Western Australia’s DMP Investigates Hydraulic Fracturing Gas Well Leak
A hydraulic fracturing gas well in the north of Western Australia is under investigation by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) following a leak that was reported by an environmental group with accompanying video evidence of the damage.
The well, which was fractured by Buru Energy in 2010, was one of the first stimulation wells in the Laurel wet gas formation.
The DMP became aware of the incident after an environmental group, Environs Kimberley, reported it and an anti-fracturing group, Lock The Gate, took footage of the well and its gas meter, which the group claims was showing readings that the pressure at the Yulleroo-2 well was “dangerous enough to explode.”
Petroleum division executive director Jeff Haworth said that, following an initial investigation, “it appears at this stage there has been no equipment or process failure” but continued “the damage presents a serious concern if a third part was involved.”
Mr Haworth added that, “in light of the serious nature of the damage involved, the department will be investigating further.”
The damage to the well was described by Haworth as physical damage rather than a stress or pressure failure, with the wellhead valve stem bent out of shape, which brought suggestions of possible sabotage.