The areas where we operate are ecologically diverse and it is important that we find a balance between supporting the commercial nature of our business and ensuring the long-term net environmental benefits to the land and communities in which we work.
Our drilling activity in EP368 will have minimal environmental impact. The well site will occupy about 3.2 hectares but the area does not require any native vegetation to be cleared as it is on cleared farmland.
Fauna and flora studies have been undertaken to ascertain any potential impacts that may be caused by the drilling activity, and environmental management plans are being developed to ensure our work is carried out to the highest possible environmental and heritage standards. Our environment plans need to be assessed and accepted by Western Australian regulators before drilling can begin. As part of the process for developing these plans, we will consult with members of the local community, as well as business and government agencies that have an interest.
The reservoir targets are deep underground, isolated from shallower groundwater systems and the surface rivers.
Prior to, during and following drilling we will be adhering to all our legislated obligations and an approved environmental & safety plan for the exploration activity.
At the end of the drilling campaign the site will be fully rehabilitated to its present state.
Our seismic surveys are expected to be conducted on farmland that is previously cleared, using existing roads and tracks, so the impact to the environment will be low.
We have conducted flora and fauna surveys across the areas to help us identify areas to avoid, and to help inform our environmental management plans, to minimise any potential impact on the environment. Further flora and fauna surveys will be undertaken once access has been agreed with landholders.
The environment plans for our surveys need to be accepted by Western Australia’s regulators before we can proceed and we will be consulting the local community as we develop our plans.
If we need to access areas of vegetation, where possible, it will be done on foot to avoid clearing. We are developing a biosecurity plan to manage the risk of weed, seeds and other biosecurity threats being transported across farming properties. The plan will include protocols for inspecting and washing down vehicles.