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APA Group: don’t light the fuse on the Beetaloo carbon bomb

APA Group is Australia’s largest gas pipeline operator. The company is planning to construct several pipelines to support extensive fracking in the Beetaloo Basin by Empire Energy and Tamboran Resources.

The scale of these projects is enormous. Analysis by Climate Analytics estimates that Tamboran’s projects alone could unleash emissions equivalent to 2.3 billion tonnes of CO2, which would be like running an Eraring-sized coal power station for 194 years. This is fundamentally incompatible with global climate goals and APA’s own emissions reduction targets.

Earlier this week 17 organisations including Market Forces, GetUp, AYCC, Nurrdalinji, Healthy Futures, Jubilee, 350.org, Arid Lands Environment Centre, ARRCC, Environment Centre NT, Lock the Gate, Move Beyond Coal, Parents for Climate, Doctors for the Environment, The Wilderness Society, Pacific Climate Warriors, and Australian Conservation Foundation, signed an open letter calling on APA not to enable these destructive projects by building the pipelines.

Will you raise your voice and add your name to the open letter?

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Call on APA to rule out developing any pipelines that would enable fracking in the Beetaloo Basin

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TOOK ACTION: APA Group open letter - May 2024

You can find the full text of the open letter linked on this webpage. Your name will be added in the form [first name] [first initial of last name] (e.g. John S.).

Protesters call on APA to not enable fracking in the Northern Territory.

Protesters call on APA to not enable fracking in the Northern Territory. Photo credit: GetUp

APA’s proposed pipelines for Tamboran
APA proposed pipelines for Tamboran
APA’s proposed pipelines for Empire
APA proposed pipelines for Empire

Incompatible with climate goals

Although Tamboran and Empire’s production forecasts are highly uncertain, if their forecasts are achieved Market Forces estimates the combusted gas could release approximately 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2-e when burned. Our estimate is conservative, with Climate Analytics estimating total emissions from just Tamboran’s developments potentially reaching 2.3 billion tonnes CO2-e over 25 years.

Due to the sheer scale of the Beetaloo developments, projected potential emissions near the total combined emissions from the five projects currently under construction by Australia’s largest oil and gas companies, Woodside and Santos.

Comparison of Beetaloo potential emissions with Woodside and Santos projects

Developing new gas fields, such as the Beetaloo Basin, seriously undermines the world’s ability to achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Financial risks

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has found that gas from the Beetaloo Basin is highly unlikely to be commercially competitive, posing significant financial risks for APA.

Tamboran Resources, Empire Energy, and Falcon Oil and Gas require substantial external funding to realise their plans. These projects may have low economic value, high costs, and uncertain returns, potentially leading to underutilised APA pipelines after significant upfront construction costs.

Traditional Owner and local opposition

Traditional Owners including the Nurrdalinji Aboriginal Corporation, as well as local farmers and landholders, have voiced vehement opposition to the Beetaloo fracking plans, including raising concerns about risks to groundwater in the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer, which sustains local livelihoods and ecosystems.

In September 2023, independent expert and UN Special Rapporteur Marcus Orellana, criticised the Beetaloo Basin gas plans over climate, human rights and environmental concerns. A full report will be published in September this year.

Health impacts

In August 2023, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Albanese, stating:

“The proposal to frack shale gas in the Beetaloo Basin and construct a gas processing hub at the Middle Arm Precinct in the centre of Darwin Harbour poses serious threats to the health and wellbeing of our children and our communities”.

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Join thousands of people calling on APA to rule out developing any pipelines that would unleash billions of tons of emissions from the Beetaloo Basin.

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