MIDCOAST Water has again expressed disappointment at the speed of progress of the Gloucester Gas Project after it was announced AGL planned to frack four new coal seam gas (CSG) wells.
The service provider said the timing of the announcement - so soon after AGL had signed an agreement with Gloucester Shire Council to carry out four comprehensive water studies in the area - was a concern.
“We are extremely disappointed that AGL is now looking to fracture one of the wells to gauge how much gas flows prior to this independent water study being undertaken,” MidCoast Water chairman David West said.
“We feel any fracturing is premature and should be delayed until after the results of the independent water study are made known.”
Gloucester Shire Council is due to announce the experts appointed to conduct the study next week.
MidCoast Water said it accepted that fracking was a well-established practice used to widen the existing cleats (or fractures) in the coal but was more concerned about the timing of the action.
“It may well be that the fracturing of the well will have no impact on the water, however, there is also the possibility that it may and it will be difficult to tell if it is carried out before the study is completed,” Cr West said.
MidCoast Water has previously expressed disappointment at the granting of a conditional approval for the gas project by the federal government before a bioregional assessment was undertaken.