On 6 March 2014, the Chief Minister the Hon Adam Giles MLA appointed
Dr Allan Hawke AC as the Commissioner of the Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry under the Northern Territory of Australia Inquiries Act (the Act).
Under the Act, the Commissioner will produce a report based on the terms of reference provided to him and present it to the Government.
What is hydraulic fracturing?
Hydraulic fracturing is the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes etc. so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas (Source: Oxford dictionary).
In the Territory the most common form of unconventional gas is shale gas, which will therefore be the primary focus of the Inquiry.
Shale gas is generally extracted from a clay-rich sedimentary rock, which has naturally low permeability. The gas it contains is either adsorbed or in a free state in the pores of the rock. (Source: CSIRO) Shale gas production uses horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.