First Onshore Shale Gas Exploration Drilling Environment Management Plan approved

The first Environment Management Plan (EMP) for Onshore Shale Gas Exploration Drilling has been approved in the McArthur Basin, following the completion of 31 recommendations from the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing required before shale gas exploration and drilling can commence.

The Santos McArthur Basin EP 161 Drilling Program 2019 EMP received 22 submissions as a result of the public consultation process, a process that was implemented by the NT Government.

Santos revised their EMP following the public consultation process, including the wastewater management plan and spill management plan, ensuring that environmental risks will be controlled and reduced to a level that is as low as reasonably practical and acceptable.

The Territory Government is restoring trust and certainty through the implementation of a robust, clear and transparent set of rules and guidelines around how the environment must be protected in accordance with the recommendations of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing and is meeting the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

As part of the decision to lift the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, new regulations require the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources to publish an EMP for public comment on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) website where the activity involves the drilling of a petroleum well or hydraulic fracturing, and the outcome of the decision, including a statement of reasons.

Source: NT Government