Fracking failure: Now you see it, now you don’t

2514 fracking deformation 1 OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA


Lock the Gate is asking questions about the fracking inquiry, nearing its end, Origin Energy and the Territory Government, over a gas fracking well “deformation”.


The well is in the NT’s Beetaloo Basin, the prime test ground for the controversial mining method.


It is still not clear what its possible consequences are, but well casings have been repeatedly described during the inquiry as the crucial part which keeps toxic chemicals forced underground away from the water table vital to the region’s survival.


Ms Hogan presents this time line:–


February 2017: Origin Energy presents a report to the NT Department of Primary Industries and Resources. This report clearly shows a well casing deformation (right).


April 2017: Origin provides the NT Fracking Inquiry with a diagram that does not refer to the well casing problem (below).


28 April 2017: Inquiry head Justice Rachel Pepper writes to Origin requesting more information.


25 May 2017: Origin writes back, referring to their February report to the department, showing well casing deformation.


December 2017: Judge Pepper releases the inquiry’s “draft final report” which contains the report omitting the well casing deformation, and which has the NT Government logo on the page showing a well diagram.


2514 fracking deformation 3 OKSays Ms Hogan: “Origin have mislead the inquiry with this cover up of a well casing deformation in their much celebrated Amungee frack well in the Beetaloo.


“What’s most disconcerting is the fact that the NT Government and the fracking inquiry both had versions of the diagram clearly showing the casing deformation, and yet used the version that covered up the casing deformation in the NT Fracking Inquiry draft Final Report.”


We have asked the government: What are the possible consequences of the deformation with respect to safety, ill health, pollution and contamination?


Has the government sought to mislead the inquiry?


We will report any replies received.


UPDATE 5:15pm


The Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) provided a statement that it has not mislead the fracking inquiry.


“The department was notified of the casing deformation in daily completion reports on 2/3 September 2016 following hydraulic fracturing stage number seven and in the Discovery evaluation report and well completion report which were shared with the inquiry panel by the company and by the Department.


“The Department has fully cooperated with the Inquiry.”



Report amended 11:19am February 14, 2018.


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6 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Erwin Chlanda
    Posted February 9, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    @ Patsy Hickey: I’ve asked Origin to comment but haven’t heard from them. I will rattle their cage. All the best, Erwin.

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  2. Patsy Hickey
    Posted February 9, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Erwin Chlanda, I would really appreciate your chasing up the answer to: What are the possible consequences of the deformation with respect to safety, ill health, pollution and contamination?

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  3. Shocked and saddened
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:54 am

    The Department of Primary Industry and Resources is supposed to be protecting our resources. Instead they are just another yes man in the game of give away our gas.
    We pay $1.20 per litre for something we own already and it is being given away at four cents per litre to overseas countries.
    Recommendation from the Inquiry: No more gas exports!

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  4. Peter Dixon
    Posted February 7, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    How can we believe that the NT can effectively regulate the dangers?

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  5. Surprised!
    Posted February 7, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Keep fracking and we are likely to be another Deepwell Horizon type story with the added bonus that we will FOREVER have polluted our water sources.
    So then apart from the pollies scuttling for cover, we will see a new version of the blame game, but what will be drink in between rounds?

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  6. Braedon Earley
    Posted February 6, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Sure, anything you say, Department of Primary Industry and Resources. That’s why it wasn’t in the final draft Report.
    But of course, if you had mislead the inquiry or the panel and you could be found guilty of breaching Part 14 of the Inquiries Act NT.
    Then who would spend the 12 months in jail? I am guessing if the NT Government was suing the NT Government, you guys might either settle out of court or release a statement saying: “The Department has fully cooperated with the Inquiry.” Just a guess.

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