Sydney, ANZAC and Glebe Island Bridges, Sydney - photo Marghanita

Ecologically Sustainable Sydney


Coal Seam Gas (Coal Bed Methane)

From ABC Q&A Transcript Monday 15 August, 2011 Disability, Fracking and Riots:...

"MALCOLM TURNBULL: Tony, this is an issue that is more serious than that flip remark would suggest. We are talking about our most precious resource is our water. We are the driest continent on earth. Now, I can tell you this, if you damage your groundwater sources, if you contaminate aquifers, whether it's by chemicals or whether it's by allowing contaminated water from a coal seam to get into a fresh water aquifer, you cannot fix it. You can't rehabilitate it. You can dig a hole in the ground and fill it in and put the topsoil back and over time perhaps you will get back to something like you had to begin with. But if you muck up the groundwater, you've got a long term problem and that is why the critical element that has been missing is the scientific work, the groundwater science, the hydrology. That is what needs to be done. We know very little about our groundwater in Australia and we need to know more."

"TONY BURKE: Well, the advice that I had from Geoscience Australia on exactly the questions that Malcolm has raised - and I think they're the right questions, I do - is that some coal seams will be watertight. Some of them will be connected through the - be it the Great Artesian Basin or whatever the groundwater is. If they're watertight, you have a very different situation because what's in there stays there. If you have them where they're porous and you've got connectivity through to your groundwater, then you have to have, in those circumstances, a very high level of precaution and you need to treat them differently."

Coal Seam Gas Town Hall Meeting

7pm Mon 1 August 2011
Leichhardt Town Hall

Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill

An Act to impose a moratorium on the granting of exploration licences for, and the production of, coal seam gas; and for other purposes.... Private Member's Bill, Legislative Council, Notice of Motion, 09/05/2011.

"Coal seam gas is recovered by drilling a well (borehole) into the coal seam and fracturing it with high-pressure water and sand.
Water is then pumped out, leaving the sand in the small fractures.
The sand keeps the fractures open, allowing gas to flow from the coal seam to the well...Gloucester Coal Seam Gas Project (AGL viewed 17 Jul 2011)

In November 2010 the residents of St Peters, an inner city suburb of Sydney, were alerted to the fact that the NSW government had granted an exploration licence to drill for Coal Seam Gas (CSG) close to homes and schools in St Peters. The licence had been granted with no community consultation and insufficient risk assessment..."

City of Sydney Trigeneration

"The City of Sydney is opposed to pursuing coal seam gas as an energy source for future trigeneration plants and in fact it can't be used directly in trigeneration engines because of poor quality methane and trace elements.
The plants will initially be supplied with natural gas and in the longer term the City will develop renewable gases to replace that natural gas from household and agricultural and other forms of waste.
The City of Sydney has made its position on coal seam gas very clear in a Council resolution passed on 6 December 2010 – we find the method commonly used to extract coal seam methane, called fracking, unacceptable because of its risks to the environment.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP has written to the Premier to call for an independent investigation into the full environmental and social impacts of coal seam gas exploration and extraction."

Phytoremediation of BTEX hydrocarbons: potential impacts of diurnal groundwater fluctuation on microbial degradation.

These results combined with the knowledge that high-transpiration trees draw the contaminated groundwater to the capillary fringe and the rhizosphere indicate that phytoremediation can aid microbial degradation via multiple mechanisms: increasing degrader populations, increasing oxygen input via groundwater diurnal fluctuations, and transporting contaminants to the biologically-enriched soil profile...Int J Phytoremediation. 2009 Jul;11(5):509-23.

Camden Gas Project

The current Camden Gas Project (CGP) operations consist of 129 existing Coal Seam Methane (CSM) boreholes, access roads, a high pressure sales pipeline, underground gas gathering lines and the Rosalind Park Gas Plant (RPGP), forming Stages 1 and 2 of the CGP. The CGP involves the extraction of gas from the Illawarra Coal Measures, within the Southern Coalfields of the Sydney Basin, approximately 700 m below the surface...
There will be no use of hazardous materials during the proposed drilling works. However, to maintain drilling performance, stratigraphic exploration borehole stability, and the swelling and sloughing of shales, some non-hazardous (e.g. bentonite, Potassium Chloride (KCl) or KCl replacements, biodegradable polymers) would be used in drilling water. The use of hydrocarbon and synthetic-base additives will not be permitted. Adverse impacts to groundwater quality as a result of drilling fluids are not anticipated...
.. - REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AGL Energy Limited (March 2010)

Chemicals used in Coal Seam Gas Extraction Process

"Gas companies are very reluctant to reveal what they use in the fracking process and imply they are quite safe. Fracturing fluids are primarily water but contain other chemicals, including acids, solvents, surfactants, biocides, and hydrocarbons. Sand is often added as a propping agent to hold the fractures open and allow the gas to flow freely to the well bore. Some of this toxic fracturing fluid, known as 'flowback water' resurfaces but much may remain underground..."Coal Seam Gas Fact Sheet (Lock The Gate Alliance viewed 17 Jul 2011)

"BTEX stands for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene. BTEX compounds can contaminate soil and groundwater. BTEX chemicals are used in hydraulic fracturing and are commonly found in the products used in the drilling stage of hydraulic fracturing..."Hydraulic Fracturing in Coal Seam Gas Mining: The Risks to Our Health, Communities, Environment and Climate (NTN February 2011 Viewed 17/7/2011) © Ramin Communications 2010. Last modified 29 Nov 2013.