Fracking in the Cooper Basin is safe and people need to look at the facts, Beach Energy managing director Reg Nelson has said.
Beach's operations in the Cooper were far removed from aquifers and had undergone a rigorous assessments process, he said. "There's no proven damage to aquifers and there's no proven increase in seismicity [earthquake activity] of consequence," Mr Nelson told ABC television on Sunday.
Beach Energy is expanding its Cooper Basin production by developing a shale gas project.
Mr Nelson said that while Beach has much to gain from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, he is confident the technique is environmentally sensitive and safe. "I think people just need to look at the facts and make an assessment on the facts and not on perceptions or wild assertions that are made without any foundation," he said.
Last month, Beach Energy trimmed its full-year production guidance and announced a $349 million shale oil deal with US energy company Chevron.
Last week BHP Billiton signalled it was looking at shale opportunities in Australia as part of an expansion of its American shale operations. Shale oil and gas have transformed the US economy in the past five years, but in Australia the sector is in its infancy.