Search for Gingin gas due to start next year

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Anti-fracking campaigners want Energy Resources to rule out fracking around Gingin, Dandaragan, Jurien, Mingenew, Irwin, Carnamah and Coorow. Picture: Simon Stevens Photography

ENERGY Resources has started community consultation with Gingin landowners prior to it starting a seismic survey to help it identify sites near the Red Gully gas plant that may be worth developing.

On Friday, November 22 an Energy Resources spokeswoman said the company was planning a seismic program in the Perth Basin in 2020.

“Community consultation is underway and we are engaging with landholders within the survey boundaries,’’ she said.

“We take our engagement with landholders and all local stakeholders very seriously.

“(But) Energy Resources has no plans for a well in either EP389 or EP440 next year.”

Energy Resources is a subsidiary of Mineral Resources, which acquired the assets of Empire Oil and Gas in 2017 – its website says it has the potential to supply natural gas to reduce its parent’s dependence on diesel fuels.

It holds nine exploration permits across five locations in the onshore Perth Basin, which extend from south of the Perth metropolitan area to the Shire of Mingenew in the north.

On Wednesday anti-fracking campaigners at the Mineral Resources annual general meeting called on the company’s board and shareholders to rule out fracking around Gingin, Dandaragan, Jurien, Mingenew, Irwin, Carnamah and Coorow.

Lock the Gate coordinator Simone van Hattem said many communities had declared themselves gasfield free since the McGowan Government overturned the fracking moratorium so fracking companies did not have a social licence to operate in the region.

Ms van Hattem said there were other ways for Mineral Resources to make value for its shareholders.

“Renewable energy is the future, not fossil fuels with massive amounts of fugitive emissions,’’ she said.

“Unconventional gas is a polluting fuel that should not be allowed to put farmland at risk.”

She said at the AGM, Minerals Resources’ managing director Chris Ellison did not rule out fracking in the Gingin area.

Yanchep News Online understands the company is targeting conventional gas located within exploration permits 389 and 440.

The final report of the Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in Western Australia 2018 (the 2018 fracking report) shows that two wells in the Shire of Gingin are among more than 600 wells in WA to have already undergone hydraulic fracture stimulation (fracking) in the past.

According to Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety information the Bootine well west of Gingin on November 22, 1981 and the Gingin 1 well also west of Gingin back in July 1965 both underwent fracking.

The 2018 fracking report also said the Northern Perth Basin was being explored for tight gas – the term commonly used to refer to low permeability reservoirs that produce mainly dry natural gas.

The Northern Perth Basin has several known tight gasfields, including Warro, Gingin, Corybas, Senecio and West Erregulla.

In Western Australia, the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 defines a tight petroleum reservoir as having permeability less than 0.1 mD.

“Tight gas formations are generally more permeable than shale gas formations but hydraulic fracture stimulation is often also required to produce tight gas,’’ the 2018 fracking report said.

The Shire of Gingin took a stance against fracking earlier this year but then in June decided not to formulate a policy position about fracking in the shire and that it had no control over fracking, which is governed by the state government.

Gingin supports anti-frackers but has no control