Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been practiced around the world for decades, but has recently come to public attention due to the exponential growth of tight oil activity in the US.
at Petrocorp's Kaimiro-2 gas well in Taranaki.
but some fracks have occurred in Waikato and Southland.
Fracks in total
approval and monitoring.
The resource consent application must be accompanied by an Assessment of Environmental Effects, which details the effect the activity may have on the environment. Included within the consent application is any request to source freshwater for the operation.
Fracking fluid approval. Chemicals used in fracking must be approved by Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, which is implemented by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The approval will contain conditions for storage, transport, handling, labelling and disposal of chemicals.
As the PCE notes, The Royal Society of London concludes fracking can be managed as long as 'operational best practices are implemented and enforced through regulation'.
New Zealand companies drill far less wells (to date less than 100 fracks have occurred), and these take place in a very limited geographic area, under a comparatively stringent regulatory regime.
Mainly vertical wells. 4-5 pumps. Up to 30 bbl/min. Sand reservoirs. Typically below 3000m.
Mainly horizontal wells. 20+ pumps. Up to 150 bbls/min. Shales and coals. Various 800m+ depths.