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.


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  2. A bit surprised that my son came home from school yesterday with an attendance award with "Buru Energy" on it and a $20 gift card for Target.
    Gratefully accepted and duly spent - Merry Xmas.

  3. Oil price shocks keep coming - it is not all plain sailing for Buru.


    US Production Makes Huge Gains; Mexico Allows Foreign Exploration

    The news that Mexico will allow foreigners to search for oil and gas, and that U.S. oil production could set a new record as early as 2016 sent shock waves through the industry.

    The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted on December 16 that oil production in the United States will grow 800,000 barrels per day (b/d) through 2016. If this occurs, domestic oil production will hit its historic high of 9.6 million b/d that was achieved almost 50 years ago in 1970.

    With domestic crude oil production rising to 9.5 MMbbl/d in 2016, the net import share of U.S. petroleum and other liquids supply will fall to about 25%.

    The Brent crude oil spot price declines from $112 per barrel (bbl) (in 2012 dollars) in 2012 to $92/bbl in 2017. After 2017, the Brent spot oil price increases, reaching $141/bbl in 2040 due to growing demand that requires the development of more costly resources. World liquids consumption grows from 89 MMbbl/d in 2012 to 117 MMbbl/d in 2040, driven by growing demand in China, India, Brazil, and other developing economies.

    While domestic crude oil production is projected to level off and then slowly decline after 2020, natural gas production grows steadily, with a 56% increase between 2012 and 2040, when production reaches 37.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), according to EIA.

    Projected low prices for natural gas make it a very attractive fuel for new generating capacity. In some areas, natural-gas-fired generation replaces power formerly supplied by coal and nuclear plants. In 2040, natural gas accounts for 35% of total electricity generation, while coal accounts for 32%. Electric power generation from renewables is bolstered by legislation enacted at the beginning of 2013 extending tax credits for generation from wind and other renewable technologies.

    EIA also believes that LNG exports of natural gas will increase to 3.5 Tcf before 2030 and remain at that level through 2040. Pipeline exports of U.S. natural gas to Mexico grow by 6% per year, from 0.6 Tcf in 2012 to 3.1 Tcf in 2040, and pipeline exports to Canada grow by 1.2% per year, from 1.0 Tcf in 2012 to 1.4 Tcf in 2040. Over the same period, U.S. pipeline imports from Canada fall by 30%, from 3.0 Tcf in 2012 to 2.1 Tcf in 2040, as more U.S. demand is met by domestic production.

    Total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions remain below their 2005 level (6 billion metric tons) through 2040, when they reach 5.6 billion metric tons. CO2 emissions per 2005 dollar of GDP decline more rapidly than energy use per dollar, to 56% below their 2005 level in 2040, as lower-carbon fuels account for a growing share of total energy use.

    Mexico’s Congress voted on December 12 to end the state-owned monopoly on oil and gas exploration and production, and should allow foreign oil companies to return to Mexico.

    The changes allow for contracts that are seen as globally competitive, including licenses that allow foreign companies to take control of the oil as it comes out of the well. Mexico retains ownership of the oil and gas underground. Of course, royalties and taxes must be paid from the produced hydrocarbons.

    Alex Mills is President of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.

  4. China Finds Major Gas Hydrate Reserve in South China Sea

    BEIJING, Dec 19 (Reuters) - China said it has identified a major gas hydrate reserve in the northern part of the South China Sea, joining a small group of nations in the world seeking to tap a potentially vaste future source of energy. There is currently no technology to commercially unlock the energy also known as "flammable ice", gas frozen in ice-like crystals buried deep under the oceans and experts say commercial, scaled development could be beyond 2030. China's Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) announced on Tuesday it had found a gas hydrate reserve that spans 55 square kms (34 square miles) in the Pearl River Mouth basin with controlled reserve equivalent to 100-150 billion cubic metres (bcm) natural gas, according to a report carried on the ministry's website ( That would be the size of a major conventional natural gas field, like in China's top gas province Sichuan. Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey Bureau, an MLR unit, collected samples of "high purity" gas hydrates over nearly four months of surveys and drilling of 23 wells in the waters off south China's Guangdong province. Two gas hydrate layers with a thickness of 15-30 metres were found just below the seabed, which was at a depth of 600 to 1,000 metres. "It marks a breakthrough in investigating the resource and proves that the Pearl River Mouth basin is rich in gas hydrate," the report said, adding China becomes the fourth country in the world to have collected sample of the methane hydrate after the U.S., Japan and India. Che Changbo, deputy director of MLR's Geological Exploration Department, said China would collect more samples from target areas and increase research into how to tap the energy source. "Without mature technology, nobody will be able to develop this resource," Che told Reuters by telephone. China, the world's top energy, formally started studies of gas hydrate since 2002, when the government listed it as a national research project. Japan, which barely has any indigenous energy resources, was probably the only country so far that has extracted gas from hydrate deposits. In 2008, state-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) demonstrated for the first time a nearly six-day continuous period of production of methane gas from hydrate reserves held deep in permafrost in Canada. In March, Japan succeeded in producing 120,000 cubic metres of gas over six days from a test exploration in the Pacific Ocean off Aichi Prefecture in central Japan. In 2010, the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook (WEO) estimated that methane hydrates contained almost twice as much energy as all the world's resources of gas, oil and coal combined. Technological challenges are immense as hydrates are only stable under specific temperature and pressure.

  5. Canadian federal government says it would give ultimate approval for BC LNG projects

    Tuesday, 17 December 2013

    The Canadian National Energy Board has approved the applications of four LNG export projects in British Columbia but the federal government in Ottawa as an extra precaution said it would review all the board's LNG decisions.

  6. Yes, thats right, Buru are out in our schools, giving money to our kids, if a stranger did that, the police would be called. Why doesnt Buru not meet with the community. Same old game, same old crap.

    1. Yes same old same old.

      But a point has been proved and learnt - the true cost of greenfields development and the power of determined local opposition.

      No one in the oil and gas industry has missed that.

      There is also no doubt Barnett has lost a lot of political capital over JPP - no one has missed that.

      Buru knows this is a very long game indeed - so it has figured that by the time they are competitive the kids now at school will be grown up with families to look after and debts of their own.

      This is where programs to get kids bush and respect the environment are important - the Lurujarri Heritage Trail especially.

      I guess that's why they see the "Trail" as something that is threatening to them and must be wiped off the map.

      Stay home kids and play your X Box - we will even chip in for a new game.

      - Remember all the comments about JPP being a dusty fly ridden hell hole that needed to be wiped off the map?

      Would you like your kids to work for Boiley's for example?Or any other company that will censor your thoughts and feelings and sack you for non compliance?

      Merry Xmas Broome.

  7. The Yawuru submission is very well written indeed and it's great to see they have a good grasp of all the issues.Well done to Pat and his team.

    An obvious answer to some (maybe all?) of their questions is "Buru don't have the money for this."

    Is "Because we can't afford it" good enough?


    Q "Why hasn’t WA developed standards or a reference document for produced water disposal and wastewater treatment?

    If evaporation ponds for produced water from fracking practices are banned in Queensland and NSW, why are they being proposed for WA?"

    A "Way too expensive."


    Q "Usually the risk to groundwater ecology is low to moderate but because of the lack of information on “deep stratigraphy, faults, discontinuities, stress distribution and deep hydrogeological processes”, there is high uncertainty about the impacts ."

    A "Way too expensive."


    Q "A precautionary approach needs to be taken; hence, Yawuru submits that more public information on the subsurface ecology of the region as well as broader environmental and scientific studies about fracking impacts and risks is required prior to further exploration and development."

    A "Way too expensive."


    Q "Have health impact studies been conducted to assess the human health effects of air pollution as a result of fracking?"

    A "Way too expensive - and anyway all this information needs to be covered up."


    Q "Many scientists and groups advocate for the ‘precautionary principle’, which draws upon the principle of ‘first, do no harm’ (Finkel and Law 2011:785) and which argues that if there is uncertainty about an action causing harm, “then in the absence of a scientific consensus” the burden of proof rests with the proponents of the activity (Bamberger and Oswald 2012:52). "

    A "Way too expensive - nothing would ever get done."


    Q "Whilst Yawuru acknowledge that disclosure is a crucial step, knowledge of the potential environmental and public health impacts of the chemicals is equally, if not more, important. Yawuru understands that DMP ‘encourages’ operators to carry out their own environmental risk assessments of chemicals if the operator deems a risk to be moderate to high. DMP state they are responsible for assessing products that pose unacceptable risks and impacts to the environment; however, DMP will only assess hazards and risks on a case-by-case basis (Government of Western Australia 2013b:4)."

    A "Way too expensive - politically."


    Q "The Department of State Development failed to engage with Yawuru during the process of forming and finalising this State Agreement, and Yawuru first became aware of the State Agreement through an Australian Stock Exchange announcement. "

    A "Way too expensive - we get what we want all others get f*cked."


    Q "
    What do the best practice, standards and codes of plugging and abandonment of wells require?

    What processes does DMP have in place for monitoring abandoned wells, ensuring there are no gas leaks or contamination of surface waters? For how long will abandoned well sites continue to be monitored? "

    A "Way too expensive - taxpayer funded."


    And so on and so forth.

  8. Gas fracking wars to open up on a new front

    The Australian |
    December 30, 2013

    THE remote Kimberley region, which contains the nation's most lucrative untapped shale gas deposits and is attracting rising interest from major petroleum companies, is poised to become the next battleground for companies seeking to use hydraulic fracturing amid vocal opposition from green activists, Aboriginal groups and West Australian health authorities.

    More than 100 submissions sent to a parliamentary inquiry before Christmas reveal the depth of opposition to the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, despite industry groups insisting that the practice is not harmful to the environment and the mining of fresh onshore gas reserves would lower domestic gas prices.

    The likely development of a shale gas industry in Western Australia follows intense debate in other states over the use of fracking. Victoria recently banned the activity until July 2015.

    Some companies have also encountered strong opposition from farmers and environmentalists in NSW and Queensland over plans to extract coal-seam gas using fracking.

    With the debate set to ignite in the resource-rich state of Western Australia, Howard government minister Peter Reith yesterday called on the Barnett government to stand up to environmentalists who are gearing up to campaign against fracking, saying it had been proven to be a safe practice and new discoveries would help bring down domestic gas prices. "I'd be surprised if the state government in WA would take a green line on it," said Mr Reith, who led an inquiry into the gas sector for the Victorian government.

    West Australian Mines Minister Bill Marmion said last night the government would ensure all future shale gas projects were assessed, with auditors conducting inspections to check compliance with safety and environmental standards.

    Western Australia has potential onshore shale gas resources of 267 trillion cubic feet, a figure that dwarfs the state's current consumption of 0.5 trillion cubic feet of gas per year.

    Much of the gas is located in the onshore Canning Basin in the Kimberley, which was also the scene of a recent dispute involving industry, environmentalists and indigenous groups over plans - since abandoned - by Woodside Petroleum to build a gas plant at James Price Point.

    In its submission to the West Australian fracking inquiry, the Yawuru native title body, led by respected indigenous elder Patrick Dodson, said it was opposed to the practice on its traditional lands until independent scientific evidence proved "beyond doubt" that its water supplies would be safe. "The implications of potential water contamination through fracking would be devastating for Yawuru," it said.

    "More information is necessary to ensure that fracking does not cause irreversible harm to human health, the natural environment and indigenous people's enjoyment of and connection to country."

    A Broome-based academic and Aboriginal leader, Anne Poelina, said yesterday that a big group of local indigenous people had met recently to co-ordinate their opposition to fracking.

    She said many were concerned about companies being able to ignore the wishes of traditional owners to push through projects with potential environmental impacts.

    "A lot of things are being fast-tracked through the native title process - there is no time for the science," she said.

  9. Gas fracking wars to open up on a new front

    But the oil and gas industry said fracking had been conducted for decades without incident and the development of the state's unconventional gas resources would create jobs, boost the economy and lower greenhouse emissions.

    Fracking involves drilling into the earth before a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals is injected to free gas from rocks deep underground.

    Most shale gas deposits in Western Australia are at a depth of 1500m-3000m below groundwater, much deeper than the wells drilled for coal-seam gas deposits on the east coast. However, some believe there is still a risk chemicals can leak into aquifers and pollute the groundwater.

    The industry's peak body, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, said with appropriate monitoring and robust regulation in place, shale and tight gas resources could be developed safely in the state as a key energy source.

    "The industry has the technical capability to develop shale and tight gas resources but acceptable development of the industry will rely on community confidence," it said. "This confidence will require robust regulation, responsible operator practices and early and effective communication with stakeholders."

    But in its submission to the inquiry, the state government-owned Water Corporation called for fracking to be banned from public drinking-water areas.

    "The liability of the WA government and Water Corporation for any illness (or even death) associated with water-borne contamination of drinking water as a result of the relaxation of access restrictions should be a serious concern," it said.

    The Water Corporation said it had been hindered in attempting to understand the risks of fracking by the "inability to obtain regular and valued communications" with the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

    The state Department of Health said it had conducted a study which found that fracking had the potential to contaminate groundwater, including drinking-water supplies.

    It said it should be given the power to assess the public health risks of fracking before any drilling takes place.

    The Lock the Gate Alliance, a lobby group that has campaigned against fracking on the east coast, urged the state government to impose a moratorium on the expansion of the shale gas industry in the state until the risks were fully understood.

    The Conservation Council of Western Australia said it disputed industry claims that the risk of water contamination due to fracking was negligible because most deposits were deeper than in other states and overseas.

    "US studies have found clear evidence of groundwater pollution from shale and tight gas developments where target formations are at similar depths to those in Western Australia," it said.

  10. Buru boss backs fracking 'only if locals approve'

    The Australian |
    December 30, 2013

    THE oil and gas executive who has led the charge into Western Australia's highly prospective Canning Basin, Buru Energy executive director Eric Streitberg, says the company will not engage in hydraulic fracturing -- or fracking -- in the environmentally sensitive Kimberley region until community concerns have been allayed.

    With the Kimberley set to become the next battleground for explorers hunting for unconventional gas, Mr Streitberg urged those campaigning against fracking to listen to the "facts and the science" on the controversial practice.

    Buru is the biggest and most advanced of the listed companies working in the onshore Canning Basin, which has been identified as the most prospective region for unconventional gas in the world outside the US, with about 229 trillion cubic feet of gas. But it is busy trying to convince communities in the Kimberley that fracking is environmentally safe.

    Buru has submitted plans to frack several shale gas wells near Broome next year as it seeks to prove up its Canning Basin gas resources.

    With its joint venture partner, Japanese corporate giant Mitsubishi, Buru is also planning to build a 600km pipeline to Port Hedland to sell gas into the domestic network, a move WA Premier Colin Barnett has said will bring down prices and secure the state's energy supplies.

    But traditional owners of the land have expressed opposition to fracking until scientific evidence proves it is safe, while green groups are also preparing to campaign against the controversial activity.

    In its submission to a WA parliamentary inquiry, the Yawuru native title body, led by respected indigenous elder Patrick Dodson, says it is opposed to fracking on its traditional lands in the Kimberley until independent scientific evidence proves beyond doubt that the practice will not contaminate water supplies.

    It says the implications of potential water contamination through fracking would be "devastating".

  11. Buru boss backs fracking 'only if locals approve'

    Mr Streitberg said yesterday that Buru's task in convincing locals of the merits of an unconventional gas industry was being made more difficult by misinformation that had emanated from the debate over coal-seam gas on the east coast.

    "The issue for most of us is that the science is quite clear -- there are no major environmental issues with it," he told The Australian. "We've just got to be able to demonstrate that. Two or three years ago nobody had ever heard of fracking. Now there is great controversy raging around it on the basis of very few facts."

    Fracking involves drilling into the earth before a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals is injected to free gas from rocks deep underground. But some claim there is a risk that the chemicals can leak into aquifers and pollute the groundwater.

    Mr Streitberg said although Buru had announced plans for fracking in 2014, the explorer was focused on consultation with communities in the Kimberley.

    "We've submitted environmental management plans for a series of fracks and we'll do them once all the consultation process is finished and everybody is comfortable with what we're doing," he said.

    Mr Streitberg, a former chairman of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, said he believed opposition to fracking was from a "very narrow sector" of the community.

    But he understood why traditional owners wanted more information before they were comfortable with fracking on their lands.

    "They want to see an independent review of the science and the facts, basically, and we'll go through that process with them," Mr Streitberg said.

    "It's quite reasonable that they want to be reassured that there's not going to be any significant or long-term impact on their country."

    In its submission to the inquiry, the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum says the shale and tight gas industry is in its early exploration stage in WA and estimates that it could take eight to 10 years before substantial production occurs due to limiting factors including lack of equipment and the remote location of the resources.

    The department says the process of fracking is not new to WA and has been applied safely to more than 780 wells since 1958, mainly on Barrow Island, which has maintained its status as an A-class nature reserve.