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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 1922 asked in the Legislative Council on 12 March 2019 by Hon Robin Chapple

Question Directed to the: Minister for Regional Development representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum
Minister responding: Hon W.J. Johnston
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Tabled Paper No: 2606- View tabled paper
Question

I refer to the New Standard Energy wells in the Great Sandy Desert and the photographs found at https://robinchapple.com/new-standard-energy-wells, and ask:
(a) how many wells did the company drill and what are their names;
(b) what is the status of the wells;
(c) in reference to the photograph of the Nicolay 1 gas well showing a Christmas tree and adjacent dam, has the Christmas tree been removed;
(d) if yes to (c), when was it removed and who removed it;
(e) if no to (c), who will remove the Christmas tree and who will pay for its removal;
(f) what was the purpose of the dam in the photograph of Nicolay 1 gas well;
(g) have the contents of the dam been tested for toxicity;
(h) has the dam been rehabilitated;
(i) if yes to (h), when was it rehabilitated, by whom and who paid for it;
(j) has the well been tested for leaks;
(k) if yes to (j), what were the results;
(l) if no to (j), why not;
(m) what is the estimated cost of rehabilitating the Nicolay 1 drill pad area, wellhead and any associated infrastructure;
(n) what is the estimated cost of rehabilitating all other New Standard Energy wells and infrastructure;
(o) what is the estimated timeframe for the rehabilitation of Nicolay 1 and any other New Standard Energy wells;
(p) will the Minister table the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) direction notice provided to New Standard Energy in mid-2018 to rehabilitate the sites drilled by them in the Canning Basin;
(q) if not to (p), why not;
(r) was fracking conducted on any of the New Standard Energy wells; and
(s) how will the Minister ensure that oil and gas companies will rehabilitate wells and well sites in the future?

Answered on 9 April 2019

(a) Four wells. Gibb Maitland-1, Nicolay-1, Lanagan-1 and Lawford-1.

(b) Nicolay-1 is suspended. All other wells are plugged and decommissioned.

(c) No.

(d) Not applicable.

(e) New Standard Onshore Pty Ltd have been directed to decommission Nicolay-1.

(f) To contain drill cuttings and drill fluids.

(g) No. The sump is lined with an artificial liner to prevent the leaching of liquids from the sump into the environment. The contents of the sump will be tested prior to rehabilitation. If material that poses an environmental risk is detected it will be removed and disposed of offsite at a licensed waste facility. The well was drilled using water based drill fluids.

(h) No. New Standard Onshore Pty Ltd have been directed to rehabilitate the Nicolay-1 site by 30 November 2019.        

(i) Not applicable.

(j) Yes.

(k) No leaks were identified.

(l) Not applicable.

(m) The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) does not have an estimate of the likely cost of the work as there is no requirement for the company to provide these costs under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967. It is the company’s responsibility to undertake these works at its own cost.

(n) Refer to response (m).

(o) New Standard has been directed to decommission Nicolay-1 by 30 November 2019. All other wells are plugged and decommissioned.

(p) Yes. See tabled paper no.

(q) Not applicable.

(r) No.

(s) Rehabilitation requirements are regulated in accordance with the relevant Acts and subsidiary regulations. DMIRS, in conjunction with other regulators, is responsible for ensuring the decommissioning and rehabilitation of oil and gas activities.