New South Wales sets up coal seam gas exclusion zones

The government of New South Wales plans to establish 2-km exclusion zones around towns in the state with populations above 1,000 or more people to keep coal seam gas exploration and production activity away from residential areas.

The exclusion zone will cover future expansion of residential areas in Sydney’s northwest and southwest as well as away from sensitive industries such as wineries and horse studs.

In addition, Mary O’Kane, state chief scientist, has been asked to undertake a review of CSG activities and hand down her initial report by July.

Under the new rules the CSG industry will be regulated by the Environment Protection Agency, which will be given the power to revoke licences if companies concerned do not follow the environmental conditions imposed.

The government’s move has come amid increasing concern about CSG drilling since it withdrew its embargo on hydraulic fracturing in June 2012.

Recently, AGL Energy’s proposal to drill in the Campbelltown region in Sydney’s western region drew criticism from both state and federal politicians and forced AGL to suspend its plans for an extension of the existing Camden CSG project, which has been supplying gas to Sydney market for a decade.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke had criticised the New South Wales government for not joining a national plan for CSG, which involves the Australian states taking advice on CSG projects from the recently established Independent Experts Science Committee on Coal Seam Gas & Mining. The committee was established following demands for an inquiry by Independent Federal MP Tony Windsor.

AGL Energy reacted to news of the exclusion zone by saying the ban would only exacerbate the looming gas supply crisis in New South Wales. The company pointed out that existing gas supply contracts are due to end in 2014-17.

“The absence of multiple new sources of supply in [New South Wales] will add to the substantial upward pressure on gas and electricity prices in the state,” it said.

AGL and fellow CSG company Metgasco have requested immediate meetings with the New South Wales government to ascertain the precise impact to its operations. Another major player, Santos, is also seeking clarification for its operations northwest of Sydney in the Gunnedah basin.

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association objected to the lack of consultation before the New South Wales government move. APPEA claims the government keeps shifting the goal posts through a red-tape laden decision-making process that ignores science and the excellent environmental record of an industry that has been operating in Australia for more than 4 decades.

It added that the industry has operated safely in western Sydney for a decade and the latest decision is arbitrary. It sends a clear signal that New South Wales is closed for business.

On the other hand, activist group Lock the Gate Alliance says the government’s new measures do not go anywhere near calming public concern about the CSG issues.

The alliance charges the government with an appalling level of irresponsibility in the granting of mining approvals in NSW which has allowed what it calls “a tsunami of destruction” to threaten many areas of the state.

Anti-CSG farmers in northwest New South Wales added their voice to the affair asking why communities of under 1,000 people should not be treated the same way as communities of more than 1,000 people. The group said that if CSG is unsafe in Campbelltown, then it is unsafe everywhere. If CSG is a risk to wine-growing and horse breeding areas, then it is a risk to food and fibre producing areas in the state’s northwest.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

FourPoint Energy to acquire Anadarko basin assets from Chesapeake

07/02/2015 FourPoint Energy LLC, a privately owned Denver company, plans to acquire oil and gas assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp. subsidiaries Chesapeake Ex...

Puma Energy completes purchase of Murco’s UK refinery, terminals

07/02/2015 Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has completed its purchase of UK midstream and downstream assets from Murco Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of ...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices plummet on crude inventory build, Iran deadline extension

07/02/2015 Oil prices plummeted more than $2/bbl July 1 to settle at a 2-month low on the New York market after a weekly government report showed the first ri...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

MARKET WATCH: Oil prices decline as US crude inventories post first gain in 9 weeks

07/01/2015 Oil prices on July 1 surrendered much of their gains from the day before after the release of a government report showing the first rise in US crud...

Tullow Oil provides production update on Jubilee, other fields

07/01/2015 Tullow Oil PLC reported that gross production for the Jubilee field offshore Ghana averaged 105,000 b/d in this year’s first half, up from 102,000 ...
White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

When Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

When Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected