Monday, December 23, 2013

What A Year: 45 Fossil Fuel Disasters The Industry Doesn't Want You To Know About | ThinkProgress

What A Year: 45 Fossil Fuel Disasters The Industry Doesn't Want You To Know About | ThinkProgress

Offshore and Onshore Rigs

January 22: A Devon Energy natural gas rig in Utah catches fire, causing evacuations for half a mile radius of the rig. No injuries are reported.
July 7: A hydraulic fracturing operation at a gas well drilling pad in West Virginia explodes and injures seven people, four with potentially life-threatening burns. The explosion occurred while workers were pumping water down a well, part of the hydraulic fracturing process for recovering gas trapped in shale rock. The tanks that recover the water and chemical mixture after they return to the surface are what reportedly exploded.
July 27: BP’s Hercules 265 offshore gas rig in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana explodes, enveloping the rig in a cloud of gas and a thin sheen of gas in the water. After spewing gas for more than a day, the rig finally “bridged over,” meaning small pieces of sediment and sand blocked more gas from escaping.
August 20: A gas rig belonging to the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan exploded in the Caspian sea while workers were carrying out exploratory drilling, when it hit a pocket of gas at unexpectedly high pressure.
August 28: A “well-control incident” at an oil drilling rig in rural south Texas causes an “intense” explosion after workers were drilling horizontally into the Eagle Ford Shale, causing homes to be evacuated. No injuries reported.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

More Buru Bullshit

What this risk-rating table does not account for is the social activism that is community based and community driven. When these corporations come up against a community that is experienced, educated, trained in activism / direct action and who already have a substantial win under their belts, they know in their hearts that their road map is not adequate.

Buru’s road map will struggle up a very steep hill of obstacles that will take them through the courts, blockades and the share market over a very long time. 

Buru Energy chose to name Buru because it means “Country” in the local Yawuru language. However, they fail to accept Yawuru’s stance on fracking in their country.
"This opposition will remain until Yawuru are satisfied that any fracking activity is safe beyond any scientific doubt."

The Yawuru PBC has not given permission for Buru Energy to undertake fracking on Yawuru country. Yawuru has made a submission to State Government Inquiry on fracking.

Buru fails to respect Yawuru as the Native Title Holders who have faced many adversities and did the hard grind over many years to obtain that recognition. They are not just stakeholders they hold exclusive tenure on paper and within their very souls. 
For Buru Energy  to illiterately  come to a meeting with Yawuru people and explain the fracking process with a bag of jelly beans  shows the depth of their arrogance that is beyond serious comprehension. 

For Mitsubishi and Buru Energy to spin advertisements in our local paper claiming "its our home" just illustrates to the community straight away that they are straight out prevaricators. We know who lives in our home and Buru Energy has never lived here nor were they ever invited in.

The run of ads trying desperately to down play the very issues Mitsubishi and Buru Energy know will cause the most harm. Showing us pictures of a teaspoon of chemicals is a clear indication that Buru has no idea about the level of education held by this community. Its very clear they have no real insight into the weave of the social fabric or the true values held by this community they claim as home. Because if they did they would already understand that this is a community that has clearly shown in blood, sweat and tears that they never give up in the protection of their homes, their water, their environment and their community.

Broome and the surrounding communities have been subjected to textbook strategies undertaken by corporations and their lackey governments to bring down communities. It’s been used across the world, it is well worn and usually a very successful strategy, especially when they can throw a few crumbs to cash strapped community groups to get their million-dollar PR stories and the pretty pictures of black faces.

Over five years our community and our homes were subjected to their divisive tactical antics.  We were called everything under the sun but our bruised community is now a hell of a lot more savvy. In all reality our community should thank Woodside and the Department of State Development for their crash course in community science, education, activism and of course “process”.

Buru is going to have to do a lot better with the wool if they seek to cover our community’s eyes.  The nice community information sessions recently undertaken by the Department of Mines and Petroleum throughout the Kimberley to reassure us all that fracking is safe is not working either. Why? Because we have seen how government departments work, not by legislation, concern, or even fairness of process, they just do as they are told.

This community will continue to educate itself and share that understanding about the nonconventional shale gas fracking. However, once the community has absorbed those facts then we will raise their awareness a little more by exposing them to the truth about the highly toxic process of Buru’s conventional oil extraction at Ungani.  

This oil extraction technique poses even greater threats to our water and the Roebuck Wetlands and the Bay.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Water Corp wants fracking ban - Yahoo!7

Water Corp wants fracking ban - Yahoo!7

One Well = hundreds of fracks, over kilometres underground

WA's monopoly water provider has called for the gas drilling technique known as fracking to be banned in areas where it affects drinking water sources, saying contamination risks are unacceptable. The Water Corporation told an Upper House inquiry into the "implications" of fracking in WA that it opposed the practice in drinking water areas. The State-owned utility unsuccessfully asked for its comments to be kept confidential. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves drilling wells vertically and often horizontally thousands of metres before using water, sand and chemicals to release "unconventional" gas resources such as tight gas and shale gas. The technique has spawned huge industries, especially in the US and increasingly in the Eastern States, and the Barnett Government is hopeful it holds the key to unlocking trillions of cubic feet of onshore gas.
However, Water Corporation said the chemicals used in fracking and the risks of mistakes meant it should be "excluded" from areas that contained drinking water sources. It was particularly worried about the risks to groundwater sources in regional areas where there were no potable water alternatives - except expensive and impractical options.
The corporation said such areas represented less than one per cent of WA's landmass and they should be quarantined from fracking and have a 1.5km buffer to further reduce the risk. "Water Corporation does not endorse any decision to increase public health risks in drinking water source areas as it runs counter with the fundamental principles of drinking water management," it said.
"Such a decision will come at a huge social, financial and ecological cost to the community."
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association spokesman Stedman Ellis said the industry recognised the importance of drinking water sources but fracking was not necessarily incompatible with them. "There are measures within the existing regulatory framework which ensure that sensitive water sources are protected," Mr Ellis said.

"No Fracking Way" Leo Sayer with Aussies Against Fracking - YouTube

"No Fracking Way" Leo Sayer with Aussies Against Fracking - YouTube

We are Aussies Against Fracking, a group of like minded individuals, entertainers and musicians who are opposed to plans and permissions to use Australian Crown Land, private land and residential land for the purpose of Coal Seam Gas mining (Fracking). Though Fracking is being promoted as the answer to Australia's energy needs, we believe this practise is harmful to the environment, human beings, and our flora and fauna. There is clear evidence in the areas where Fracking is already established of sickness, pollution, radiation, poisoning and harm to the environment and local communities. It's time for a proper investigation into this, before even more of our land and environment is damaged beyond repair by Fracking. This video also serves to show our support for the Lock The Gate Alliance.
"No Fracking Way" is written, arranged, produced and performed by Leo Sayer (for Silverbird Songs Australia)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Has a natural world wonder just been approved for destruction by the Australian government? | Alexander White | Environment |

Has a natural world wonder just been approved for destruction by the Australian government? | Alexander White | Environment |

Every day, this Liberal-National government, led by Tony Abbott, provides new examples of its nastiness, its short-sightedness, and its willingness to destroy livelihoods, communities and the environment to enrich the coal and gas baron
Raymond McLaren, 75, is chained to an old car and is blocking access to the mine site along with other protesters from Greenpeace and Lock The Gate. Photograph: Supplied/AAP

Are we going to sit back and allow mining companies and the Governments that support them to destroy our water, our food, our health, our land, our communities and everything we hold dear about Australian life?

This is a battle we did not ask for but one we can not afford to lose. Protecting our nation's clean water is everyone's responsibility and its misuse is our greatest single threat. Start shouting, marching and acting NOW people - BEFORE our beautiful nation is sold out from under us and transformed into a toxic foreign-owned gasfield. The stakes could not be higher..

Let us rise up, put an end to this insanity, turn a new page in our history and live a sustainable existence we can feel good about - a life that respects ourselves, each other and this beautiful land we are so blessed to be custodians of. Dont wait. Act NOW people. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Public to get say on fracking guidelines - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Public to get say on fracking guidelines - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Public to get say on fracking guidelines

The public will soon have an opportunity to comment on new guidelines being developed for companies who want to use fracking to access gas deposits in Western Australia.
The contentious practice, which involves pumping water and chemicals into shale rock several kilometres underground, is already being used to extract gas from the Canning Basin in the Kimberley.

The State Government has been reworking the laws guiding companies, to strengthen reporting and environmental monitoring requirements.

Jason Medd, from the Department of Mines' petroleum division, says the proposed changes will be released for public comment early next year.

"What we're looking at in these guidelines and regulations is we're looking at, where does the company drill a water well to monitor the groundwater? How long do they have to monitor before, after and during an activity? What do they test for? Where are the wells located?" he said.
"These are the things we need to sort out."

Environment groups say it is not yet clear how rigorous the new fracking laws will be.
Environs Kimberley director Martin Pritchard says what is not in doubt is that the practice should be banned in the meantime.

"It's the cart before the horse here," he said.
"We need to stop and take stock of what is actually happening with fracking.
"We need to have a look at the new regulations and see if they're going to address the problems with fracking before any more fracks take place in WA."

Explainer: one-stop-shop for environmental approvals

Explainer: one-stop-shop for environmental approvals
What changes are proposed?
The “one-stop-shop” policy proposes to enter approval bilateral agreements under the EPBC Act with all state and territory governments, thereby delegating final approval powers over projects to them.
While the framework so far released to the public reads like a complete handover of all Commonwealth decisions to the states, the Federal Environment Minister qualified the Coalition’s policy before the election when he was the Coalition’s environment spokesperson. He said in an interview reported in the Weekend Australian in May 2013 that: “some matters would be reserved where the Commonwealth would be the one-stop-shop but overwhelmingly it would be the states."
The Minister confirmed in a radio interview after the election that the Commonwealth will retain control over decisions involving offshore Commonwealth waters, nuclear actions, and projects for which state governments are “likely to have a significant conflict of interest” as the proponent.
Assuming these promises are fulfilled, they alleviate the most significant concern about the one-stop-shop policy: where the state is the proponent they’ll have difficulty making an independent assessment.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fracking’s Harmful Effects Continues to Swell

Australians are turning against the fracking  practice not because they are uneducated, but because the world wide evidence of fracking’s harmful effects continues to swell. In just the last few months, a Duke University study linked fracking to elevated levels of methane, ethane and propane in groundwater; a study out of University of Texas, Arlington found high levels of arsenic and other heavy metals in samples from water wells near active natural gas wells; and last month, a study in Environmental Science and Technology found concentrations of radium in the Allegheny River 200 times normal levels, as a result of fracking waste disposal. Recent studies also confirm that the common practice of shoving fracking waste down underground injection wells causes earthquakes. Or even more outrageous  is Buru’s Energy latest claim that they will recycle their toxic tailing produced water. The details of where and how they intend to do this and what they will use the recycle toxic wastes for is all a bit ambiguous. While fracking’s impacts are increasingly clear, what is unclear is why the Australian federal and state continues to make huge provisions for oil and gas corporation’s interests, ignoring the science—even when the data comes from their own departments.  
A bit-o-background: all natural gas is contaminated with some radioactive radon gas. Radon is produced constantly as the uranium in all rocks undergoes radioactive decay. Natural gas extracted from a uranium deposit contains more radon than natural gas extracted from ordinary rocks. Radon decays rapidly which means it is highly radioactive. It lasts long enough to reach places where the natural gas is consumed, like your home. Burning it mixed with natural gas in, say, in a cookstove doesn't change it at all. It survives the flames and enters the room air where you can breathe it. If it decays in your lungs, the cells nearby are blasted with ionizing radiation at close range. This is one way cancer is known to be initiated.
There isn’t a lot there. If you cook and heat with gas, you get exposed to a dose of radioactivity a mere 15 times what you’d be exposed to if you lived right next door to a nuclear reactor and you used nuclear electricity to cook and heat with instead of gas. Because reactors emit so little radiation, 15 times as much as what living next to a reactor exposes you to isn’t dangerous.

The authorities I got the 15 times figure from put it online to show people who worry about nuclear reactors how safe they are. They weren’t trying to pin a label of radioactive danger on natural gas. But how will people feel if the new gas exposes them to hundreds of times more radioactivity than a reactor?
Turning to the DOE study: Review of Rn222 In Natural Gas Produced From Unconventional Sources:

SBS On Demand | TV and Online Video - Lurujarri Dreaming

SBS On Demand | TV and Online Video - Lurujarri DreamingThis beautifully crafted animated documentary retraces the Lurujarri Dreaming Trail from the Goolarabooloo community in the Western Kimberley region of Western Australia

TimFlannery,Palaeontologist and former Australian of the year had this to say about #JamesPricePoint
“Plenty of Australia’s Coastline is special. But there is nothing like this, James Price Point is just unique. It brings together Aboriginal Australia and European Australia in a way that nowhere else on the continent does. It’s the origin of the dreamtime for Aboriginal people across a great swathe of the continent and for European people it’s an incredible repository of ancient knowledge, a vanished world.”

Fractured Country: An Unconventional Invasion #1 (Australia) | Watch Documentary Free Online


Fractured Country: An Unconventional Invasion #1 (Australia) | Watch Documentary Free Online

Fractured Country: an Unconventional Invasion' is a new film from Lock the Gate Alliance (Australia) about the risks to communities from invasive coal seam gasfields. There are six webisodes in the series with each one focusing on a different aspect of this issue.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Police probe Great Northern Highway chemical spill

ABC Kimberley reported:

Police probe Great Northern Highway chemical spill

It is not clear what caused a truck rollover in the East Kimberley that disrupted the weekend travel plans of dozens of motorists.
On Friday morning, the trailer of a road train tipped over just east of Warmun, spilling ammonium nitrate across the bitumen.
The Great Northern Highway had to be shut for 10 hours while a fire and emergency services crew assessed the scene and oversaw the clean-up.
By 6:00pm (AWST), the chemicals were cleaned up and a crane had removed the trailer, meaning the highway could reopen.
Warmun police will investigate what caused the accident.
Articles The Hazards and Dangers of Ammonium Nitrate

What is Ammonium Nitrate?
Ammonium nitrate is an odorless, colorless or white, crystal salt produced by the reaction 

of ammonia and nitric acid. 

How is Ammonium Nitrate used? 
Ammonium nitrate is an important component of many fertilizer mixtures. It provides a 

source of nitrogen to plants, which increases growth and crop yields.
Small quantities of ammonium nitrate are also sold as an additive for mining explosives 
and other nonagricultural uses.

What are the potential hazards?
Under normal handling conditions, ammonium nitrate is not harmful. However, inhalation 

of high concentrations of ammonium nitrate dust can cause respiratory tract irritation. 
Symptoms may include: coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, or even suffocation. 
When swallowed in high concentrations, ammonium nitrate may cause headache, dizziness,
 abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, weakness, a tingling sensation, 
heart and circulation irregularities, convulsions, collapse, and suffocation. 
Ammonium nitrate forms a mild acid when mixed with water. 
This acid can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and skin.
Is Ammonium Nitrate flammable or explosive?
Ammonium nitrate rating is non flammable, a fire from ammonium nitrate is very unlikely,

 but it is a strong oxidizing agent that can cause combustible materials 
(such as wood, paper, and oil) to ignite. Only under extreme conditions of heat and 
pressure in a confined space will ammonium nitrate explode. 
Should such an incident occur, there may be a visible cloud of ammonia, carbon
 dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

Buru Energy

Buru Energy

Operations Update

Buru Energy Limited (“Buru) is pleased to provide an update on the Company’s operations.
  •   Ungani 3D Seismic Survey results confirm the potential of the Ungani Field
  •   Well workovers on Ungani 1 and Ungani 2 successfully completed
  •   Production start-up preparations at Ungani Field progressing, with first oil produced into on-site tanks next week
  •   Site works for oil export through the Port of Wyndham completed on time and on budget
  •   Crusader Rig mobilisation to Ungani 3 estimated for 10 December, rig up and acceptance
    scheduled between 20 - 23 December, with spud expected to occur immediately thereafter
  •   6+ well program planned for 2014 plus extensive additional 2D and 3D seismic 

This rig is Now ON THE MOVE

The first two triple road trains to carry crude from Ungani to Wyndham have been mobilised, providing an initial trucking capacity of 600bbl/d. These road trains will be on standby in Broome until we are ready to produce first oil. Additional trucks will be added as the initial extended test production levels increase ahead of commitment to full field development in first quarter of 2014.

 Canning Basin presents a different set of challenges for Advanced Energy Group, Crusader 405 was specifically chosen for its high level of mobility and reliability. “We invested significant time and effort finding the right rig for Western Australia,” he said. “We have now assembled a world class rig crew to operate and maintain Crusader 405 and are focused on the creation and delivery of value to our clients.”
Paul Tudor
Direct: +61 8 6500 7502
Mobile: +61 409 070 678
About the Advanced Energy Group

Shire of Broome - People : Place : Prosperity

Shire of Broome - People : Place : Prosperity

Development Assessment Panel Application – Drilling Fluids Facility

The Shire has received an application for planning approval for a Drilling Fluids Facility on portion of Lot 621 and 698 Port Drive, Minyirr. The application seeks approval to construct a number of buildings and storage vessels which will be used to batch, store and transfer both synthetic and water based drilling fluids.
The application will be determined by the Kimberley Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP). The Shire will provide an update on this page once the date of the JDAP meeting has been confirmed.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Extreme Ice Survey

Truly beautiful and courageous film, in case you have any lingering doubt about the reality of climate change, watch this...and help outlaw fracking!


 Ice Documentary Film Trailer, in select theaters on November 9th, 2012. More infos here

Acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog was once a skeptic about climate change. But through his Extreme Ice Survey, he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. In Chasing Ice, Balog deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Traveling with a team of young adventurers across the brutal Arctic, Balog risks his career and his well-being in pursuit of the biggest story facing humanity. As the debate polarizes America, and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Chasing Ice depicts a heroic photojournalist on a mission to deliver fragile hope to our carbon-powered planet. 

"If there was ever a film that needed to be on the big screen, this is it!" - David Courier, Sundance senior programmer.

Chasing Ice Trailer (2012). Suscribe now to get the latest documentary films trailers and videos !

Nauru immigration detention centre – exclusive pictures | World news |

Nauru immigration detention centre – exclusive pictures | World news |

Is this a FAIR GO? , shame Australia, SHAME
An asylum seeker child seeks shade under a piece of cardboard

Uranium mine spill near Jabiru, Northern Territory, locals fear for Kakadu National Park - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Uranium mine spill near Jabiru, Northern Territory, locals fear for Kakadu National Park - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Uranium mine spill near Jabiru, Northern Territory, locals fear for Kakadu National Park

Updated 1 hour 16 minutes ago
There has been a serious spill of contaminated slurry at a uranium mine near Jabiru in the Northern Territory.
The Ranger mine's operator Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) said a tank in the processing area of the mine failed about 1:00am.
Workers discovered a hole in the side of the tank and were evacuated before the tank burst and "a mixture of slurry escaped".
The mine is surrounded by Kakadu National Park and is located about 230 kilometres east of Darwin.
Traditional owner groups said they are "sick with worry" about the potential environment impact, but ERA spokesman Tim Eckersley said there is no environmental emergency.
"They evacuated the area and at about 1:00am the tank basically split at the bottom and the processing slurry, which is a mixture of mud and water, has spilled out the bottom of the tank.
"That's the beginning of our processing operations, so it's a mixture of ground-up uranium ore and acid."
He said the material mostly spilled onto compacted earth, tarmac and drains.
"It's very impervious material so there's very little chance of it leaking into the soil there."
The company said earlier in a statement that the slurry moved outside the containment area, but was captured and contained on-site.
"As the material was contained within the processing area there is no impact on the environment surrounding the Ranger Project Area."