Australia's oil and gas industry organization Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Associated Ltd. (APPEA) commented Saturday that the Western Australian (WA) Labor Party is jeopardizing jobs and investment in the state’s oil and gas industry by supporting calls for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The WA Labor Party conference had passed a resolution over the weekend for a public enquiry on gas fracking and a moratorium until it could be shown that the environment was not harmed, local media The West Australian said in a report Monday.
Responding to the WA Labor Party's resolution, APPEA Chief Operating Officer (COO) Western Region Stedman Ellis pointed out that the moratorium would prevent the exploration activity needed to encourage onshore gas investment.
“It is disappointing that Labor’s State Conference has today chosen to ignore the clear evidence which shows that hydraulic fracturing is a safe, well-understood technology that has been used in WA for decades ... Numerous studies here in Australia and overseas have shown that any risks can be safely managed with proper regulation and good industry practices. Importantly, the experience in Queensland over the past five years demonstrates the importance of onshore gas projects to regional communities and farmers,” Ellis said.
The APPEA COO added that Labor’s call for another inquiry made no sense when a two-year inquiry into hydraulic fracturing by a WA Parliamentary Committee was expected to deliver its final report later this year.
“The onshore gas industry has the potential to become an important driver of jobs and economic development in regional WA. Its activities are already subject to strict regulation by government and its participants are committed to high standards of health, safety and environmental management. Moratoriums and unnecessary inquiries will not only damage the industry’s development, they also tarnish WA’s reputation as an attractive destination of oil and gas investment,” according to Ellis.
APPEA said July 24 that Australia has a 'once in a generation' opportunity to build a world-class gas industry, where there are more than $200 billion worth of new gas export projects underway despite intense competition from over 20 other countries.
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