ARROW Energy has found ‘minute traces’ of cancer-causing chemical benzene in two wells of its Moranbah Gas Project in the Bowen Basin, central Queensland.
A statement from the coal seam gas (CSG) company, bought by Shell this year, says the traces were found in three out of 60 fluid samples.
“Water from these wells is managed in accordance with regulations governing coal seam water and is contained in lined, fenced ponds for treatment or removal,” said Arrow in a statement.
“There are no registered water bores within five kilometres of the three wells and coal seam water is not used for feedstock. However as a precaution, Arrow will conduct testing of water from bores closest to the area.
“Arrow has not used chemicals containing benzene (or other members of the BTEX group of chemicals) in its fraccing fluids.”
The company will conduct further independent testing to verify results, to see whether the benzene is naturally-occurring or potentially as a result of oil based in lubricants, diesel and petrol.
The issue comes at a busy time for UK-based Shell's Australian interests, after agreeing to sell a third of its stake in Woodside Petroleum for $3.26 billion yesterday.
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