WA axes Canning agreement

A map of the affected permits.

A map of the affected permits.

The Western Australian Government will terminate a State Agreement governing natural gas exploration and production in the Canning Basin.

The State Government, Mitsubishi Corporation and Buru Energy have mutually agreed to terminate the Natural Gas (Canning Basin Joint Venture) Agreement Act 2013 (WA).

The State Agreement covers exploration permits EP 371, 391, 428, 431, and 436.

“The State Government appreciates there is a level of community concern around fracking in WA, which is why we are commissioning an independent scientific inquiry, and have implemented a State-wide moratorium,” said WA Premier Mark McGowan.

“We have been working closely with Mitsubishi Corporation and Buru Energy to ensure compliance with the moratorium, while awaiting the outcome of the review.”

Under the terms of the termination, the permits covered by the State Agreement stay in force with no relinquishments required until 2023/24, with no additional work commitments to those already in place.

The purpose of the original State Agreement was to provide enhanced certainty of tenure over five exploration permits in the Canning Basin, with Mitsubishi and Buru intending to jointly develop a domestic gas project.

Earlier this year, the companies restructured ownership of the exploration permits covered by the State Agreement and now intend to proceed separately with projects in the region.

The Termination Agreement allows for Mitsubishi and Buru to retain ongoing security of their tenure, with the companies agreeing to await the outcome of the independent scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracture stimulation.

No fracking will be conducted while the fracking moratorium is in place.

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