Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    BTEX ban enforced through legislation

    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    Tuesday, October 05, 2010

    BTEX ban enforced through legislation

    The Queensland Government has made good on its commitment to ban petroleum compounds containing benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, known as BTEX, from coal seam gas (CSG) operations.

    The ban will be enforced through legislation contained in a Bill introduced to State Parliament today by Minister for Natural Resource Mines and Energy, Stephen Robertson.

    The Minister said BTEX petroleum compounds were not used in Queensland CSG operations.

    “With the Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2010 tabled today in State Parliament we are well on the way to ensuring they never will be,” Mr Robertson said.

    BTEX compounds have been used in overseas oil and gas operations during what is known as the fraccing process.

    Fraccing involves pumping fluid at high pressure into a coal seam to fracture the seam and allow gas to flow readily into gas wells, although the vast majority of gas wells do not need to be fracced.

    It is a long-established and widely used process in other countries.

    “In Queensland, fraccing fluids are commonly 99 percent sand and water.

    “Around 1 percent is made up of additives: typically widely used chemicals including sodium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid (both used in swimming pools), cellulose (used to make paper), acetic acid (the active part of vinegar) and small amounts of disinfectants.

    “It is estimated that since 2000, around five per cent of coal seam gas drilled in Queensland have been fracced, although this proportion is expected to increase as CSG production increases,” Mr Robertson said.

    Mr Robertson said CSG companies were required by law to provide daily bore logs to the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) and DEEDI had requested operators to provide it with the results of any fraccing and CSG water ponds sampled to date.

    Media contact: 0417 154 660