Queensland: CSG river leak caught on video

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

Queensland: CSG river leak caught on video

Postby HVPA_research » Wed May 30, 2012 10:00 am

Link to this page: http://t.co/0jvR9om6

This page is organised in date order, oldest items on top.


* Archived from ABC media *


This is a major media news but hardly a surprise. Queensland government regulators will have to investigate - is the gas of biological or geological origin. The gas industry will be quick to say that methane bubbles from rivers and swamps all the time, that it is impossible for CSG to escape except through their carefully designed wells and pipelines, that they follow word-best practices and so on. All that does not matter. They cannot prove that they are NOT causing methane leaks.

Methane gas bubbling in a distinct stream in a slow moving river can be easily detected, measured and captured. Gas leaks near a well heads can be also easily detected. However, it is very hard to detect methane leaks in the open country. In the forest it would be almost impossible. Methane is 20 times or 100 times (depending on how it is calculated) more powerful greenhouse gas then carbon dioxide. Are we to believe that disturbing the earth by tenths of thousands of gas wells, drilled by easy-going contractors, would have no effect?

Numerous examples from American gaslands show that methane bubbling in the rivers or contamination of wells by fracking is nothing unusual. Indeed some locals are even getting used to it! You can see many examples from Pennsylvania (“Ho-hum” Gas Problems) or even learn the art of igniting methane bubbles in this video: Snake Creek Bubbling with Methane !

Environmental campaigners say they have video evidence coal seam gas (CSG) is leaking into a major southern Queensland river.

Drew Hutton from the Lock the Gate Alliance says gas is bubbling to the surface on a five-kilometre stretch of the Condamine River near Chinchilla on the Western Downs.
The Queensland Government's LNG Enforcement Unit says it is investigating the claims.
Mr Hutton says the river is close to CSG wells operated by Origin Energy.
"This is a new phenomenon for this section of the river," he said.
"It's only just happened in the last three weeks and it's just too much of a coincidence that we've got a very big coal seam gas field right next door to where this is happening.
"The Queensland environment is going to die a death of 1,000 cuts with this industry that it cannot control.
"Even basic things like whether methane gas, coal seam gas, is going to be contained underground or in the drilling process and in fact, can escape different pathways."
Origin has been contacted for comment.

Topics: mining-environmental-issues, mining-rural, oil-and-gas, activism-and-lobbying, federal---state-issues, chinchilla-4413, toowoomba-4350, bundaberg-4670

First posted May 30, 2012 08:18:24

* Archived from Rivers SOS Mailing list *
CSG 'bubbling to surface' along river

The link above is from the Australian which has firewalls on its website, which sometimes prevent viewing without signing in.
If you find that problem, try copying the entire heading into a Search Engine. That sometimes bypasses Rupert's hunger for money.

Here is a link to a free report on the ABC and to Dayne Pratzky's video.

Denis Wilson
"The Nature of Robertson"

Lock the Gates member Dayne Pratzky, who shot the footage, told AAP that recreational fishermen noticed the bubbling river in February.
Mr Pratzky said he'd been briefed on the situation by a landholder whose property runs down to the river.

He said the landholder, who does not want to speak publicly, had reported Origin Energy had a tenement over the area and was called in to investigate the leak.
Origin had confirmed it involved CSG, Mr Pratzky said, citing the landholder.
"Origin were notified two weeks ago and the landholder contacted the government," Mr Pratzky said.
"The farmer said Origin has done a gas test and they did confirm it was coal seam gas."
Origin Energy said it would release a media statement shortly.

The footage posted online was shot two days ago, said Mr Pratzky, who lives near Chinchilla and has started his own protest website, GasiLeaks, after his own issues with CSG activity on his property.
"I'm not an activist, I'm not a greenie ... I'm just an Australian landholder who feels I'm not getting a fair go and decided to do something about it."

Footage, said to have been taken by a local person at an undisclosed location in the river, has been posted on YouTube.
It shows the parts of the river bubbling like a spa bath and a hand-held gas detector going off when it is held near the surface of the water.


* Archived from HVPA Twitter page *
CSG sector under fire for gas bubbling to Qld river surface | Climate Spectator http://bit.ly/KyV8v7 . Origin said that this is common. Proof?

CSG sector under fire for gas bubbling to Qld river surface
This is very big for the gas industry because this goes straight against the fundamental tenet of their propaganda: coal seam are separated from the surface by un-penetrable geological strata and neither gas nor CSG water can escape to the surface and cause pollution.

Mr Hutton says no local farmers have ever heard of methane seepage happening in the Condamine River.
"The fact it's occurring along several kilometres of the river would suggest it is not an isolated occurrence but a major leak and has found its way to the surface along migration pathways opened up by the de-watering of aquifers or fracking," he says.
Fracking is a process that uses pressurised fluid to release gas.
"I don't think there is any doubt this extensive leak is linked to the coal seam gas drilling, and probably fracking, that is occurring in nearby wells."

But Origin Energy says it believes the seepage has nothing to do with hits CSG activities in the affected area, where coal seams lie very close to the surface.
Origin spokesman Ken Horton has told AAP the company has four wells about one kilometre away from where the seepage is occurring.
But Mr Horton said those wells were cased in cement and had never been put into production.

He also said tests had shown they were not leaking gas and Origin had not carried out any fracking associated with those wells.
"The coal seam in this particular area could be as close to 50 to 75 metres from the surface," he told AAP.

"It is our understanding that natural gas seepage in this area is not an uncommon occurrence and there's anecdotal evidence to indicate this isn't the first time seepage has been observed."
Mr Horton said the company looked into the seepage early last week, and would likely carry out further investigations.

At a later press conference, Mr Hutton agreed natural causes could not be ruled out.
"But what I'm saying to Origin is they need to release the data that they have so it can be independently assessed and checked to ensure this isn't linked to the wells that they're operating," he told reporters.

Mr Hutton said he would call on the government to demand the data if Origin refused to release it.
Katter's Australian Party Queensland leader Rob Katter backed a push by his federal MP father for a moratorium on CSG drilling.
"We've got a river bubbling like a bottle of soda water. We should be concerned," he told reporters.

"Any sensible government should be looking at these events and saying maybe we should have a moratorium."

The last quote is highly significant. Will Origin Energy release all their geological, hydrological, seismic data and drilling logs to prove that the methane bubbling in the nearby river has nothing to do with their activities? Or should we just believe whatever their spin doctors give us?

But CSG expert challenges company's gas claim - http://bit.ly/Kt5lJm
Origin Energy, which owns a number of test wells near the site, says it is a natural phenomenon caused by a shallow coal seam.

But CSG expert Dr Gavin Mudd from Monash University says "it beggars belief that there could be no contribution by industry".
Dr Mudd says there is no evidence to support Origin's claim and the case needs further investigation.

The Queensland Government says it is investigating the matter, and Dr Mudd says there is a lot of monitoring bore between the Condamine River and where the CSG projects are located.
He says he expects the gas leak is the result of CSG activity, but pinpointing the cause will be difficult.

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