The process for extracting gas and bringing it to the surface (detailed below) has been scrutinised by the EPA, which has determined it will not have a significant environmental impact. In making this assessment, the EPA considered many environmental factors including the activity’s impact on water, air and human health.
The extraction process used by Latent Petroleum is a thoroughly tested approach that eliminates any chance of gas or other fluids escaping and contaminating water aquifers or the air. The gas will be extracted far below (more than 3,500 metres below) any existing water bores that tap water from about 100 metres below the surface. The wells are designed to the highest environmental and safety standards, checked to ensure they are safe during construction and continuously monitored throughout their life.
In its most basic form, the extraction process will involve pumping water deep into a well at high pressure. It forces tiny, localised cracks or “fractures” into the rocks which are held open with sand grains or proppant. This means the permeability of the rocks is greatly increased, allowing the gas held in the tight rocks to flow to surface. All producing wells are carefully designed to provide long term, safe and reliable flow of gas.
The well bores are lined with three protective layers of steel and cement to bring the gas to surface safely and are monitored continuously to ensure well integrity is maintained.
Latent Petroleum will publicly disclose and monitor the small amount of chemicals used during the extraction process. In line with regulations, all the chemicals will be isolated at the surface and any aquifer units will be protected by at least two pressure barriers. At the end of the Warro Gas Project, Latent Petroleum will return the environment to its natural state with no trace of work activities – an obligation also dictated by industry regulation.