Groundwater Q&A with the EPA

Groundwater Q&A with the EPA

During 2021 as Santos applied to vary their Environmental Protection Licence 20350 to downsize monitoring of groundwater in the Pilliga Forest we contacted a hydrogeologist at the EPA for answers to some of our questions. The EPA could not explain why the pH of Monitoring Point 13 rapidly dropped by 5 points (see Question 1). To date we have been given no explanation for this worrying downwards trend from alkaline to acid within a formation that Santos characterised as alkaline. The EPA state: “The neutralizing trend of pH observed at Monitoring Point 13…continue reading →
Santos ignores cumulative impact of Pilliga gas pipeline

Santos ignores cumulative impact of Pilliga gas pipeline

Santos, the South Australian gas company, has lodged a Scoping Report for a new methane gas pipeline to connect its proposed Narrabri Gas Project (approved in 2020, but not yet commenced) with the yet-to-be built Hunter to Queensland Gas Pipeline some 60 km to the south east at the small town of Baan Baa. The 50-55 cm diameter steel pipeline will be approximately 55km in length and result in clearing an estimated 120 Ha of native Pilliga Forest vegetation. NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s government declared the proposed “lateral pipeline” critical state significant infrastructure,…continue reading →
Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline has no consent from majority of landholders

Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline has no consent from majority of landholders

By Peter Wills The Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline was originally scoped out in the mid 2000’s and a 200m wide pipeline corridor study area approved in 2009 for 10 years. In 2018 the project was extended for a further 5 years by the NSW State Planning Department with a new expiry date of October 2024 for significant works to have started. Landholders had no contact from the proponent from 2011 until mid-2020 when the project re-employed staff to progress the project. From these interactions between the proponent and some proactive landholders there now…continue reading →
Maules Creek Coal Mine – Modification 9 – Biodiversity Offsets Submission

Maules Creek Coal Mine – Modification 9 – Biodiversity Offsets Submission

1 Introduction North West Protection Advocacy is based in Coonabarabran, New South Wales. We are a community group that conducts research and advocacy in relation to environmental impacts of hazardous industries in north-west New South Wales, particularly concerning the impacts of fossil extraction, transportation and production on forests, water and farms. We object to the Maules Creek Coal Mine Modification 9. Before providing a list of our reasons, we would like to make some comments about the public consultation process which we argue has impacted on the adequacy of the assessment of what…continue reading →
NSW & Pilliga Forest Coal Seam Gas Update

NSW & Pilliga Forest Coal Seam Gas Update

2022 is nearly over and in a big boost for the forest & community it would seem that Santos are unlikely to begin any actual drilling or operational activities before the end of the year as threatened. Both on the Liverpool Plains and in the Pilliga Forest. The company has spent the year finalizing its management plans which it says are complete & can be found on the Narrabri Gas Project website. In November the company placed undue pressure on the NSW Government to get them approved. In August Santos announced intention to…continue reading →
Questions Answered on what is happening in the Pilliga

Questions Answered on what is happening in the Pilliga

When will Santos start clearing? This is the question. We believe that all management plans (click on post-approval) need to have been approved before Santos can begin to clear. It is a possibility that Santos may begin clearing before years end for seismic surveys (length and location to be determined). The pink lines are indicative seismic lines • Image from the Santos Staging Request letter When will they bring a drill rig to drill new wells? Santos may bring a rig into the forest before years end if all management plans in place.…continue reading →
Media release – Santos ramps up gas production in Pilliga, GasWatch participants report

Media release – Santos ramps up gas production in Pilliga, GasWatch participants report

Santos has ramped up gas extraction in the Pilliga Forest under its exploration licence, deploying a type of drilling rig known as a flushby rig 40km south of Narrabri. They are conducting production enhancement and well suspensions, industry jargon for remedial works aimed at preparing gas wells for production. “Santos are using Queensland-based drilling contractors MPC Kinetic to conduct the works on several wells”, said a member of the GasWatch community monitoring team, Johanna Evans of North West Protection Advocacy. Santos state they release a monthly activity statement on their website which is…continue reading →
Santos PAL 2 Assets Overview Maps

Santos PAL 2 Assets Overview Maps

With the latest news that Santos have become very active in the Pilliga Forest over the last week of October we are going to be publishing documents specifically relating to Workover Operations that were procured by GIPA last year. Here are two current maps that detail stated drilling opportunities. Santos are currently working at Bohena 3.continue reading →
Latest GISERA/CSIRO report reveals groundwater vulnerability hot spots in Narrabri

Latest GISERA/CSIRO report reveals groundwater vulnerability hot spots in Narrabri

A delayed GISERA/CSIRO report on underground connectivity has revealed fault-related vulnerability of groundwater particularly in the north west of the Narrabri Gas project area, represented by the localities of Bohena Creek, Wilga Park and Yarrie Lake. Faults are geological structures which can allow movement of gas and contaminants from the coal seams to aquifers. The long-awaited Assessment of faults as potential connectivity pathways has been finally released with no media and no announcement, just as a quiet addition to the GISERA and CSIRO websites. This important study was not released until late April…continue reading →
Serious incidents explode Santos’ claims of safe operator

Serious incidents explode Santos’ claims of safe operator

News of the purchase of the Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline (QHGP) by Santos for an undisclosed amount has put the gas producer’s safety record under scrutiny. Santos’ safety culture has been repeatedly questioned,  the most recent serious incident occurring on 5th July when dismantling a Santos oil rig off Varanus Island on the Western Australian coast. Australian Workers' Union National Secretary Daniel Walton described the incident as one of the “most horrifically scary accidents” the union has ever seen in the WA resources industry. He told 9 NEWS “It seems to be a race…continue reading →