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  1. Jane Crampton says:

    Bruce, why the hell are you sticking your unwanted nose in the SE of SA? Stick to the city, you have no right spreading your oil and gas myths about the safety of fracking in our region. We are not idiots and we are capable of doing our own research and the evidence around the world (Prof Ingraffea I believe has more knowledge on this topic than you ever will and comparing the SE to the Cooper Basin shows that you have no understanding of the geology of our region and the potential to contaminate 30% of the states potable water which is in the SE) is mounting that fracking has the potential to cause severe contamination. No offence but it is your generation that seriously damaged our planet and you are continuing to perpetrate your fossil fuel insatiability into your retirement. Stop sticking your old nose in other peoples business and go enjoy your no doubt comfortable retirement with the cash you’ve made from polluting our world.

    • Jane, your response to Bruce’s article is defamatory and highlights your lack of knowledge on the subject. If you wish to participate in the debate, please keep your comments to the scientific facts, and not misinformed, emotive ’tilting at windmills’.

    • johnnwdhughes says:

      Jane, it appears you may have learned your geology of the SE from Anne Daw! As per my following response to her: she is obviously very confused about faults, where shales occur and shale gas exploration in general. Further, using Prof Ingraffea’s cherry picked and biased claims as your “hymn book” adds your and Anne’s confusion. See: It is interesting to note that you incorrectly claim the petroleum industry has “seriously damaged the planet” when it is rather obvious that generations of agriculturists have seriously damaged it and, on a global basis, still continue to do so, by land clearing (ie killing trees and removing native animal habitat). While the products of both the agricultural and petroleum industries are important to society (and each other!) surely this debate should be based on ALL the facts and science.

      • You are making a fool of yourself Bruce – my reputation for my facts is untarnished

      • Sorry, meant to say John. It is terrible to hear from my friends who are living in the gas fields in the eastern states, the hell they are going through with their health and sick animals. None of this is made up. What future are we leaving for our children?

      • johnnwdhughes says:

        Anne, you took a long time (14 months) to think up that response! By claiming your reputation for “facts is untarnished”, is it among geologists or environmental activists? By “eastern states” are you talking about Australia or USA? Please be specific (ie factual).

  2. Jane, I believe that you the one that is confused and completely misinformed. You seem to have no idea about geology including the SE. If you did have some idea you would realise that the fraccing techniques are applicable to any sedimentary basin and oil & gas deposits. Prof. Ingraffea has cherry-picked passages from reports to provide biased misinformation which does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.
    Unfortunately, some of the aquifers in the SE have been contaminated by herbicides and pesticides (just look up the EPA website).
    Yes lets look for renewable, sustainable fuel sources, but remember that many of our everyday household products, including the computer you are using, are made from petroleum and mining products —so it will take years to achieve this in a commercially viable manner.
    Meanwhile, it is sad that you, Jane, choose to attack an individual and insult his person without any knowledge of him, instead of dealing with the issue in a proper manner

  3. Bruce Holland says:

    Jane, The Norwood Resource (TNR) does not spread “oil and gas myths about the safety of fracking” – the spreading of myths and misinformation is the domain of organisations like the Limestone Coast Protection Alliance, Lock The Gate and others of their ilk. TNR exposes the misinformation these organisations, as exemplified by the following article on our website:
    If you really wish to challenge what TNR stands for (factual, scientific and verifiable information) please do so on the basis of the facts and science and not resort to insults, false claims and selective use of the literature.
    Note that Tony Ingraffea’s work has been demonstrated to be extremely selective and a distortion of the facts and science: I also refer you to my response to Dr Catherine Pye . See: ” where there are many references and independent reviews of Tony Ingraffea’s work and ‘findings’.

    Bruce Holland

  4. I see now that the Wilderness Society and GAB Alliance are Engineers as they are demanding the stop to GAB Exploration because of potential bolt failures on BOP’s, I did then offer to look into the issue and supply them the facts of the failures but soon after they blocked me from their page, not surprising but a little disappointing.

    As a Mechanical Engineer, bolt failures not only concern me but also interest me as they are rare. Although I have nothing to do with exploration or drilling I can generally learn something, so I took the time to do some research. Although The Wilderness Society claim that these particular bolts that have failed come from 3 manufacturers, this is false, the bolts in question come from one being GE Oil and Gas (formerly Vetco-Gray). Generally in my experience, most bolt failures are as a result of incorrect installation, environmental factors and material (incorrect selection or manufacturing issues) or a combination.

    The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement first raised concerns in 2013/2014 over a number of failures – beginning over a decade ago around 2003 – of bolts that are used to connect blowout preventers, risers, and other subsea equipment so this is nothing new. As a robust regulator they took it upon themselves to investigate further not only to find out the root cause but to inform other operators of the issue, which is exactly what NOPSEMA have done in Australia once they were made aware of the issue – generally there is co-operation between regulators throughout the world.

    Although there was a minor release on December the 18th 2012 approximately 432 barrels of synthetic-based drilling fluids into the Gulf of Mexico, all other failures have occurred during testing on the actual rig itself before being deployed, again this shows that processes and procedures that are in place work.

    A RCA which was carried out by an independent consultant company Stork Testing & Metallurgical Consulting Inc. in March 2010 from an incident that occurred on January 4th 2010 found in summary that there where material issues and environmental issues based on the required engineering specifications – essentially this means quality issues from the manufacturer. Again GE Oil and Gas issued and Engineering Bulletin in January 2013 to notify customers of possible failures and to carry out various checks, additionally 10982 bolts where supplied by GE and have been replaced throughout the world. Other RCA reports find that the environment and manufacturing (quality control) where the issues.

    QC-FIT (Quality Control-Failure Incident Team) on behalf of BSEE (Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) Report in August 2014 found these areas of concern – Hardness, Quality Control, Coating, Cathodic Protection, Absence of Paint or Coating, Jarring, Installation and Counterfeit Bolts.

    Although there is a potential here but at this stage there have been no significant issues while in service and certainly no hydrocarbon releases. The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement are satisfied that the investigation and subsequent actions are adequate, although there have been gaps identified and these will be addressed. But the Wilderness Society and other eNGO’s are not satisfied, although I doubt they have read any of the information available meaning their claims are baseless. I have read all of the reports and recommendations, if you are not educated or experienced in mechanical engineering you would not have a chance of understanding this.

    This proves that the operators do have a good reporting culture, good communication with the regulator and the regulator will take the required actions to ensure that the industry remains safe.

    Again this is scaremongering at its best which would be why they have blocked me from their page as the facts get in the way of a good story.

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