ACOLA Report finds success of an Australian shale gas industry depends on effective regulation – and the right rocks

ACOLA today launches a new report, which for the first time examines the spectrum of issues facing the development of a shale gas industry in Australia.

Media Release 4 June 2013

Engineering Energy: Unconventional Gas Production makes 51 key findings providing Australia an opportunity to fully assess its shale gas resources and reserves and to consider the potential social, economic and environmental impacts while exploration is still at an early stage.

Chair of the Expert Working Group and report co-author Professor Peter Cook CBE FTSE said “While the rapid development of a shale gas industry has had a major impact in North America, the Australian experience will be very different.”

“Overall we found that there is great potential for shale gas in Australia but the benefits will not be easily won. It will cost more than in the USA and it will require great skill, capital and careful management of any impacts on ecosystems and natural resources”

“To be successful, any shale gas industry will require an informed and supportive community, and transparent and effective regulations and companion codes of practice”.

The President of ACOLA, Professor Lesley Johnson AM FAHA, commented “ The US shale gas industry has attracted considerable attention due to the economic benefits, but also community and environmental impacts. This report provides Australia with a timely opportunity to examine these issues and put in place effective regulatory and monitoring infrastructure”.

The report found that the increased use of gas, including shale gas, in place of coal for electricity generation could significantly decrease Australia’s greenhouse gas provided ‘green completion schemes’ and associated codes of best practice are adopted to minimise the greenhouse gas emissions associated with shale gas production.

“Shale gas could be an important new energy option for Australia, but the challenges will need to be carefully managed”, commented Professor Cook

The Engineering Energy:Unconventional Gas Production report can be found here (large file).

ENDS

For more information or to arrange an interview contact Rebecca Skinner, Communications and Project Manager on 03 9864 0925 or 0400 684 993 or rebeccaskinner@acolasecretariat.org.au