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Lock the Gate claims Beetaloo hopefuls secretly after oil

08 Feb 2019 3:02 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

FRACCING protest group Lock the Gate is accusing explorers in the Northern Territory of hiding their true motive for exploration activities, suggesting they are searching for oil and not gas in a misunderstanding of the term ‘liquids-rich’.

The protest group has condemned Origin Energy among other operators in the Beetaloo Basin, claiming that companies are hiding plans to frac shale oil and are misleading the public.  

The basis for this seems to be the descriptor ‘liquids-rich gas', which was not explicitly defined during the Rachel Pepper-led scientific inquiry into fraccing that lifted the moratorium last year but imposed 135 recommendations for its safe practice.  

"This is a case of resource companies and the NT (Michael) Gunner government pulling the wool over the eyes of NT residents," Lock the Gate coordinator Jesse Hancock said in a statement.   

"Fracking companies can call it by any name they want but it's shale oil, and oil presents a much greater risk to communities, especially in terms of transportation," Hancock said. 

The existence of oil in the Beetaloo is well known and there is little subterfuge around going it after - plenty want to -  but Lock the Gate has conflated gas plays with separate oil ones in this case.  

Origin told the Katherine Times that Lock the Gate have "simply misunderstood the phrase ‘liquids rich' gas." 

Origin plans to appraise the liquids rich Kyalla shale Velkerri shale formations for liquids rich gas this year and also has an interest in developing the Hayfield Sanstone oil and condensate play. 

The claims by Lock the Gate come as Federal resources minister Matt Canavan told reporters at a press conference in Darwin that the Beetaloo Basin remained the "best immediate prospect" for domestic oil production. 

Source: Energy News Bulletin

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