December 4, 2012

The CSIRO and Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) are collaborating to provide more research on fugitive emissions from coal seam gas production in Australia.

This planned research is consistent with APPEA’s submission to DCCEE which supports independent research ‘to inform better development of revised emissions factors and methodologies that better reflect current Australian gas production operations’.

The project is intended to provide preliminary data based on field measurements and modelling of methane emissions from a sample of production facilities in NSW and Queensland.

According to the CSIRO, the primary aims of the project are to

  • Make close-in measurements at selected CSG operations to quantify fugitive emission fluxes from various parts of the production process (e.g. wells, surface infrastructure); and
  • Develop atmospheric techniques to monitor and quantify methane fluxes from production facilities from distances up to tens of kilometres away from the source.

This research is part of the ongoing development of methods for monitoring and quantifying fugitive emissions from the CSG industry. It may result in revisions to emissions factors and the use of direct measurement.

The gas industry stands ready to assist researchers throughout the project which is due to start early 2013.

Emissions from all stages of CSG production represent around 0.3 per cent of Australia’s National Greenhouse Inventory.

For more information visit: www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Energy/Fugitive-emissions-from-coal-seam-gas

Rick Wilkinson is APPEA’s Chief Operating Officer – Eastern Region.