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NT drops gas development draft code for comment

04 Apr 2019 3:28 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

THE Northern Territory government has released its draft Code of Practice for onshore gas development a day after the Federal budget allocated $8.4 million over four years for feasibility studies in the Beetaloo Sub-basin, where Santos and Origin are expected to drill two wells each before the wet season. 

The Top End government calls it "a major step forward in delivering a transparent, accountable onshore gas industry that will create jobs for Territorians while protecting the environment".  

The 120 page draft code, based around the 135 recommendations of the scientific inquiry into fraccing of last year, is available for public comment until May 2.  

"Our government is taking action so that as the Territory's onshore gas industry emerges, our unique natural environment and existing industries are protected," the minister for primary industry and resources Paul Kirby said.  

"The Inquiry said that the design and implementation of a robust regulatory framework was a fundamental precursor to the development of any onshore shale gas industry in the NT.  

CSIRO senior research scientist energy Dr Cameron Huddlestone-Holmes called the code's development "technically sound and pragmatic".   

"Over the past six months, working under the direction of the NT Government, we have collaborated with policy makers, industry representatives, and CSIRO's own technical experts to develop a Code of Practice that addresses the relevant recommendations from the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing. 

"The Code of Practice draws on similar regulatory instruments in other jurisdictions, NT government policy and the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing's final report," he said.  

However, something to be noted is the code is not restricted to unconventional exploration but  will apply "to all activities involved in both conventional and unconventional oil and gas exploration, appraisal, development and production and ancillary activities in the Northern Territory. This Code covers all petroleum activities," it said.  

Energy News will update with more information soon. 

 SOURCE: Energy News Bulletin

The code can be downloaded here: https://haveyoursay.nt.gov.au/44527/documents/101939

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