eLaw Journal: Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, Vol 18, No 2 (2011)

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Shale Gas Resources in Western Australia: An Assessment of the Legal Framework for the Extraction of Onshore Shale Gas

Tina Laurie Hunter


This paper considers the regulatory framework of Western Australia for the extraction of onshore unconventional gas resources in Western Australia, particularly shale gas. It examines the impact of the primary method of extracting shale gas, hydraulic fracturing, also known as fraccing. After an examination of the fraccing process and the issues associated with the process, this paper examines the capacity of the Western Australian Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 (Western Australia) (PGERA) to regulate the fraccing process associated with the extraction of shale gas. In examining the capacity of the PGERA to regulate the fraccing process, it has identified several regulatory gaps, and suggests amendments to the existing legal framework to ensure the comprehensive regulation of fraccing activities

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