The South East of South Australia (SE of SA) has been the focus over the last 4 to 5 years of protests against unconventional and conventional oil & gas exploration and production.
The area has seen over 100 exploration and production wells drilled over the last 100 years. So there is a long history of exploration in the area. There has also been some natural gas production, not huge, but sufficient for the construction of gas processing and gas turbines to process and use the gas for electricity generation.
Over the last 4 to 5 years with the advent of anti fossil fuels ideology and a constant stream if misinformation coming from organisations such as Lock The Gate, Friends of the Earth, Australian Institute, Doctors for the Environment et al, they have managed to scare the local population to the point the SA Govt. commissioned The Natural Resources Committee (made up from local Members of Parliament) to undertake a review primarily of unconventional gas (fracking) impact on groundwater in the SE of SA,
The Norwood Resource (TNR) have been a regular letter writer to the local newspaper/s (The Border Watch and the Penola Pennant) setting out the facts about unconventional gas and the use of fracking, and the benefits which can accrue to an area which is fortunate enough to have gas resources which may be commercialised to enable production to occur and hence increase gas supply for industry and electricity generation which may help reduce gas and electricity prices.
Recently, Beach Energy received an incentive from the local SA Government (under the PACE initiative) to assist with the cost of exploration. Beach have proposed to a drill a conventional gas well (no fracking involved), within close proximity of some earlier wells they have drilled in the past. The new proposed well is Haselgrove -3 which will be around 5 km south of Penola – a regional township.
Following on from the letter writing mentioned above, the local very vocal anti fossil fuel (anti gas and anti lots of things) the Limestone Coast Protection Alliance (LCPA), and its supporters and hangers on have been frequently published in the local Border Watch claiming many times they have 95% plus support for a gas field free environment etc. and demonising the oil & gas exploration and production industry. TNR has regularly rebutted their loose assertions with facts and evidence.
There is even a history over the last few years of some locals claiming certain roads / townships etc to be gas field free, and putting petitions to the local Councils that the specified area is ‘Gas field and Invasive Mining Free’ No one really seems to know what this specifically is and the local Councils have a hard time supporting this sort of position, given that most Councils in the area have gravel pits and quarries.
Nonetheless, the following is a series of letters to the editor over June / July 2017.