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Formation Water

Senator Siewert asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, upon notice, on 7 April 2008:

In regard to formation waters produced from offshore facilities:

  1. Can detailed information on waste waters (total produced formation waters) discharged into the ocean during 2005 and 2006 from all production platforms around the north west coast of Australia be provided, including: (a) the following Timor Sea producing platforms, feeding Darwin (off the North Kimberley Coast): Puffin, Jabiru, Challis/Cassini, Blacktip (Bonaparte Basin, close to the Kimberley Coast near Berkeley), Bayu Undan, Buffalo and Laminaria East; and (b) the following Pilbara producing platforms: Mutineer, Exeter, Hermes, Lambert, Angel, Cossack, Wanaea, Legendre North, Legendre South, Wandoo, Stag, North Rankin, Perseus, Echo/Yodel, Goodwyn South/Pueblo, John Brookes, East Spar, Woollybutt, Chinook/Scindian, Griffin, Yammaderry, Cowle, Crest, Saladin, Skate, Roller, Novara, Enfield, Vincent, Eskdale, Skybarrow, Campbell, Wonnich, Endymion/Sinbad, Bambra, Linda, Harriet/Gudrun, Lee/Rose, North Alkimos, Agincourt, Gipsy, Monet/Simpson/Tanami, S. Plato, Little Sandy/Pedirka/North Pedirka/Hoover, Victoria and Double Island?
  2. What is the total volume of waste water discharged per year?
  3. What is the breakdown and concentration, in milligrams per litre, of heavy metal pollution index (HPI) substances in the formation water?
  4. What mass of HPI substances, in kilograms per year, was emitted from each platform listed in paragraph (1) during 2005 and 2006?


Senator Carr (Victoria) (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) -This question was transferred to the Minister for Resources and Energy and he has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  1. Volumes of PFW discharged by facilities located around the North-west coast of Australia are provided in Table 1 attached.
  2. The total volume of PFW discharged per year varies. Volumes of PFW discharged into the ocean for the year 2005 from the facilities mentioned was approximately 25,296,597 KL. Volumes of PFW discharged into the ocean for the year 2006 from the facilities mentioned was approximately 25,938,395 KL.
  3. The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) is the only nationwide, publicly accessible inventory of substance emissions in Australia. For NPI reporting purposes, emissions are defined as the release of an NPI substance to the environment - whether in pure form or contained in other matter and /or in solid, liquid or gaseous form. All emissions are separated into emissions to air, land and water. Reported emissions are aggregated by substance from a facility, and facilities are not required to provide data in any more detail other than "emissions to water". The proportion of an emission from formation waters is not required to be reported, under the NPI National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM), neither is the breakdown and concentration in milligrams per litre.
  4. Every year, Australian industrial facilities that exceed specified thresholds of the 93 NPI substances must estimate and report their emissions directly to their state or territory environment agency. These agencies review all NPI reports for accuracy and forward the data to the Australian Government. The reports are then displayed on the NPI public website. In 2005-06, the oil production platforms reported emissions of individual heavy metal substances to water found in Table 2 attached.
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