Pilot Energy: Fracking off Mandurah-Bunbury exploration agenda

The company planning to explore 2310 square kilometres of land between Mandurah and Bunbury for oil and gas says it has no plans to use the controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”.

Pilot Energy, which recently announced it had entered an agreement to operate an oil and gas exploration permit in the area, said it was focused on traditional extraction techniques.

Managing director Iain Smith said: “Pilot Energy’s current strategy is to focus solely on exploring for oil and gas within conventional reservoirs, i.e., those reservoirs that produce oil or gas naturally, without a requirement for reservoir stimulation techniques such as hydraulic fracturing”.

Mr Smith said the company believed there were exploitable conventional reservoirs in the area, based on the results of previous drilling and exploration.

“Recent exploration activity has been an airborne geophysical survey performed earlier this year,” he said.

“The data from that survey is currently being analysed, and the results will determine our future exploration program.”

While there were no immediate plans to drill an exploration well, Mr Smith said Pilot Energy would consult with the community once their exploration program was better known.

There are three wells currently operating in the area, two of which were built in the 1960s.

Hydraulic fracturing is the process where oil and gas wells are stimulated by fracturing rock with high-pressure liquid.

It has been criticised by green groups, which have questioned its impact on the environment, saying the process can contaminate water supplies and contribute to climate change.

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