Kimberley, News, Photo gallery

Buru’s Yulleroo 3 gas exploration well pad still partially underwater months after flooding

Photos reveal Kimberley  waste water pond submerged by flooding

MONDAY, May 7, 2018: Months after flood water inundated the Kimberley, Buru Energy’s  waste water pond at its Yulleroo 3 well remains under water, despite claims by the company that flooding of its ponds was so unlikely it would mean “Noah’s Ark for all of us.”

The release of photos of the flooded well pad comes on the eve of Buru Energy’s annual general meeting in Perth tomorrow (Tuesday May 8).

Yawuru traditional owner Micklo Corpus visited the well last week after flooding receded enough to allow vehicular access to the site.

He said he was shocked to see the site of the former waste water pond still underwater and much of the area inundated.

“This is something the company claimed could never happen and yet here it is,” Mr Corpus said.

“The well itself must also have been under water for some time. The fact the water is still staying around the well pad site shows that the site is no place for a fracking well.

“Yulleroo 3 is on the Roebuck Plains wetland and water is still 1 metre deep for about 2km in every direction around the pad.

“The waste water ponds are supposed to withstand a two times 100-year flood event and to be sufficiently raised above the floodplain to avoid this situation.

“Fracking has barely only started in the Kimberley and here we have the well sites inundated and the site of the former waste water ponds submerged months after the floods.

“There are so far only a handful of these fracking wells rusting away on our country. Imagine the damage that thousands of fracking wells will do to the Kimberley if the State Government gives fracking the greenlight.

“These sites were fracked without the consent of the Yawuru people on Yawuru land.”

A representative of Buru Energy claimed in a forum broadcast on ABC radio in the Kimberley on January 22, 2014[i] that if the waste water ponds were ever submerged by flooding, the rain would have to be so heavy that “it would be Noah’s Ark for all of us” a reference to rain of biblical proportions.

A spokesperson for Lock the Gate in WA Jane Hammond said the flood event showed how the company had little understanding of the environment of the Kimberley and the potential impact of their wells and waste water holding facilities.

“These photos are a shocking reminder of the folly of fracking in flood prone areas and that contamination events can and do happen,” Ms Hammond said.

“Buru Energy and the Mines Minister need to explain to the public how this event that we were told could never happen has occurred, exactly what contaminants were planned to be routinely stored in any waste water ponds and what will be done to prevent an incident like this happening again.

“This incident and flooding event only further demonstrates that the risky plan to put fracking gasfields across the Kimberley is a completely unviable and unsafe proposition that should never be attempted.”

[i] Buru Energy (22nd January 2014) ABC Kimberley hosts mining and fracking forum [Fracking Forum Part 3 – MP-3 file 9mins]