp. and BHP Billiton’s proposed plan to develop the Scarborough natural gas field discovery on the Exmouth plateau offshore Western Australia has received conditional approval from Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

    Initial plans are for a floating LNG (FLNG) development, but there is no guarantee as yet that this will be the final design (OGJ Online, Apr. 2, 2013). It would be larger than the FLNG facilities being built for Shell’s Prelude field in Browse basin further north.

    The FLNG vessel will be 495 m long and 75 m wide. Shell’s Prelude is 488 m by 74 m. The Scarborough vessel will be capable of processing 6-7 million tonnes/year of LNG compared with Prelude’s 3.6 million tpy.

    Front-end engineering and design for the Scarborough FLNG vessel is slated to begin in 2014 with a final investment decision not due until the 2015 fiscal year.

    The Scarborough JV’s environmental application described the project as processing gas from 12 wells to be drilled during two phases from 2018.

    The minister’s conditions of approval relate to precautions to protect humpback and other whales that migrate through the region. The approval also stipulates corridors for any telecommunications cables to be used for communication with the FLNG vessel.

    Scarborough field, discovered in 1979, contains 8-10 tcf of dry gas. Depending on the project being declared viable, FLNG would begin production in 2021.


    Inpex, Partners Move Forward with Canada LNG Project

    INPEX of Japan said that the company and its project partners, Nexen Energy ULC and JGC were jointly awarded the sole proponent right (the exclusive right to move forward with the planning necessary to build LNG export infrastructure) at Grassy Point, British Columbia, Canada, by the Government of British Columbia for the purpose of examining the viability of constructing an LNG plant and export terminal.

    INPEX with its project partners will continue to explore the feasibility of a shale gas LNG business fully aligned with the Government of British Columbia, local communities and other stakeholders, the company said in a statement.