29 Mar 2012

Federated Farmers supports fracking inquiry

4:01 pm on 29 March 2012

Federated Farmers has welcomed the announcement of an official inquiry into the practice of fracking, in the interests of getting some objective information and clarity about the controversial oil and gas extraction procedure.

Fracking, or horizontal hydraulic fracturing, injects a mixture of water, sand and chemicals at extreme pressure to break open cracks as a drill bores sideways through oil and gas-bearing rocks.

The technique has been used in Taranaki for about 20 years and is being extended to other parts of the country.

Federated Farmers policy and advocacy manager Mark Ross says it has received many inquiries from farmers as well as other people raising concerns about issues such as water contamination.

The Taranaki Regional Council says recent studies carried out for it have found there is no reason to stop the activity and it is processing a number of new consents for fracking operations. However, it is happy to have an independent review.

Environmental group Climate Action Taranaki hopes the inquiry will confirm environment risks and lead to the practice being banned in New Zealand.