Brisbane Times, 20.10.2010
Environmentalists are calling for a moratorium on coal seam gas projects after another contamination at a Queensland site. Australia Pacific LNG reported yesterday that chemicals had been detected in eight exploration wells in the Surat Basin in the state’s west.
BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene) is the same chemical group that infiltrated Cougar Energy’s underground coal gasification site in Kingaroy earlier this year.
The company said further controversial fracture stimulation of exploration wells would only continue if a “satisfactory resolution” was found.
Friends of the Earth spokesperson Drew Hutton said the government was allowing “an uncontrolled experiment” on the environment by approving coal seam gas drilling without sufficient information on the impacts.
He wants the project to be immediately suspended until it can be deemed safe and the company held to account for any damage caused. Mr Hutton said the contamination should be a warning to governments.
“These are exploration wells, if we haven’t got it right from day one we’re likely to find all sorts of damage to be caused to the environment,” he told ABC Radio.
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