Coal Seam Gas (CSG) is a natural gas that is produced from the fractures or ‘cleats’ of underground coal seams.Water is pumped from the coal seams which lowers the pressure and allows the gas to flow into the well.CSG is essentially the simplest form of hydrocarbon, methane.
CSG is used in the same way as natural gas from conventional sources (eg ; underground sandstone reservoirs) for cooking, heating, industrial applications and electricity generation. It also used as a feedstock for the manufacture of fertilisers.
Apart from an essential energy supply for Australia and the world, gas also has an important part in managing the effects of global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions. Using gas rather than coal as a fuel to generate electricity reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about 50% and also use only a fraction of the water required.
Some other things to know about CSG:
- It is understood, using oil and gas production technology that has been used for more than 50 years in Australia and around the world.
- CSG has operated in Australia for over 16 years, and now provides more than 30% of the gas that is consumed on the eastern coast of Australia.
- The CSG industry uses international standard and is highly regulated.
- Methane is flammable but it does not smell and it is not toxic.
- Natural gas is formed from organic rich sediment that has been deposited in sedimentary basins and subject to heat and pressure for very long periods. It is also formed from decomposing organic matter in swamps and rivers, in rubbish dumps, from garden compost and from cattle and other animals.
- Numerous studies have been completed to demonstrate that CSG operations will not threaten water supplies. There are nearly 4000 CSG wells operating in Australia now, without any evidence of water contamination.
- CSG operations can and do exist with farming, and provide an economic benefit to regional communities.
Metgasco’s website includes community presentations and material developed by Metgasco. Those who wish to read material prepared by other organisations and companies might wish to consider the following:
NSW Government: http://www.csg.nsw.gov.au/
We want CSG: http://www.wewantcsg.com.au/
Readers might wish to view Truthland, a video about shale gas operations in the USA. Readers are also encouraged to view Fracknation, and should contact Metgasco if they have trouble obtaining a copy.