THE company that wants to look for shale oil in the Midlands says it will need to "frack" to extract the gas, but cannot do so without approval.
Petratherm managing director Terry Kallis said the company was yet to be granted an exploration licence for 3900 square kilometres of the Southern Midlands, but if the project did continue to production, it was likely to require the controversial hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" process.
"It is most likely that we will need to hydraulically fracture the shale to increase the extraction to make it economic," Mr Kallis said.
But Mr Kallis said that process was at least five years and several stages of government approval away from that point.
Mr Kallis made the comments yesterday after a motion by the Greens to impose a two-year moratorium on fracking in Tasmania was overruled by the major parties.
Mining Minister Bryan Green said the motion was effectively a moratorium on mining exploration licences.
"It would reverberate around the halls of investors all around the world, and they would draw parallels between this and other opportunities in Tasmania," Mr Green said.
Lyons Green MHA Tim Morris, who moved the motion, said it was about protecting the water supply and farming land, and ensuring the community was informed about the proposal.
Denison Greens MHA Cassy O'Connor mentioned cases in Texas, where fracking had contaminated aquifers and resulted in flammable tap water.
Mr Kallis said the company would hold public meetings if its exploration licence was granted.
The government received 22 submissions on the licence application and a decision is not expected until October.
Mr Kallis said the proposal was being used as a "political football".