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Industry hopeful on fracking report

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New Zealand News | Wednesday November 28 2012 5:32

Industry hopeful on fracking report

The oil and gas industry is hopeful a high-level report which cautiously approves fracking will go some way towards reassuring the public.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has still to issue a final report on fracking, but has put forward an interim finding that with the right regulation, it can be undertaken safely in New Zealand.

Petroleum Exploration and Production Association CEO David Robinson is welcoming the scrutiny.

"We know that we've got a lot of work to do to earn the trust of New Zealanders, and we're committed to doing that.

"We're committed to being very open and transparent about our operations."

David Robinson thinks the industry has a 'social licence' for fracking in Taranaki, but says it's still to be earned from the rest of New Zealand.

Environmental Chemistry lecturer Dr Sally Gaw says with remediation options limited, we need to think now about how we'd like our groundwater to be used in the future.

"With fracking there's no social licence yet, and I'm not sure that if there will be social licence, that people fully understand what some of those potential risks are; what the potential consequences if something goes wrong are."

Sally Gaw says even with operational best practice in fracking, blowouts, mechanical failure and human error all have the potential to be disastrous..

"Remediation options for contamination are very, very limited.

"The consequences of something going wrong can be quite significant, and I think possibly that could have been discussed a little bit more."

Gaw thinks the environmental risks of fracking far outweigh the economic benefits.

Photo: Getty Images

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