Appea urges Northern Territory Government to reconsider ban on fracking


The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (Appea) has appealed to the Northern Territory (NT) Government to roll back the existing ban on hydraulic fracturing.

The industry body highlighted that the development of onshore gas industry in the region has the potential to bring steady, long-term revenue of between $236m and $460m per annum for the government.

In September last year, the government announced a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing of onshore unconventional reservoirs, following which an independent scientific enquiry was launched in December to investigate the environmental, social and economic risks of fracking.

Speaking at the South East Asia Offshore and Onshore Conference, Appea chairperson Martin Ferguson stated that more than 90% of the NT’s electricity generation comes from natural gas.

"The industry body highlighted that the development of onshore gas industry in the region has the potential to bring steady, long-term revenue of between $236m and $460m per annum for the government."

He remarked that the development of onshore gas projects could ensure better returns for the region than existing offshore projects such as Darwin LNG, Blacktip and Ichthys.

Ferguson also pointed out that the development of onshore resources will lead to regional development and infrastructure investment, as well as ensure job creation in Darwin and Palmerston.

In addition, he quoted a Deloitte Access Economics report, which found that an NT onshore gas industry could provide a cumulative boost to gross state product of up to $22.4bn between 2020 and 2040, and create up to 6,300 jobs.

Noting that the risks associated with fracking are manageable, Ferguson called for a regulatory framework as the need of the hour.


Image: Appea chairperson Martin Ferguson said that the revenue from onshore fracking to the Northern Territory Government is expected to be between $236m and $460m per annum. Photo: courtesy of Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association.