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Protection of Prime Agricultural Land and Other Land from Coal Seam Gas Mining Bill 2013

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Coal Seam Gas

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Part of the Great Artesian Basin, the Surat basin first commercial production reached the domestic market in 2006. The methane in the 300,000-sq-km Surat basin, which stretches beyond Queensland into northern New South Wales, is not buried as deeply as that in the Bowen basin.

This means the gas concentration is lower and the gas less thermally mature. There is higher permeability in this basin, and because the coal is generally shallower, drilling and completion costs are lower.

The Surat Basin extends across an area of 270,000km2 and includes the townships of Chinchilla, Miles, Wandoan, Dalby and Roma.

Australia has an estimated 198 Bcm of coal bed methane (CBM). Queensland has the two largest producing basins - the Bowen and the Surat Basins.

The gas wells drilled in Queensland increased dramatically from 10 per year in the 1990s to more than 600 per year in 2009 and 2010. This was due to the technological breakthroughs by George Mitchell in 1998 which made the process economical.

The best performing well in Queensland produces $1 million a day but an average CSG well is worth about $60,000 a day.

The Bowen basin covers 160,000 sq km of Central Queensland. Production from this basin has provided the majority of Queensland CBM to date.

The Queensland Government has set up a website to tackle the problems with the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement

Arrow Energy's map of the Surat Basin gas fields is here

The proposed Surat Gas Project by Arrow Energy is expected to provide gas for both the domestic and export markets.

The project development area, 160km west of Brisbane in Queensland’s Surat Basin, extends in an arc from Wandoan in the north, through to Dalby in the east, to near Goondiwindi in the south.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Surat Gas Project is currently under assessment.

The following media release from Lock The Gate is published in full

PM must make good on commitment to Tara residents

November 03, 2013 - Lock The Gate - Prime Minister, Tony Abbott must make good on promises made to the representative of Tara estates resident, Debbi Orr, that his government would protect people against coal seam gas development.

Mr Abbott met with Debbi Orr on Saturday in the small western Queensland town of Tara and heard how local residents felt their health had been affected by pollution from nearby coal seam gas fields and how the Queensland State Government had ignored them.

Ms Orr's children and others on the estates have been complaining of serious health impacts for many months.

Mr Abbott promised the Federal Government would organise proper health studies of the estates, would ensure CSG activities would not occur again near residential areas and landowners would not be forced to sign access agreements with CSG companies.

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, who has worked closely with Tara residents over the last four years, said the Federal Government should go further than this.

"Because the Queensland Government allowed this massive development to go ahead in a residential estate back in the mid-2000s is no reason why these people should have to put up with this awful intrusion into their lives," Mr Hutton said.

"These residents have been fighting for over four years to keep the companies, QGC and Origin, out of their area and their lives have been turned upside down.

"Mr Abbott should pressure the companies and the State Government to buy out affected residents so they can now get on with their lives."


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