15 December, 2011

Speech to Gas Symposium

Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser spoke to an international audience about development of Queensland’s gas resources.

He put the case that in a relatively short period of time, the consensus on our government’s shepherding in of this industry will be regarded as the seminal economic event for our state of the first half of this century.

You can read the entire speech by clicking here.

I hope he is right but I fear that we are developing Coal Seam Gas reserves for Liquefied Natural Gas, at a rate that exceeds our ability to understand the impacts.

We really do not know the impacts of depressurising the aquifers, bringing shit loads of saline water to the surface and/or emitting shit loads of greenhouse gases.

The water may be used in agriculture, industry and/or domestic water supplies for remote communities but the quantity and quality of the product water is highly variable. Water from Coal Seams is not a guaranteed supply.

The water has to be treated. It contains salts and short chain (highly soluble) hydrocarbons. The treatment processes (microfiltration/desalination) are energy intensive. The waste streams (brine) are problematic.

We are still uncertain whether coal seam gas is any better than coal in terms of green house gas generation.

While I am not opposed to CSG, I would like to see the Qld Government force the CSG industry to take the time to do some pilot studies, gather some data & use as a true transition fuel

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