The forum was a great success with over 70 attendees and a wide range of experts discussing their research project.
Below is some information on the UQ Centre for Coal Seam Gas and it's research projects that were discussed on the day.
To see AgForce Projects CSG Project Leader Daniel Phipps' presentation click here. To read notes from our table discussions on the day, click here.
If you would like any further information on anything that was discussed on the day, or have any other questions please contact the CSG team on (07) 3238 6048 or email the team.
About the Centre for Coal Seam Gas at the University of Queensland
Founded in 2011, the University of Queensland's Centre for Coal Seam Gas conducts and coordinates research on technical and social challenges associated with the development of coal seam gas resources in Australia. The centre also contributes towards educating the next generation of professionals to work in the coal seam gas sector.
The Centre's vision is to become a leader in creating new knowledge and capability that will enable the coal seam gas sector to meet Australia's energy needs whilst addressing community, government and industry challenges. The Centre's research capability spans four areas: Water, Social Performance, Geoscience and Petroleum Engineering. Achieving a suitable balance among these areas is a key challenge for the Australian coal seam gas industry and is the guiding principle behind CCSG's education and research strategy.
CCSG Water Research Theme
The Centre's water-related research addresses the impacts of CSG extraction on groundwater and surface water resources; the hydraulic connectivity of coal seam and agricultural aquifers; and the development of adaptive water and environmental management strategies.
Development of a water chemistry atlas for the Surat Basin CSG areas
A technical feasibility study was initially completed to determine if there is sufficient groundwater quality data available to develop a Water Chemistry Atlas with the capability to address key technical questions regarding regional water quality trends and provide valuable information to government, industry and the community. Key steps included:
- developing a test database structure for the Atlas and use of a subset of data from the Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) water quality database for trial purposes;
- using a range of geochemical graphical techniques to analyse the water quality data;
- superimposing these analyses on a geological model of the region, which is based on data regarding factors such as location, depth and formation layer;
- using spatial, geological and temporal trend analysis (including a trial of 3D visualisation software) to determine if there are any patterns in water quality either within a coal seam or between a coal seam and other aquifers;
- identifying the best software to maximize access to data and results for researchers, industry professionals and the public.
This project will enlarge the scope of the Atlas from the pilot sub-region to the full extent of the Surat Basin and the prototype software tools will be refined to improve performance. Additional datasets will be added and new visualisation, analytical and reporting tools will be developed. Protocols for database access, sharing, security and maintenance will also be developed to ensure that the integrity of the data and outputs from the Atlas are maintained to a high standard.
A sample video that demonstrates the Water Chemistry Atlas functionality can be found here or for more information on this project click here.
Characterisation of current groundwater uses in the Surat and Bowen Basins
Independent experts from The University of Queensland (UQ) are inviting landholders to participate in a study to better estimate the amount of groundwater extracted by bores in and around the Surat Cumulative Management Area (CMA). The additional information on groundwater use collected by this voluntary and confidential study will be used to help improve models which are used to assess the potential groundwater impacts of the CSG industry.
The initial phase of the project is seeking interested groundwater users, including the pastoral industry, to complete a short confidential survey about their current groundwater use. The survey can be taken online or via contacting the researchers to receive a paper survey pack or telephone call.
The next phase of the project will call for volunteers interested in having temporary flow metering devices installed on their groundwater bores. The flow meters, to be provided by UQ, are temporary, self-contained and non-invasive devices that are installed externally on the distribution pipes from a groundwater bore, with copies of all data collected for their bores provided to participants.
For more information on the project click here, or contact:
Dr Greg Keir, Project Leader on 07 3346 4012 or email.
Mr Ian Callow, Landholder Engagement Lead on 07 3346 4046 or email.
Ms Nena Bulovic, Research Assistant on 07 3346 4012 or email.
Interactions between Agriculture and Coal Seam Gas
A two year UQ research project on agriculture and CSG will be completed in January 2016. The research is investigated on-farm impacts of CSG on agricultural production and profitability in extensive grazing, mixed farming and intensive dryland cropping production systems in the Western Downs and Maranoa. The research focuses on interactions between agriculture and CSG in the operations phase, that is, post-construction.
Semi-structured interviews, on-farm assessments and scale scoring were conducted with 47 landholders in 2014 and 2015. Research results are currently being collated and described. The full results of the research are expected to be available by December 2015. Four landholder properties are currently being monitoring for ten months to gain more detailed quantitative data and estimates of impacts.
For more information on this project click here.
About the Gas Industry Social & Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA)
GISERA is a collaborative vehicle of CSIRO, Australia Pacific LNG and QGC to undertake publicly-reported research addressing the socio-economic and environmental impacts of Australia's natural gas industries.
GISERA seeks to provide a whole-of-industry focus, using a multi-developer approach to research the impacts of the industry. This is crucial to providing a coherent conduit for knowledge that can inform future regulation and monitoring of natural gas developments around Australia.
GISERA's research portfolios include:
- Surface and groundwater
- Greenhouse gas footprint
- Agricultural land management
- Terrestrial biodiversity
- Marine environment
- Socio-economic impacts and opportunities.
Agricultural Land Management Portfolio
Agricultural land management research aims to identify landscape/development configurations that minimise disruption to farm businesses, maximise the opportunities from co-benefit from the co-location of CSG development and agriculture, and minimise the likelihood of development-based risks such as erosion and soil compaction. Project reports are available from the GISERA website.
These include information on:
- Farmers perceptions on co-existence
- Trials for ongoing monitoring of water and erosion impacts from CSG.
- Studies into soil damage and rehabilitation
Dr Neil Huth, Project Leader on email
GISERA Communications on email
The CSG Project is delivered by AgForce Projects with the support of the Queensland Government, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, Queensland Resources Council and the GasFields Commission Queensland.