AGL has applied to resume fracking in the Gloucester valley.
The company announced on Tuesday that it has applied to the NSW Office of Coal Seam Gas to 'perforate, hydraulically fracture stimulate and flow gas' from the existing four wells.
Group general manager Upstream Gas, Mike Moraza, said that this pilot project is an important part of the exploration phase of the Gloucester Gas Project to prove up gas reserves for NSW.
“With NSW requiring additional supplies of gas from 2016, this project is important because it supports AGL’s efforts to unlock a significant volume of gas in the Gloucester region to meet the needs of NSW families, communities and businesses,” he said.
But the news has angered the Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham. He has called on the O’Farrell Government to honour its promise not to allow coal seam gas within 2km of residential areas and reject the proposal lodged by AGL to frack the four coal seam gas wells in the Gloucester Valley.
According to Mr Buckingham if approved it would be the first fracking operation proposed since the government lifted its moratorium on fracking. "The coal seam gas wells are only 600 metres from homes at Forbesdale, near Gloucester," he said.
“This proposal breaches Barry O’Farrell’s promise to stop fracking and drilling within 2km of residential areas and the government should reject this plan and tell AGL to keep more than two kilometres away from people’s homes.
“All citizens of NSW, including the people of the Gloucester Valley deserve the protection that Barry O’Farrell promised in February this year with the two kilometre buffer zone between coal seam gas and homes".
AGL said it will carry out the Waukivory Pilot in accordance with best practice environmental health and safety standards.
“The Greens are also concerned about potential to contaminate underground and surface water, such as the Manning River," he said.
AGL said any adverse impacts are expected to be negligible or low.
“Emissions from these four wells are estimated by AGL to be 65,000 tonnes of CO2e. That’s the equivalent of 13,000 cars driving around for a year. Venting and flaring will also release volatile organic compounds, which are a concern for human health," said Mr Buckingham.
“This is not a clean energy, it is not appropriate to frack coal seam gas near people’s homes and the government should reject this application,” he said.