Bligh unveils new central Qld gas project

Social, legal and health issues related to air and water toxic pollution in Australia.

Bligh unveils new central Qld gas project

Postby HVPA_research » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:08 pm

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From ABC News today: Bligh unveils new central Qld gas project.
Premier Anna Bligh says the coordinator-general has approved another major gas project for Queensland.
Australian Pacific has been given the go-ahead to convert coal seam gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Two other projects were endorsed last month.
Ms Bligh says the latest project will include a 450-kilometre transmission line and an LNG facility on Curtis Island at Gladstone in central Queensland.
"We are developing a whole new industry here in Queensland and with our third company now into the approval phase, this new industry is really gaining momentum," she said.

This is just the usual Anna Bligh economic gashing but here is something more interesting:

Ms Bligh has also defended the gas industry's environmental standards after Arrow Energy found a carcinogen in wells at Moranbah, north-west of Rockhampton.
Routine tests at the Moranbah gas project have detected benzene in three nearby wells.

This is not the first time when benzene was detected in Queensland CSG wells. Ms. Bligh is trying to use this rather negative news to demonstrate the effectiveness of their environmental self-policing and legislation. However the question must be asked where does this benzene come from? The CSG company does not seem to know, they talk vaguely about some sort of lubricant which explains nothing. How do these "lubricants" get into the well water ? Were these wells fracked? If so what was in the fracking brew and who was in charge? Still mystery!

However there may be another explanation. Is it not possible that benzene occurs naturally in the coal seams, is mobilised by fracking and brought to the surface by gas extraction? After all, according to Wikipedia ( benzene was first isolated from coal tar in 1825 by Michael Faraday.

In 1845, Charles Mansfield, working under August Wilhelm von Hofmann, isolated benzene from coal tar. Four years later, Mansfield began the first industrial-scale production of benzene, based on the coal-tar method.

Has this possibility been considered? After all benzene is a well known carcinogen:
Benzene exposure has serious health effects. The American Petroleum Institute (API) stated in 1948 that "it is generally considered that the only absolutely safe concentration for benzene is zero."[

CSG industry likes to talk about using their huge quantities of produce water for irrigation of food crops or even as drinking water after desalination. Presence of volatile benzene in their waste water could be a serious problem.
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