When is disclosure not disclosure?

THE Conservation Council of Western Australia has told media that AWE Limited has not disclosed the composition of fraccing fluid to be used at Woodada Deep-1 but confusion reigns.

James McGrath

In a press release sent to WA media, CCWA director Piers Verstegen said he feared the make-up of the fraccing fluid to be used.

“Halliburton won’t disclose what cocktail of chemicals they will be pumping into the ground, so we have no idea what toxic contamination could make its way into this internationally important wetland system,” he said.

A Halliburton frac spread is currently being mobilised to Woodada Deep-1 after fraccing Arrowsmith-2, into an area the council describes as wildflower country and an important site for migratory birds.

However, those following the shale debate in the state will be aware that AWE has prepared a fracture bridging document for Woodada Deep-1 which it has made available to the public on its website.

You can check the document for yourself here (9.7MB).

On pages 19 through 21 is a detailed breakdown of components of the frac fluid by description, amount and percentage of fracture fluid, among other criteria.

It appears to be a thorough list of exactly what chemicals will be used but Verstegen disagrees.

He told EnergyNewsPremium the list was “generic” in nature.

“That document doesn’t disclose any of the chemicals that they’re using,” he said.

“It may have some generic descriptions of the chemicals.”

He added that he had not checked the document for a “couple of weeks” and the person from the council who was working on the issue assured him of the generic nature of the list.

A spokesperson for AWE told ENP that the claims made by the CCWA didn’t bear responding to in full but said the bridging document contained the entirety of the frac make-up.

Meanwhile, the debated frac fluid has helped AWE successfully fracture the Carynginia shale at Woodada Deep-1.

It said while the well was continuing to clean up after the frac, some gas flow was noted but it was far too early to provide the market with numbers.

“These initial results are encouraging,” AWE chief executive Bruce Clement said.

“The successful hydraulic stimulation of the two zones has confirmed that the Carynginia can be fracture stimulated and gas can be recovered from the shale.

“However, it is too early to draw any conclusions on actual gas flow rates and the commercial potential of the Carynginia shale.”

The AWE spokesperson also said Norwest Energy and AWE remained in talks about where the Halliburton frac spread used for Arrowsmith-2 to the north and Woodada Deep-1 was to go next.

This article first appeared in ILN's sister publication EnergyNewsBulletin.net.