21 Aug 2012

Activists have been quick to blame the gas industry for a methane flame emanating from a 32-year-old abandoned coal mine test hole near Dalby, but it appears they have again passed judgement without evidence, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) said today.

APPEA’s Chief Operating Officer Eastern Region, Rick Wilkinson said: “The Chicken Little approach to science and technology adds to the litany of scaremongering and false information put forward by the Lock the Gate Alliance.

“The regulators are better placed to investigate this unusual occurrence than anyone else – certainly better placed than armchair activists with a barrow to push against the community’s continued use of hydrocarbon fuels.”

Mr Wilkinson said baseless comments made by Lock the Gate’s president appear inconsistent with the findings of government officials.

“While the hole is located on a current petroleum lease held by Arrow Energy, the hole is not believed to be associated with coal seam gas activities on the lease” – Department of Natural Resources and Mines Spokesperson, quoted in Courier Mail, 21 August 2012.

It appears that departmental records indicate the hole was drilled 32 years ago (by JD Drilling for Marathon Coal) during coal mine exploration activities.

Mr Wilkinson said: “There are too many self-proclaimed experts who have blatant disregard for inconvenient truths at odds with their agenda.

“Lock the Gate Alliance needs to accept the legitimacy of the Government’s investigations and correct their statements.

“Unfortunately this is not the first time this group has been exposed for making highly misleading claims about gas drilling in Queensland.

“Lock the Gate has a long history of deception, including plagiarised submissions to parliamentary inquiries, and only this month, the group was caught out misrepresenting CSG water sample results.

“People should see this campaign for what it is.” Download PDF

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