Bruce Holland

B Com (Econ), DPM (AGSM), Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors, FAIE.

Bruce Holland

Bruce Holland

Bruce has worked in many different roles in the steel making, oil & gas industry and the electricity industries, as well as being self employed.

Bruce’s roles within the energy industry (oil & gas as well as electricity) have included Project Director roles for major infrastructure projects, Group Manager for Business Development, Commercial roles (such as gas marketing and negotiations for new large long term gas supply arrangements), operational roles, production planning and co ordination of operations, gas supply, oil and LPG movement and shipping, planning and various operational functions.

Bruce has served on numerous industry committees, including studies for the long term gas supply / demand studies for southern and eastern markets of Australia.

Bruce has also been in business, having owned and operated a wholesale/retail outlet, and  currently operates a consulting and advisory business, specialising in the commercial aspects of the electricity and the oil & gas industries.



  1. That is really attention-grabbing, You are an overly skilled
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  2. bruceholland2013 says:

    Hi sdsolarelectric,
    Thank you for your kind words, I would like to blog more often so hopefully there are more opportunities in the New Year to test this new career move :))
    Have a good one

    • On what scientific basis are you making that assertion? Do you mean that livestock are putting their mouths down about 2000+ metres to drink? the frac fluids do not come anywhere near to any aquifers. Hope you are not suggesting any fracs in SE of SA because none has occurred there and no frac proposals have made to SA Regulator.

      • You haven’t done your research on SE geology, nor do you understand about surface spillages and contaminant pathways.

      • johnnwdhughes says:

        Anne, I would suggest it is you who has not done your research on the geology of SE South Australia, or the subject of Geology, as you appear to show little understanding of it (or. alternatively, you are deliberately misleading your readers). You appear to have chosen not to respond to my response to an earlier comment of yours (or are you still researching your response?): Furthermore, in the interests of brevity, I chose not to correct you on another of your misconceptions in that earlier comment. Your statement “….. much of the gas if(sic) found near faults – it is partly how shale etc was formed in the first place.” demonstrates you have no understanding of how shale is formed. Shale is not formed near faults.

    • Bruce Holland says:

      Thank you also for the reference to the newspaper article, and like many newspaper articles portraying one side of the discussion, there are many assertions and very little by way of facts or evidence. The veterinary researchers referenced have produced articles along similar lines, which I am sure you are aware have been questioned in terms of their scientific approach, and lack of source references for verification. This is even pointed out in the article itself. Further, fracking has been going on for quite some time now in the USA and these isolated reports, which cannot be substantiated, lack credibility.
      That is not to say there have not been no spillages, accidents and so on, however, putting the scale of the increase in activity in the USA (having increased its oil and gas production by approx. 50 and 60% respectively) it is understandable isolated incidents occur from time to time.
      You are also aware that the Regulatory regimes are very different in the USA compared to SA, and some of those past practices sometimes employed in the USA, which may not have had good oversight, are not permitted in SA.
      However like all “good” newspaper articles (I repeat without substance to verify the claims), it is designed to elicit an emotional and negative response in its readers.
      Perhaps a good reference to bear in mind (in reference to such articles) is a quote from Mark Twain;
      “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you read the newspaper you are misinformed”
      Bruce Holland

  3. Don’t frack near faults 41 mins 52 seconds. Faults all over SE of SA See 8 mins 33 also.

  4. Bruce Holland says:

    Thank you Anne for your references.
    I wonder if you could be a little more specific on the second reference as there are a few webinars and I couldn’t actually locate the one you mentioned.
    I will respond more fully in the next day or so.
    Bruce Holland

  5. Bruce, Professor Craig Simmons invited Bill Fisher to Flinders University to speak. I attended. The American Revolution in Unconventional Oil & Gas Continues
    Presented By: William (Bill) Fisher

    A public lecture presentation by William (Bill) Fisher presented on 17 April 2015.

    Fisher is highly respected by the Petroleum and Gas industry, and if a man in that position says that you should not frack near faults, then the industry MUST take note. Bruce, the geological science is in.

  6. Bruce Holland says:

    Anne, thanks for your comment but it appears to be very selective. The concept of fracking near a fault is definitely not new – it has been well known for quite some time, even in conventional wells. Fracks are expensive – there is no way an oil company would deliberately frack close to a fault as it would be a complete waste of money. This is why seismic imaging is carried out – to ensure that the geology is imaged accurately so that the location of well bores and fracks are optimally placed. We note that in Bill Fisher’s talk he also states that “Concern for groundwater contamination from fracturing is not much concern now, simply because no documentation has shown it occurs”. The overall message from Bill Fisher’s lecture is that fracking and shale oil/gas is nowhere near as risky as some people claim

    • Perhaps Bruce, you had better ask Beach Energy what they were doing drilling through faults for exploration. In case you don’t know, much of the gas if found near faults – it is partly how shale etc was formed in the first place. When I asked Professor Bill Fisher about the SE scenario, his reply was the same – don’t go near faults. The SE is full of faults.

      • johnnwdhughes says:

        Anne, you are now confusing “conventional” with “unconventional” exploration. In many petroleum basins around the world “conventional” gas (and oil) reservoirs are found in fault closed structures and the SE of SA (and SW Victoria) is no exception. The accumulated gas (or oil) is generally found in “3-way” dip closed structures trapped against faults (the fault being the “4th-way”). NB. note the term “trapped” – this can only occur when the fault is impervious (ie the oil/gas is trapped and has not leaked to the surface via the fault). Unconventional gas/oil explorers are looking for the oil/gas in geological horizons before the molecules have moved into such conventional structures. That is, away from the faults. As Bruce rightly said, they would be wasting their money if they conducted a frack near a fault.

  7. I understand that there are health risks with the chemicals used and with the produced waste water and air emissions produced by the fracking process. Surface water and soil contamination occurs. Gas wells leak such as around Camden and in Qld. The recent CSIRO study in Qld found most gas wells were leaking methane. This contributes to climate change and there are grave health, social justice and financial concerns with climate change. Already this year we are facing severe weather warnings – drought and fire risks. I think it would be sensible and prudent to not invest in a gas industry that has known and unknown risks to our water and health associated with it, and that increases global warming and atmospheric methane. We need to look for a positive vision for the future such as investment in renewable energy, sustainable energy efficient homes and electric cars.

    • Bruce Holland says:

      Thank you Catherine for your views.
      You would be aware there is already detectable pollution in the near surface aquifer in the SE from fertilisers, pesticides and waste from sewerage works, so the SE aquifers are not pristine as some of the local anti gas advocates would have us believe.
      In regard to the hydraulic fracking fluid, it consists of 99.5% water and sand, the balance of 0.5% are chemical, most of which are commonly found in products used around the home.
      Many of the statements that you ‘understand’ are not backed up with evidence, there are some isolated instances reported out of the USA, but given the enormity of the increased operations (increasing production from 5 million barrels/d to 9 million barrels/d) there have been isolated incidents of above ground spills. You would also be aware that the regulatory regime in Australia is different to that in the USA. The SA regulator being independently assessed as being in the top three regulators in the world for shale and tight gas (where fracking is required) must surely give you confidence that world’s best practice regulatory oversight would be applied to any development in the SE.
      Further, the CSIRO study showed that methane leakage from wells was the equivalent to the methane vented by four cows, and given that methane is the product the company is trying to produce, it is in it’s own best interest not to lose any methane to the atmosphere. This is hardly a strong argument for your ideological view.
      As we have already discussed, gas produces around 50% less Co2 than coal for electricity generation, and as you have stated previously you are a practical person, and given that there may be gas in the SE which in time could replace coal fired electricity generation, isn’t inconsistent of you not to support gas development?
      For the world to move to renewable energy Catherine is no easy task. We agree renewables ought to make up a larger proportion of the energy mix, but to get there we need a planned transition. However, given that the world’s current energy mix only constitutes a very small percentage coming from renewables now, and the world’s population (and its energy requirements) is continually increasing (as well as a good proportion of the current population being without electricity) how do we, and how fast do we, as a world transition to renewables Catherine? How do we feed the growing population without fertilisers, ie ammonia / urea (produced from gas) which is combined with phosphate to make super phosphate.
      Of course there is the cost of electricity which is increasing in SA, particularly with the closure of Port Augusta power station in March 2016.
      Electric cars need electricity, where will the electricity (and infrastructure) come from Catherine? Renewables? – but when the wind doesn’t blow and sun doesn’t glow where does the base load electricity generation come from, not just for the SE, but for the world? Batteries you say? Where are they? It is unlikely there will be widespread battery roll out to replace base load power requirements anytime soon.
      Batteries, wind farms and solar are all dependent upon the mining and the fossil fuel industry. Gas is essential for smelting and the steel making process.
      Further Catherine, where do you (and when will we) source all the alternatives to the myriad of fossil fuel products in our daily lives, such as plastics (mobile phones, computers, credit cards even our money now) fuel (avgas for air travel, diesel for agriculture, transport etc) the list goes on, and bearing in mind coal is an essential ingredient to make steel, which is used universally for cars, bridges, wind farms and so on.
      You state, “We need to look for a positive vision for the future such as investment in renewable energy, sustainable energy efficient homes and electric cars”
      I put it to you this is a step by step transition which will take many, many, many years, and as part of this transition gas provides an essential stepping stone toward this vision you have. It is great to have this vision but right now and in the foreseeable future it is not achievable without a progressive rational plan of transition.
      Alternatively, you could try and get through a week or two without using any fossil fuel products – that includes mobile phones, computer, fuel, many pharmaceuticals, credit card, money, steel products (cars etc) just to see how hard it would be to wean the population off fossil fuels.
      No easy task Catherine and Gas has an essential role to play by replacing coal and supplying other parts of the world with fuel for electricity generation as quickly as we can make it happen.

  8. I just watched last night’s Today Tonight program with Professor Tony Ingraffea giving evidence via Skype to the SA Parliamentary inquiry. He pointed out the grave risks of water contamination and well failure. I was also very concerned about the density of the shale gas wells superimposed over Penola. There appeared to be more than one well per kilometre and this would make farming or viticulture extremely difficult in our region.

    • Bruce Holland says:

      Catherine, I assume you have not read the full Hansard record of Ingraffea’s testimony, as you would have realised that, as with most media articles, this testimony has been cherry picked.
      In fact, it is quite remarkable that his following words about shale gas have not been mentioned in a media report about fracking: “Fracking is a part, as you notice, but it’s one of only many parts, and as you will hear during the rest of my testimony, in my opinion it is that part that brings with it the least risk”. and “Fracking is not the issue with water contamination. Well bore integrity and surface spills are the issue. ”
      We also note how the learned professor effectively contradicts himself. On one hand he talks about the trend to multi-well pads and horizontal drilling that has developed as the shale gas/oil industry has matured in the United States but on the other, refers to what are obviously older practices (i.e. single well pads). For example, he talks about the trend to multi-well pads and “Larger drill rigs: you drill not only 2,000 or 3,000 metres down, but you’re going to have to turn that well and drill another 2,000 or 3,000 metres laterally”. This means that, these days, a large area can be accessed from the one well location. Assuming just 2500m laterally, this would mean that modern multi-well pads can access a circular area 5km in diameter. However, Ingraffea asks the committee to “…use your imagination and map these 60-plus pads into that area” which, given “that area” could by his own testimony, be accessed from just one well pad, is an extreme case of misinformation being promulgated by the professor.
      TNR is not the only organisation that notes the inconsistencies in Ingraffea’s work. You may find the following link informative:
      TNR would thus suggest that not only is the “Today Tonight” article cherry-picked from Igraffea’s testimony, but Ingraffea’s testimony is also a cherry-pick of the facts and science by him.
      Further, the high well failure rates often quoted by Tony Ingraffea in the order of 40% to 60% do not represent a failure that has led to a loss of containment and are highly mis leading. The main source of data that Tony Ingraffea has referenced as examples of high well failure rates is from an article ( in Oilfield Review that analyses instances known as sustained casing pressure (SCP). SCP does not mean a well has lost containment. SCP only refers to the build-up of pressure in one or more annuli within the well and is detected through ongoing pressure monitoring.
      You might also like to research the following, as Tony Ingraffea credibility is sorely tested

      Further, we note that Ingraffea attacks the local regulations and the regulatory body in SA. It is obvious from this attack he has scant knowledge of the SA Regulatory environment which is objective based and not prescriptive based, so many of his comments and assertions in relation to the regulations and the regulatory environment were simply ‘off base,’ not applicable to our regulatory environment.
      There are no proposals for fracture stimulation or large scale development wells targeting shale in the SE. If/when this activity is proposed, it is at that point where all potential environmental risks (which in addition to the natural environment, includes public health, impact on local economy, cumulative impacts, impacts on brand etc.) will be assessed through the EIR/SEO process under the SA Act, in consultation with the public and all stakeholders who may potentially be affected – well before any decision by government to approve or not approve the activity.
      thank you

  9. Heather Heggie says:

    The South East is a rare and valuable food bowl for SA. the world is already 40% over allocated in it’s water budget. The food crisis is not in the future – it is now. More powerful countries than Australia have staked their claims on getting food from ‘somewhere else’ in future. Clean food is a rare and wonderful thing in today’s world as is clean water. SE farmers are working hard to lighten their footprint. Australian farmers in particular are far more sustainable than the emerging third world. Their knowledge is a far more valuable export for SA . than gas. Dust and pollution from gasfield traffic as well as venting methane and flaring, and evaporation miasma of volatile organic compounds interspersed with our agriculture would be an unwelcome disaster. % is meaningless here as it is with asbestos. The Sisters of Mercy (NGO) Mercy International Association: Global Action have produced a report “A Guide to Rights Based Advocacy” Human Rights Law and Fracking” has found the fracking industry in breach of human rights in several areas. The organisation enjoys Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
    The seismic nature of the SE of SA would put our aquifers at risk if gasfield activity were to expand especially as a very high % of fracking water is left underground. The Blue Lake was formed by a steam explosion. Venting and flaring produce toxic substances as methane is very toxic. We drink rainwater in the SE. We do not drink bore water. We need clean air.

    • Bruce Holland says:

      Heather, thank you for your thoughts. I make the following points for you to consider;
      • South Australia’s regulatory system is world class and the State is considered an international leader in this space. Indeed, it has been independently assessed as being in the top three Regulatory regimes in the world for tight gas and shale gas. Situations where fracking would be used.
      • Hundreds of wells have been fracture stimulated in the Cooper Basin without incident. Aquifers are not being contaminated, oil and gas production is occurring on pastoral lands where there are beef cattle stations gaining and retaining organically certified beef. Poof the industries can and do mutually coexist.
      • Companies operating in South Australia, and the rest of Australia, are required to use the highest standard of engineering practices to ensure that any potential risk is mitigated with well design. That’s why you hear companies talk about triple steel and cement cased wells. They are designed to withstand higher pressures than they will face during operation and in many cases are more structurally sound than surrounding rocks.
      • The story on today tonight unfortunately represents unbalanced views. (see comment in relation to a response to Catherine Pye)
      • Some of the messages from Tony Ingraffea and Peter Makin that were put forward appear to be designed to scare people. There was no balanced view put forward.
      • Our understanding is that Beach has not yet considered a forward program for the South East, nor has it applied to fracture stimulate. When (and if) that occurs, it will need to apply to the Government, and it is at that point where all potential environmental risks (which in addition to the natural environment, includes public health, impact on local economy, cumulative impacts, impacts on brand etc.) will be assessed through the EIR/SEO process under the SA Act, in consultation with the public and all stakeholders who may potentially be affected – well before any decision by Government to approve or not approve the activity.
      • It is misleading to say that the South East would be covered in gas wells. The South East has been producing gas for decades (Katnook Gas Plant) which may come as a surprise to many because the footprint is so small, and in many cases the well heads have gone unnoticed and rigs are only in place for around 6 weeks.
      • I would encourage anyone with questions to always be in touch with the companies mentioned directly to learn firsthand what they are proposing to do, rather than taking information from the media.

      Heather, depending upon the gas resources that may or may not be in the SE, the SE could potentially see great benefits through the export of gas as well as all the traditional exports it is benefiting from now, without any quality impacts from gas exploring and development.
      thank you

  10. Bruce, Hope you have given the Parliamentary Committee the full pages on Fracking the Future requested, as you had only cherry picked one page for them.

    • johnnwdhughes says:

      Interesting tactic Anne! The whole of The Australia Institute’s article “Fracking the Future” is actually a classical case of cherry picking. Simply taking one or two examples from it to demonstrate the extreme bias is not a case of cherry picking – it simply exposes the document for what it is.

  11. Anne, before you make an attack on me you should do your research on my background which includes being a geologist for 49 years — I know the geology of the SE quite well in several roles both in industry and in government. Your comments about me are not sustainable.

  12. Margie Stevenson says:

    Did you ever work with Bob Love

  13. Bruce Holland says:

    Hi Margie
    His name is familiar Margie.
    Unfortunately I can’t recall the circumstances (time and place) so I am guessing it might have been a few years ago.


  14. Bruce Holland says:

    PS Margie
    I am sorry for the late posting of my response – I did post a similar reponse earlier but it seemed to have vanished – or maybe Operator error .

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