Santos Ltd has won the first approval from Australia’s Northern Territory to resume shale drilling, nearly three years after the territory banned fracking amid concerns about the impact on water and indigenous sites.
The ban was lifted last year with recommendations for strict new rules to govern fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which involves injecting water and chemicals at high pressure to break up rock to release oil or gas.
On Wednesday, the Northern Territory government said it had approved Santos’s plan to drill in the McArthur Basin after the company revised its wastewater management and spill management plans.
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