Fracking less likely locally says chief scientist

A BRIEFING by the State's chief scientist to Resources Minister Chris Hartcher has revealed the controversial fracking process is more likely to occur around Sydney than on the Northern Rivers.

The unpublished report from chief scientist Professor Mary O'Kane to Mr Hartcher was obtained by the Greens under freedom of information laws.

It states fracking was likely in the Sydney, Gunnedah and Bowen basins because the coals are "relatively impermeable".

But the coals in the Clarence-Moreton Basin are "younger, thinner and more varied", so fracking was less likely.

Fracking is the method of hydraulically fracturing rock to extract gas reserves.

Water, sand and chemicals are injected underground and the pressure causes fractures in the rock.

A section was written by Professor Peter Cook from the Co-operative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies and the University of Melbourne.

He wrote that coals in the Clarence-Moreton Basin were wetter than coals in the Sydney, Gunnedah and Bowen basins.

"If a coal seam is wet, it probably is permeable and therefore on balance less likely to be fracked," the report states.

Lock the Gate spokesman Ian Gaillard said fracking was "very much on the agenda".



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