Plan to remediate coal bore on Darling Downs

THE Queensland government will begin work today to extinguish a slow-burning fire in an abandoned coal exploration well on the Darling Downs.
Plan to remediate coal bore on Darling Downs Plan to remediate coal bore on Darling Downs Plan to remediate coal bore on Darling Downs Plan to remediate coal bore on Darling Downs Plan to remediate coal bore on Darling Downs

Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps

Staff Reporter

A meeting of Queensland government officers and local resource companies today developed a plan to remediate the site on a road reserve northwest of Dalby.

"Officers from the Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate of my department will oversee a two-stage operation beginning tomorrow that will firstly, extinguish the shallow flame, stabilise the former exploration site, and then seal it," Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said.

"Local resource companies will provide equipment and technical expertise, however, officers from the state government's P&G inspectorate will be onsite at all times".

Cripps said the success of the operation would depend upon favourable weather.

"Unfortunately, rain is forecast in the area this week," he said.

"Earthworks will begin early tomorrow to prepare the site for the heavy equipment that will be needed later in the week to drill the test hole out.

"That work may unfortunately be delayed if forecast rain eventuates."

The state government will also make it a priority to provide regular updates to local landholders and the community, to counter the misinformation and wild speculation being irresponsibly spread by groups opposed to the coal seam gas industry.

"I'd like to single out anti-CSG activist Drew Hutton for making constant, unsubstantiated claims that this incident is directly-related to CSG production," Cripps said.

"Mr Hutton this morning labelled the Queensland government's efforts to effectively deal with this situation as 'absurd and irresponsible'.

"I wonder whether local community members in the Dalby area share his opinion when the absolute priority of the state government is to put public health and safety first."

Cripps said all parties involved in this operation were confident of success.

"The team we have assembled involves resource companies with skilled engineers, experienced in both the coal and gas sector.

"Many of the activities being undertaken are routine procedures for these companies, and I hope we can permanently restore this site as quickly as possible."

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