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Project Summary

SAPEX has proposed to use fracture stimulation techniques on petroleum wells in PELs 122 & 123 in the Arckaringa Basin of South Australia to create small cracks or fractures in the formations near the well and allow oil and gas to flow to the well more easily.

SAPEX intends to evaluate the size and commerciality of the oil and gas resources within target shale formations including the Stuart Range and Boorthanna Formation. Shale targets are expected to range between 700-1800m deep in both licences.

For further information on natural gas extraction in South Australia please see our the Facts Brochure on Natural Gas Extraction in South Australia.

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Draft Statement of Environmental Objectives and Environmental Impact Report

All regulated activities conducted under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 (PGE Act) must have an approved Statement of Environmental Objectives (SEO) in place with which they comply, prepared on the basis of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). SAPEX  has prepared an EIR and Draft SEO in relation to its PEL 122 & 123 fracture stimulation activities for assessment by the Department for Energy and Mining, in close consultation with relevant co-regulatory agencies.

The Minister for Energy and Mining previously requested public comment, under provisions of the PGE Act, on the following EIR and proposed draft SEO relative to the SAPEX PEL 122 & 123 fracture stimulation activities proposal.

Following consideration of the comments provided during the consultation period, SAPEX has updated and re-submitted their EIR and Draft SEO for final approval considerations under the PGE Act. Copies of the updated documents have been made available below:

Environmental Impact Report - SAPEX, PEL 122 & 123 Fracture Stimulation Activities, October 2018 Draft Statement of Environmental Objectives - SAPEX, PEL 122 & 123 Fracture Stimulation Activities, October 2018
 
Download the Environmental Impact Report (PDF 6.7MB) Download the Statement of Environmental Objectives (PDF 776KB)



For further information on the approvals process, including relevant stages and consultation requirements, please see Activity Approval Process.

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Public Consultation

All regulated activities conducted under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 must have an approved Statement of Environmental Objectives (SEO) in place with which they comply, prepared on the basis of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). If an activity is deemed by the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM), in consultation with relevant co-regulatory agencies, to be of Medium Impact according to the criteria for classifying the level of environmental impact of regulated activities then public comment will be sought on the associated EIR and draft SEO.

DEM on 7 February 2018 invited public comment on the proposed SAPEX PEL 122 & 123 fracture stimulation activities Environmental Impact Report and draft Statement of Environmental Objectives, publicly available above.

Please note, physical copies of the Environmental Impact Report and draft Statement of Environmental Objectives relevant to the proposed SAPEX PEL 122 & 123 fracture stimulation activities are available from DEM at the Energy Resources Division office, Level 4, 11 Waymouth Street, Adelaide SA 5000.

Submissions closed at 5:00pm on 4 June 2018

A number of issues were raised by internal government and the wider public in a total of 33 submissions, including:

  • potential for fracture propagation into overlying Great Artesian Basin (GAB) aquifers causing contamination, and/or aquifer depletion and/or impacts to GAB springs;
  • potential for fracture stimulation induced seismicity causing stability problems for underground houses within Coober Pedy and/or impact on tourism; and
  • potential impacts on Aboriginal heritage

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Assessment Report

The DEM Energy Resource Division has developed an assessment report to summarise the main findings in relation to the potential issues and environmental risks associated with the SAPEX PEL 122 & 123 fracture stimulation activities proposal and how they will be managed. The source of this information is from that detailed in the submitted EIR and Draft SEO and from additional information and knowledge acquired by the Energy Resource Division as the lead regulator of this project. A copy of this assessment summary report has been made available prior to any final approval decisions being made on the proposal.

Assessment of SAPEX Ltd's Proposed Fracture Stimulation Activities within the Arckaringa Basin

Download the Assessment of SAPEX Ltd's Proposed Fracture Stimulation Activities within the Arckaringa Basin (PDF 3.3MB)

DEM will hold a drop in session in Coober Pedy on 25th March 2019 from 3pm-7pm at the Mud Hut Motel. This drop in session aims to share information in the assessment report, including ERD's recommendation, ahead of the final approval decision being made. Community members, the Council and interested organisations are all welcome to attend. A Public Notice will be placed in the Coober Pedy Regional Times to advertise this drop in session, in addition to targeted emails to members of the public, the Council and other organisations that made public submissions during the consultation process.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The following Frequently Asked Questions resource aims to provide the public with easily accessible and comprehensive responses to a range of questions asked by the public in relation to fracture stimulation activities in South Australia. If you have a relevant questions not answered in the following Frequently Asked Questions resource, please contact the Energy Resources Division.

The Facts - Natural Gas and Fracture Stimulation in South Australia

Download the brochure about the Facts on Natural Gas extraction in South Australia (PDF 1.4MB)

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Presentations

Presentations by the Energy Resources Division in relation to the SAPEX PEL 122 & 123 fracture stimulation activities are provided below.

Presented atPresented by and title of presentation

Coober Pedy Council

7 March 2018

SAPEX Limited on PEL 122 & 123 Fracture Stimulation Activities (PDF 1.8MB)
Michael Malavazos, Director - Engineering Operations


Please note: these presentations are intended to provide general information on the Energy Resources Division, its role and regulatory functions, and proposed or current licensee projects under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 and associated regulations. Presentations should be considered in the context of the relevant legislation.

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