A worker passes an oil drilling rig in an oilfield in Russia. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
A worker passes an oil drilling rig in an oilfield in Russia. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Gas companies address mystery ‘explosion’

THE SOUND and force of a loud “explosion” rocked Western Downs residents, as their homes shook with the force of an earthquake on Tuesday, November 10.

The area in question, a 20km radius near Tara, is a known coal seam gas energy hotspot - causing residents to believe the explosion may have been in relation to the industry’s operations.

Arrow Energy owns many gas tenders in the Tara-Kogan area, although a spokesman for the company said no incidents involving their operation had occurred.

Shell QGC was approached for comment, and a spokeswoman said no ‘explosions’ or like events happened in the Western Downs region.

“Shell’s QGC business can confirm no incident occurred on our operations in the Western Downs on Tuesday, November 10,” she said.

An Origin Energy spokesman also confirmed their operations were not responsible for the ‘explosion’.

Tara resident of 26 years, Shell Barber said she had never experienced anything like what she felt on the day.

“The whole house shook, I had people around and they thought a massive tree fell on the house,” she said.

“It felt like an earthquake, but it wasn’t, it was like a gas well exploding, it was massive.

“We all panicked, jumped up and ran outside to see what had happened and to see if everyone was okay.”

Within minutes of the explosion, the 45-year-old said her phone started blowing up as concerned neighbours started calling to find out if she knew what had happened.

“I had about 10 phone calls… everyone was worried, it seems to have affected a large area, from Kogan to The Gums,” she said.

“But people didn’t hear it in town.”

Ms Barber said many residents assumed the Defence Force were running Air Force training drills and that an aircraft may have created a sonic boom.

Although when the Chinchilla News contacted the Department of Defence, a spokesman said they were not responsible for the shockwave, or sound.

“Fast jets from 82WG have been conducting flying training in the Amberley Western airspace over the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“The aircraft have not conducted any training that would have caused any loud explosions.”

Spokespeople from Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Rescue were contacted and were also unable to give an explanation.

More to come…


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