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Sydney — On Tuesday, Australia’s Northern Territory lifted a nearly two-year moratorium on fracking to extract gas, unlocking vast onshore reserves in the resource-rich region and raising the possibility of other provinces following suit. The Northern Territory (NT), a 1.4-million square kilometre expanse of outback extending from the centre of Australia to its northern coastline, had banned hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, in September, 2016 amid concerns the drilling method could harm the environment. It commissioned an inquiry into the environmental, social and economic risks of the extraction process and on Tuesday accepted the inquiry’s conclusion that the risks were manageable. "The moratorium on fracking in the Northern Territory will be lifted, with strict new laws to be in place before exploration or production can occur," Chief Minister Michael Gunner told reporters in the Territory’s capital, Darwin. The announcement, which drew criticism from environment...

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