Regulation of shale, coal seam and tight gas activities in Western Australia: An analysis of the capacity of the Petroleum and Geothermal Act 1967 (WA) to regulate onshore gas activities in Western Australia
Date of this Version
Recent activities in the USA and eastern Australian States (particularly Queensland and NSW) have focused attention on the extraction of shale gas and coal seam gas (together known as unconventional gas resources). Public perception of the extraction of these sources of gas, particularly the process of fraccing, has been influenced by recent media attention. In particular, the movie Gasland and an episode of Four Corners that aired on 21 February 2011 has focused the public’s attention on shale gas extraction in WA.
This report examines the existing regulatory framework for the extraction of onshore Shale Gas Resources (SGR) in Western Australia. It has been commissioned by the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (WADMP) in response to community concerns expressed regarding the process of fraccing for the production of shale gas. It assesses the capacity of the current legislation, the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 (WA) (PAGERA), to regulate shale gas exploration and production activities. It also assesses other issues that the WADMP should consider when managing shale gas extraction.
The following assessment and conclusions represent an independent, unbiased assessment of the capacity of the WADMP to regulate present and future shale gas activities in this WA.