What is The Norwood Resource?

We want to achieve a more balanced public perception of the oil  and gas,  exploration and production, and mining industries within the community.

We have a ‘fact not fiction’ philosophy and aim to inform the younger generation in particular of the environmental (and economic) responsibility of these industries in Australia and beyond.

We’ll post articles here regularly and encourage discussion and welcome your comments.

You can read more about us on our About page or in our Member biographies.

We welcome media enquiries: please see our Contact page for details.


  1. Terry Grocke says:

    John Hughes et al

    You are engaged in a worthwhile debate.
    Exploitation of natural resources is essential and does not need to be an Industry v Community slanging match. Risks must be assessed and mitigated based on known, measurable, verifiable evidence.

    • Bruce Holland says:

      Hi Terry;
      Thank you for your view.
      We agree that there is no reason for a slanging match at all, and we will continue to try and bring balance into these debates with facts and evidence based reseach, rather than unfounded assertions and claims.

  2. Mark Osborne says:

    Well done to the group. It is a very worthwhile endeavour and much needed, although I fear an uphill battle with no end. Scare tactics are very hard to overcome due to the visceral and emotive impacts of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. I really hope you become the “go to” reference point for the media and can get them to take the time to understand.

  3. Hi there everyone, it’s my first visit at this website, and article is in fact fruitful for me, keep up
    posting such articles or reviews.

  4. Dead inside says:

    U guys must have some crazy complex what u do is not right oil is there for a reason it’s thousands of ft or meters below any fossil oil is the for a reason it works as a big heat sink an also aiding the movement under ground. By doing what u are u obviously don’t care about ur future generations u are spreading cancer to the world . After the oil spill in America now they are catching prawns with tumours and cancer. If you need strong evidence than that.

    • johnnwdhughes says:

      “Dead inside”, where did you get the impression we are defending the use of oil to the exclusion of, say, renewables? We recognise that society needs to move to a sensible energy mix but the debate needs to be based on factual, scientific and verifiable information and not misinformation, myths and pseudo-science. We are not an advocate or lobby group for the petroleum industry – just an advocate/lobby group for the facts and science. If you have any published verifiable facts or science you wish to contribute to the debate, we are quite happy to hear them.

  5. A Murphy says:

    Just wondering if all of your members who happen to be ‘retired, semi-retired or independent gas or oil professionals’ also happen to have financial investments in the industry? It seems to me this organisations members are already heavily invested in the industry regardless. I am personally interested in an actual unbiased organisation, this seems to be quite biased. If perhaps you had Australians from a number of professional areas, ie Scientists, Doctors, Farmers, Psychologists etc… Your comments may hold ‘some’ weight.

    • johnnwdhughes says:

      A Murphy. Interestingly, most of society has financial investments in the industry either as direct investment, indirect via superannuation or reliance on the industry’s products. All our comments are based on factual, scientific and verifiable information. Who better to comment on the issues raised by eNGOs and the media than someone who knows the facts about, for example, seismic surveys and marine life or fracking. We welcome your comments on any of the topics covered on our website especially if you would like to actually point out where we have been biased (rather than simply accuse us of being biased). Are you also saying that the “information” provided by eNGOs and the media on these topics is not biased? Incidentally, most of us are scientists who have specialised in such areas as geology, geophysics and petroleum engineering. In the same way we would not expect a doctor to have a detailed knowledge of, and hence comment about, seismic surveys and marine life, we would not comment on, for example, the vaccination debate. If you maintain your stance that you do not wish to consider factual, scientific and verifiable information from people who have the expertise and knowledge, as opposed to opinion, then it is your prerogative to remain ignorant about these topics.

      • Angela Smith says:

        I found your reply… interesting.
        With regards to financial investments via Superannuation, I think you will find many are actually unaware they are supporting in such a way, perhaps someone will pick this up and enlighten them on this information.

        Reliance on the industry, for now perhaps, as you are aware, gas is a finite fossil fuel, we will need an alternative in the future regardless. Research has shown me that there are many faults within this industry, problems with leaks, flow back, land clearing, a massive use of water, poisoning of water supplies, illness in both human and animal, the list goes on. Why invest in a continuance of an industry which is not sustainable for the long term and is adding to the problem we face in global warming and harmful now to human and animal. Putting aside the emissions released by the gas itself which most would be aware of, there is a major concern with emission from transport and the process involved in getting to the gas via fracking or re-fracking the earth. To make matters worse the land is being further cleared and being used as a toxic waste dump. The images of the shale fracking pads leaves a lot to be desired also, farming land that feeds us, destroyed with no concern from the oil and gas industry. They must think paying the fines for non-compliance clears them of the crime, it doesn’t undo the damage.
        So apparently we are going to run water levels down further, poison the land to the point we won’t be able to eat anything that might grow in that environment anyway and that’s ok because we will have gas for a ‘bit’ longer..? We can’t drink gas and we can’t eat gas… We won’t need gas if we’re dead.
        Whilst you claim your comments are factual it is comparable to going to an art gallery and viewing part of a picture in a pretty frame, where are the rest of the pieces? Do they have a positive or negative effect on the piece as a whole? If positive, why is it not all on show? So my point would be if you are educating the public as stated, use the whole picture, not just the bits that make the gas and oil companies look good.
        In regards to your comment on ENGOS and the MEDIA being bias, good thing they are there to shed some light on the missing pieces, you’re the one claiming to ‘educate’ people on the oil and gas industry, the opportunity to be transparent and tell the story is always an option available to any industry before the media or another organisation blow the lid on it. If it wasn’t being buried it couldn’t be dug up!
        Which brings me to your comment with regards to being qualified.
        For some reason you think a Doctor is not qualified to comment on this debate, I disagree. I think a Doctor is very qualified to comment on the side effects of the industry where harm to humans has occurred, likewise a vet to the animals etc, a very relevant piece of the picture, wouldn’t you say? Ah, you did mention you wouldn’t comment on anything outside your expertise; given the comment in your reply you must be an expert on ignorance then…
        What about your personal investments, are you able to comment on them? I reserve that right and I would imagine most Australians would also reserve their rights. If we are the ones investing the money in the industry, I think it only fair we are heard. It may just be the case that the oil and gas industry don’t listen, what would happen if the investments stopped? Prices go up? All of a sudden renewable energy is becoming a more viable option and much healthier for all of us! Surely you can not deny the world needs to move in another direction, heck, even the Pope is on board there!, OR would you tell the Pope he was out of line commenting on an area other than his expertise…?
        I do believe this debate involves all of us and therefore, we are ALL entitled to ALL the information in order to make an informed decision, degree or not! We should learn ALL the facts, have discussions about it and feel free to comment on anything that affects us all.
        Surely anything other would be pure ignorance?
        Your final comment stated I am ignorant of these topics, I thought all your comments were based on facts….
        All done here.
        For anyone following this blog who may be interested in learning more on the research into the industry I found Dr Anthony Ingraffea interesting and informative. It may be a good starting point for some.


  6. johnnwdhughes says:

    Angela Smith, (or is it A Murphy?), thank you very much for your reply. I also found your reply….interesting, especially as you claimed that I stated A Murphy was “ignorant of these topics”, which I did not. I merely stated it was A Murphy’s prerogative to remain ignorant of the facts if he/she ignored the factual, scientific and verifiable information provided by people with the expertise and knowledge of these topics simply because they have worked in the oil/gas industry and have gained their expertise and knowledge first hand. Thus, as your first post was simply an ad hominem fallacious argument, how could I gain any understanding of your knowledge about the facts? All I could gain was an understanding of your bias.
    Nevertheless, we are in agreement in terms of renewables (TNR and I are definitely not against them) and that the debate must involve “all of us and therefore, we are ALL entitled to ALL the information in order to make an informed decision, degree or not! We should learn ALL the facts, have discussions about it and feel free to comment on anything that affects us all.” I am reminded of Harlan Ellison’s quote “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
    Thus, I totally agree with your statements that “ALL the information” and “ALL the facts” must be brought to bear in this debate. However, I do not see any opinions that could possibly be based on ALL the facts in either of your comments. For example, why do you claim “there are many faults within this industry” when it is rather obvious, based on ALL the information and ALL the facts, that your claim of “many faults” is not representative of the industry as a whole? As I am sure you are well aware, there have been over 1000 frack procedures conducted in over 700 wells in the SA sector of Cooper Basin in NE South Australia (and quite a few in SW Queensland). However, there have been NO negative impacts identified, even though all pastoral properties in the region are very dependent on Great Artesian Basin aquifers and some have even gained organic certification.
    You even mention the Pope’s recent encyclical – another fallacious argument (appeal to authority). Interesting that the Pope glossed over the issue of the world population (the biggest driver of the need for energy and hence the resultant depletion of the earth’s resources) and he also totally avoided any mention of the obscene riches controlled by the Vatican.
    You also misrepresent my statement about doctors. I have no problem with a doctor commenting on any side effects claimed in this debate – as long as those claimed side effects are factual, scientific and verifiable. However, I would view with suspicion any comment made by a doctor about, for example, the fracking process or the way seismic pulses are generated and transmit in water. Again, ALL the information and ALL the facts should apply.
    In conclusion, given you have only commented in general terms on this welcome page, I invite you to comment on any of our articles which you consider omit some facts or misrepresent the facts. This is EXACTLY what TNR is striving to achieve – placing ALL the facts and ALL the information into the public arena on any topic.
    In this way, our Mission is to inform (not ‘educate’ as you claim) the public so that those who are interested can arrive at informed opinions on which to make their decisions.

  7. great put up, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not understand this.
    You must continue your writing. I am confident, you have
    a great readers’ base already!

  8. Anne A'Herran says:

    I have seen a Facebook exchange between you and Peter Wales and both of you refer to people like me who are fearful of BPs intrusion with oil rigs into the Great Australian Bight as “shrill”, “desperate”, “hysterical” and so on. This does not tie in well with your claim above that you want rational and no vindictive debate. Mr Hughes, I am none of those things. I am a soon to be resident of an island and I have seen the mess BP and other oil wells have wrought. A three year old could see where your heading. And why. Your exchange it’s Peter certainly was hysterical and vindictive. If you can lie about that, you can lie about anything. We who want to stop oil drilling near our pristine Kangaroo Island have no profit in mind, barring profit to the seas, the marine life, quality of life that is threatened by oil drilling. Ask “cui bonum?” To whom goes the good of oil wells in the Bight? Not to us, the protesters. Not to the fishers. Not to the fishes! It goes to BP. There’s your rationale, Mr Hughes et al. Your reason for being. Profit. You should be ashamed.

    • johnnwdhughes says:

      Anne, thanks for your comment, which somewhat surprised me as I avoid ad hominem attacks. As you did not include any specific quotes from me I assume you are referring to the following issue that Peter Wales has recently posted on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/peter.wales1/posts/10153688223816827 which refers to the rather unusual tactic that Oil Free Seas-Australia has adopted recently in taking old comments made 10 months ago by Peter Wales and The Norwood Resource and misrepresenting them. Of course Oil Free Seas – Australia (OFSA), formerly Oil Free Seas – Kangaroo Island (OFSKI) is the organisation that makes false comments, delete comments that they do not agree with and ban comment from people who simply wish to discuss the facts and science

      • Anne A'Herran says:

        John: you have avoided explaining your use of pejorative language. I am not stupid, nor am I blind. Nor am I fabricating. I spent time and effort in locating this site to write to you. Before either you or Peter removed the exchange, (who else would have removed an exchange that so damned you both?) I saw the names you and Peter both used for people like me. You have not denied you used them. That on its own tells me more about you, and your organisation, than any facts I read on this fact-filled site. I saw those names. The posts (there were three in succession) were – I am a teacher of small children, in my retirement – childishly rude. They used the three words I have listed. I cannot reproduce more than a blurry screenshot, as it has been removed, see early comment. John, I am pursuing this because I understand on the evidence that your group is self/ profit seeking at the expense of my environment. I am not hysterical, or shrill, or desperate, (your words), or (one of Peter’s descriptors, on the web page you sent me to) a “shrieking harpie”, (a term which surely discloses his dislike of females with opinions) and nor are the many who disagree with you. I need no other reason to oppose oil drilling than the abundant data of precedent. I read, I think, I don’t want oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

      • johnnwdhughes says:

        Anne, I have not, repeat not, removed comments from our website or FB page. Also, I have not, repeat not, used the words you have listed. If you have any evidence to the contrary, please produce it (even if it is a blurry screenshot).

      • Anne A'Herran says:

        I cannot see where to load the image. I tried to open the original, from the notification in my email of the posting, and saved the (tiny) image, but when I select in in Photos (I am on an iPad) it does not appear readable. You must understand that I read it, in its original appearance, several times to check, it was so shocking, and it did have the pejorative terms. Yet when I went to the posting it had gone. It was still in the notifying email from FB but when I clicked on that tiny image it went to Facebook and the image was gone. I can see that you are vehemently denying that it existed: I on the other hand saw it with my own eyes, as they say. I know what I read. Please tell me how to upload it: possibly you will be able to use some sort of photoshop like medium to make it intelligible.

      • johnnwdhughes says:

        Hi Anne. Thanks for forwarding your blurred screenshot under separate cover. Although, as you say, the words are unintelligible, it helps in identifying the discussion thread. It still appears to be on the OFSA FB page as TNR shared it yesterday with an introductory comment. See: https://www.facebook.com/TheNorwoodResource/posts/1122278501124207 It is also probably best to go back to the source of this screenshot, which has the whole of the discussion string, in order to see the context in which these words were written: https://www.facebook.com/TheNorwoodResource/posts/966692373349488 As you will note from this and other posts during this early 2015 period, TNR does not delete comments nor ban commentators. However, it is rather obvious that OFSA does use such tactics (and uses pejorative language). However, we would be very interested to hear which specific phrases or words written by myself or TNR upset you.

      • Anne AHerran says:

        Good, I can read the comments now. Together with those in your other link, they add up to hateful tone and pejorative language, in my book. I have since read more of Peter Wales’s comments and they verge on libellous. He is clever enough not to name people when he speaks of them as “shrieking harpies”, “alcoholic” and “mentally ill”. Your exchange with its references to desperate, shrill people is of the same ilk. I cannot understand why you attack people who simply care for their patch. They may not articulate it well but that is their sole motivation. Not profit.

        John you are dealing with people like me, who have no investment in preventing oil drilling in the Bight, but protest for the good of the environment. As I have said, all the evidence I need is in precedent. If your group could dissolve the tragic accidents of oil spills in the past, no one would protest.

        I do not know what drives you, but I suspect personal gain by association. I dare say greed and the oil industry are, practically, synonymous.


        Anne A’Herran

        Sent from my iPad


      • johnnwdhughes says:

        Anne, your interpretation of a ‘hateful tone’ is interesting given the misinformation we are responding to. You have still not specified which words or phrases lead you to this assessment. However, you do ask “what drives you (i.e. me)” but appear to ignore TNR’s open, honest and transparent explanation that can easily be found on our website. That is, having worked in the oil/gas industry for many years, and now being retired from corporate life, I am dismayed about the way in which, for example, seismic surveys are portrayed by eNGOs and some researchers, in the public arena. The claims are simply not consistent with the facts and science. This is what drives me – the deceit being perpetrated on a caring and giving community by those who distort the facts/science and propagate myths. It is interesting to note that, while TNR seeks to incorporate facts and science into internet discussions, the likes of OFSA resort to the pejorative language (and deletions, bans, etc) that you are accusing TNR of doing (but have still offered no specific evidence – just opinion). We are still genuinely interested in which words or phrases used by me or TNR that, in your opinion, express a “hateful tone”. Of course, if you are referring to our reaction to deceit, it could be interpreted as “hate” by some but I can assure you that it simply seeks to “put the record straight” with factual, scientific and verifiable information.

      • Anne AHerran says:

        Thank you John. I reiterate that the descriptors I take offence at include “shrill” and “desperate” in at least one exchange between you and Pete Wales, whom I have yet to meet in person. I have read more of his posts since, including one you alerted me to. Without naming anyone, he labels his opposition in general as “alcoholic” “schizophrenic, “mentally ill”. Perhaps I have associated you with him because you have responded positively to his comments. Perhaps as moderator of TNR you could intervene and moderate that kind of language. I shall check the sources.

        Meanwhile your second link is enlightening: I appreciate the opportunity to read it.

        From the TRN FB page, the link for which you’ve sent me, I read your post:

        “MORE PROPAGANDA AND PSEUDO-SCIENCE FROM OFKSI. The following post by OFSKI shows the lengths they (and some researchers!) will go to in their promotion of pseudo-science. The paper by Rolland et al is a demonstration of incomplete conclusions made on the basis of poor science (and possibly biased opinions). Yes, the stress levels of right whales in the Bay of Fundy may have reduced following 9/11 due to reduced shipping traffic. However, for the authors to state this “may” be due to reduced low frequency noise is POOR science. This area is reknowned (sic) for right whales being injured/killed by shipping collisions and these scientists completely ignore the fact that the reduced stress may be the result of the much more scientifically plausible reason that there’s a lower likelihood of being struck by a large vessel when there are no vessels passing through their feeding grounds!!”

        No, John, the authors don’t ignore that fact at all. It isn’t actually relevant to the point being made by OFSKI, whether the stress levels may have reduced due to reduced shipping numbers. You got a cheap shot with that comment. Your flip comment fails – or pretends to fail? – to grasp the point of Rolland’s research, which looks to me far from “poor science”, and is published by a recognised and refereed journal (The Royal Society, publisher of scientists like Rutherford, Schrodinger, Heisenberg: can you beat that?) How easy for you to criticise a paper you can be certain not many of your readers have read start to end. The paper provides evidence inter alia that “exposure to low-frequency ship noise may be associated with chronic stress in whales, and has implications for all baleen whales in heavy ship traffic areas, and for recovery of this endangered right whale population.” It goes further, and this is the point that you fail to grasp, “Underwater ocean noise from anthropogenic sources has increased over the past 50 years [1,2]. This acoustic pollution is a by-product of a rising tide of human maritime activities including seismic exploration by the oil and gas industries”. As so many marine creatures rely on acoustic signalling, seismic activity can, as you see, inhibit their well being. This is the point of the paper, and the reason OFSKI posted it. I shall have to google them. They are evidently on the ball.

        John, perhaps you rely on people being too time poor to read. Those who have read Rolland’s paper must wonder at the shallow comment.

        I don’t yet know even what OFSKI stands for and I am led by no “lobby” group. I am equipped with common sense, a reasonable ability to read and interpret the English language and an inbuilt detector for deception. And the lessons of history.

        Anne A’Herran


      • johnnwdhughes says:

        Anne, I would suggest that, if you read more of the exchanges between Peter Wales and his “opposition” on KI, the descriptors you take offence at will fade into insignificance compared to the vilification from those he is jousting with.
        Meanwhile, in the interests of openness and transparency TNR does not delete comments or ban people from further comment and would therefore be reluctant to moderate comments (unless the comments were extremely abusive and likely to offend most reasonable people).
        I must say that I’m puzzled. You say you “don’t yet know even what OFSKI stands for” but in one of my responses to you in this discussion string I stated “Of course Oil Free Seas – Australia (OFSA), formerly Oil Free Seas – Kangaroo Island (OFSKI) is the organisation that makes false comments, delete comments that they do not agree with and ban comment from people who simply wish to discuss the facts and science”.
        Now to the Rolland et al paper. The authors do ignore the risk of collision as a possible stressor. The only time that “collision” is mentioned in their paper is in the following statement: “….recovery of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale population has been seriously impaired by mortalities from ship collisions and fishing gear entanglements”. Thus, to ignore removal of the risk of collision as a possible cause of the reduced stress, when they themselves state “Acoustic pollution from anthropogenic sources presents a less visible but pervasive disturbance to these coastal-dwelling whales that may have negative consequences for population viability” is undoubtedly poor science. That is, they have jumped to conclusions without facts to back them up. Similarly, they have ignored many scientific facts in arriving at their speculative conclusion.

      • Anne AHerran says:

        Ah yes, “Oil Free Seas – Australia (OFSA), formerly Oil Free Seas – Kangaroo Island (OFSKI) “. A reminder buried in one of your copious justifications of which I dare say more will follow. Thank you. I see you also post as Robert John, to the TNR page. It must be useful to have two identities, or even more, to boost the appearance of support.

        John, (or Robert), you persist in saying I “puzzle” you. This is code of course. You mean: I will keep replying on each and every small point, to divert attention from the real motivation of TNR, until I wear you down. John, (or Robert), I have said what I want to say. Each time I post you return with more spurious replies. I understand that your sole motivation is to support an industry to which after years of service you show tremendous loyalty. But that loyalty is in conflict, I believe, with the facts and with precedent. You have never written off the real threat of an oil spill, which is what drives me, but persist in arguing on trivial points, I suspect as a diversionary tactic.

        I do not and nor could anyone else who has read the Rolland et al. paper agree with your ill considered comments. You have as I said, failed to grasp the point. We could argue all day and all year but I have said my piece.

        I will now bow out of this conversation. There are other platforms. I anticipate some final inflammatory, or worse, quasi conciliatory (which appears to be your preferred mode) post from you, John or Robert, that will claim the last word. So be it. Others can judge.

        Anne A’Herran


      • johnnwdhughes says:

        Anne, that’s an interesting interpretation – “buried”. It was in an early response to your comment which, incidentally, also included a whole series of interpretations by you. This was only 2 days ago so surely you could not have forgetten about it. You also “interpret” that I want to “claim the last word” when my motive is simply to put the record straight on the basis of factual, scientific and verifiable information. In addition, you seem to want to attack me for using a screen name on Facebook (Robert John, which is, simply, my given names in reverse order) on Facebook, which is a process recommended by most social media hosts and adopted by more than 50% of social media users. There are many other “interpretations” in your comments that are actually totally incorrect. You have still not backed up your claim earlier in this discussion thread that you are “not hysterical, or shrill, or desperate, (your words)” with evidence of me using these words. As I did not use them, perhaps you should have the decency to admit it and apologise?
        I am more than happy for others to judge. This is my objective – placing factual, scientific and verifiable information into the public arena at every opportunity, so that others can judge.

      • Anne AHerran says:

        Having written asking how to send the photo, I see that I can use this to send the photo, attached. This is all I have, from the Facebook email notifying me of the post. Initially I went to the link and it was there, and I could read it, and did, a few times. but when I went back to it later, and clicked on it, it had been removed.

        It is to my eyes unreadable, much as I wish it were not, but maybe you can work some magic on it. And make it so. I leave it with you.


        Anne A’Herran

        Sent from my iPad


      • johnnwdhughes says:

        Anne, unfortunately, there was nothing attached. Perhaps you can send it by email to info@thenorwoodresource.org.au?

      • johnnwdhughes says:

        Anne, I am still intrigued by your statement – “I am not hysterical, or shrill, or desperate, (your words)”. Now that you have been pointed to the full discussion thread, could you please point out where I have used these words, as I am very certain that I, johnnwdhughes, have not used those words.

  9. Anne A'Herran says:

    I see some grammatical errors in my post. a “your” for a “you’re”, an “it’s” for “with”, the omission of an apostrophe of possession, etc. I trust no one will take me up on those. My meaning is clear.

  10. Hi Anne. I have certainly never referred to anyone in relation to this debate as an alcoholic or schizophrenic.

    I can only presume you are referring to a post on my timeline some years ago in which I was talking, primarily to other friends who knew the person concerned, about an vulnerable and easily manipulated friend of mine who was at that time a patient at Glenside.

    I have no idea why Sharon took this on. I have repeatedly explained to her that it had nothing to do with her, and I am not sure why she or anyone else would assume it was.

    It is very difficult to get an idea of what someone thinks when you are relying on bits of posts taken from their timeline and then posted into another discussion, one which they had decided they did not wish to participate in, without any context or explanation.

    As for suggesting that some of the posts on certain groups are hsyterical and fact-free, I certainly stand by that.

    Simply repeating endlessly stories which are extreme or fanciful or outright fabrication, is not a useful contribution to any discussion, nor does it make the stories repeated any more true.

    I will post something further on this on my own Facebook timeline in a few days time. You are very welcome to visit.

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