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The Myths

The Myth:

Gasland film and flaming tap water.

The Facts:

Gasland is a 2010 film written and directed by anti-natural gas activist Josh Fox.

The signature scene in Gasland shows a man lighting his tap water on fire.

What the film’s director didn’t show the audience was that the man’s water well had been drilled through four pockets of shallow naturally-occurring methane. State regulators determined well before the movie was released that the flaming tap water had nothing to do with natural gas development.  

View our dedicated page on 'Gasland' here. 

The Myth:

Natural CSG causes nosebleeds

The Facts:

There is no evidence in Australia or overseas that links natural gas, the same gas used by households and businesses, to health complaints.

Tens of thousands of people work in and around gas infrastructure in Australia on a daily basis and they remain a healthy workforce.

In fact, a three-decade study of workers in the oil and gas industry, show they have better health than the general Australian community.

The Myth:

Natural CSG is toxic

The Facts:

Natural gas is non-toxic.

Natural gas developed from coal seams is predominantly methane.

It contains no toxic poisonous ingredients that can be absorbed into the blood when inhaled.

Being lighter than air if it escapes into the atmosphere, it dissipates rapidly.

It is used for cooking, heating and cooling. It is used to create fertilisers and by power plants that generate electricity for commercial and domestic users.

The Myth:

Natural CSG is a new industry.

The Facts:

The Natural CSG industry has been around for decades, and it has been a significant source of gas production in Queensland for more than 15 years.

The Myth:

Fraccing uses chemicals that will destroy the environment

The Facts:

Not true.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fraccing, is a safe process for making gas wells more productive.

Fraccing fluid, comprising about 99% water and sand, is pumped down the well under pressure. The water in fraccing fluid forces the coal seams to open and the sand keeps the fractures open, providing a pathway for gas to flow more easily to the well.

The remaining one per cent is made up of chemical additives used in such diluted forms they are rendered harmless to the environment.

BTEX is banned in NSW and Queensland.

A full list of additives can be found here and on gas company websites.

The Myth:

Fraccing additives remain a mystery 

The Facts:

Industry and government have a detailed knowledge of the hydraulic fracturing process and of the additives being used. Water and sand comprise more than 99 per cent of the volume of fraccing fluid. Companies must identify additives being used in any fraccing operation and detail any likely interactions with the water and rock formations in the area being fracced. APPEA has published a list of additives used in fraccing in Australia.

The Myth:

Government has stripped rights from landholders and assigned those rights to Natural CSG companies.

The Facts:

Freehold tenure rights have always co-existed in conjunction with other forms of land tenure, including exploration and production permits. If anything, landholders’ rights have actually recently been strengthened in terms of land access and compensation.

See more on landholders here.

Partnerships - Land access


National

Number signed in 4th quarter 2012

Cumulative since 1 Jan 2011

Signed landholder agreements

279

3780

Formal disputes of access

 0

0


Queensland

Number signed in 4th quarter 2012

Cumulative since 1 Jan 2011

Signed landholder agreements

235

3499

Formal disputes of access

 0

0


New South Wales

Number signed in 4th quarter 2012

Cumulative since 1 Jan 2011

Signed landholder agreements

44

281

Formal disputes of access

 0

0

The Myth:

Natural CSG production will deplete the Great Artesian Basin and destroy prime agricultural activity.

The Facts:

The Great Artesian Basin holds about 65 million gigalitres (GL) of water.

The Queensland Water Commission (QWC) in their 2012 report “Underground water impact report for the Surat Cumulative Management Area” estimates the average volume of water to be extracted through natural CSG production over the life of the industry is approximately 95 gigalitres per year.

Water can be reinjected into the ground for future generations or made available to agriculture, businesses or local towns.

By way of comparison the QWC reports 215GL of water each year is currently extracted for consumption purposes such as agriculture, industry, urban, stock and domestic purposes. 

For a short video on this, click here.