The process for extracting gas and bringing it to the surface (detailed below) has been scrutinised by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), which determined it will not have a significant environmental impact. In making this assessment, the EPA considered many environmental factors including the activity’s impact on water, air and human health.
The extraction process used by Warro Gas Project operator Latent Petroleum is a thoroughly tested approach that eliminates any chance of gas or other fluids escaping and contaminating water aquifers or the air. The gas will be extracted far below (more than 3700m below surface) any existing water bores that tap water from about 100m below the surface. The wells are designed to the highest environmental and safety standards, checked to ensure they are safe during construction and continuously monitored throughout their life.
In its most basic form, the extraction process will involve pumping water deep into a well at high pressure. The water forces tiny, localised cracks or “fractures” into the rocks which are held open with sand grains or proppant. This means the permeability of the rocks is greatly increased, allowing the gas held in the tight rocks to flow to surface. All producing wells are carefully designed to provide long-term, safe and reliable flow of gas.
The well bores are lined with three protective layers of steel and cement to bring the gas to surface safely and are monitored continuously to ensure well integrity is maintained.
During operations, Latent Petroleum publicly discloses and continuously monitors the small amount of chemicals used during the extraction process. The use of these chemicals is subject to prior Government approval. In line with regulations, all the chemicals are isolated at the surface and any aquifer units are protected by at least two pressure barriers. At the end of the Warro Gas Project’s operating life, Latent Petroleum will return the environment to its natural state with no trace of work activities – an obligation also dictated by government regulation.