Queensland Bans Chemicals used in Fracturing
The Australian state of Queensland has banned the use of benzene and several other aromatic chemicals in fracture stimulation in the state’s coalseam methane gas formations. Other chemicals included in the ban are toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes.
The bill was introduced in the Queensland parliament on Oct. 5 despite testimony from the state’s energy minister that the chemicals are not currently used in fracturing in that state’s coalseam gas wells.
The minister said that only about 5% of the state’s wells have been fracked, and fracturing fluids are typically 99% sand and water.
Nevertheless, the state’s parliament voted to ban the use of these chemicals in any further development of coalseam gas resources. That industry is being developed quickly in order to provide gas for four planned LNG export facilities in Queensland.