Non-polluting Seabed Fracking Of Oil Reserves In The Great Barrier Reef Province | 49157
Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development
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As the world looks to new and more diverse energy sources for the future, one source that is rapidly emerging is coal seam
gas (CSG). Australia has large reserves of this resource, especially offshore from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Although gas is a fossil fuel, it is considered ‘cleaner’ than coal because it does not produce the same level of greenhouse gas emissions
when burned. Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is used to improve the flow of gas from underwater formations that are difficult to
access due to ocean depth and coral and rock composition. Because gas is currently cheaper than renewable energy sources, wind
and solar, it is seen by many in the industry as a viable short to medium term option. Seismic surveys of its geomorphology and
oceanographic studies of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have confirmed that immense oil reserves underlie the Reef basin. Following
the Australian Government’s repeal of the Great Barrier Reef (Prohibition on drilling for petroleum) regulations 1999 and a renewal
of oil exploration permits that cover the GBR province, there has been an upsurge of interest in non-polluting CSG extraction. While
legal prohibitions restrict large scale sediment disturbance which would lead to a decrease in water quality in the GBR Marine Park,
direct habitat loss for flora and fauna and alienation of other uses of the Park, the authors have devised and tested a radical nonpolluting
CSG fracking and extraction method that conforms to these stringent requirements.