REFERRING to the Lakes Oil story (Gippsland Times 15/5), Robert Annells of Lakes Oil tried to deflect the conversation away from his activities, saying they were nothing to do with coal seam gas.
Tight gas is still an unconventional gas and the gas will not flow unless hydraulic fracturing (fracking) processes are applied.
Fracking means putting chemicals (many of which are carcinogenic and many of which affect the endocrine and nervous systems), water and sand into the sandstone under extremely high pressure and breaking the rock structure apart to allow the gas to flow.
Mr Annells said that this was below the coal seams and shallow aquifers.
However, this is the very method of how ground water was contaminated in the shale gas areas of the United States as shown on the film Gaslands where the farmer was able to light up his tap water.
Although the fracking takes place very deep down, it is common for the casings of the bore holes to fail and gas and fracking chemicals migrate up the casing which will eventually find their way to the surface.
If they pass through an aquifer on the way up, then that gets contaminated as well.
Apparently, six per cent of the well casings fail in the first year.
The casings on these wells have to last forever.
Because of the rock corroding, concrete-eating nature of the fracking fluids, the casings will all fail in a generation or two.
This is extremely worrying, as between 30 and 70 per cent of the fracking compounds are left in the well and there is nothing say that they won’t migrate to aquifers, both deep and shallow.
The other worrying aspect is that Lakes Oil holds such a large lease area, not only at Seaspray, but also around Gormandale and north of Morwell, where presumably the fracking process will also be employed.
Josh Fox, the maker of the Gaslands movie, has made a short sequel, The Sky is Pink, which can be found on YouTube and explains all this.
In any case, we should be divesting in fossil fuel exploration companies, because of what the burning of fossil fuels is doing to the atmosphere.
If Lakes Oil started investing in renewable energy technologies, its share price might rise from the 0.5 cents per share it is today.