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An overview of possible impacts from coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers, New South Wales
by Elfian Schieren, 2012

Contents
1. Introduction
2. Energy and coal seam gas development
2.1 Economic viability underpinning coal seam gas development
2.2 Renewable, sustainable energy development
- Solar
- Wind
- Biogas
2.3 Coal seam gas development at a global scale
2.4 Coal seam gas development in Australia
3 Coal seam gas extraction process
- Drilling and dewatering
- Hydraulic Fracturing
- Produced Water
4 Risks to water resources from coal seam gas development
4.4 Ground water use
4.5 Water produced by coal seam gas
4.6 Contamination of Groundwater
5 Other Consequences of coal seam gas development
5.4 Impacts to agricultural production
5.5 Health impacts on humans and animals
5.6 Impacts on greenhouse gas emissions
5.7 Impacts on seismic activity
5.8 Economic impacts
5.9 Cumulative impacts
6 Potential for coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers, New South Wales
6.1 Northern Rivers Region
6.2 Using trade-offs and opportunity costs in evaluating CSG development
6.3 Prospects for development in Northern Rivers region
6.4 Energy development in Northern Rivers region
6.5 Northern Rivers community actions and groups in response to CSG development
7 Discussion
8 Conclusion
9 References

PDF file
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NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer

NSW Planning Bill 2013

Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Public Interest) Bill 2013

Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Bill 2013

NSW Land & Water Commission

Gloucester

2004 gas blow out 300m away in the same wells

NSW Irrigators

NSW Irrigators
Tour of Colorado

NSW Farmers

Rob Oakeshott's coal seam gas press releases
2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010
Water Trigger - Gloucester BioRegion - Hunter Valley health

AGL Gloucester Milk Experiment
Is Fracking Produced Water Safe in Our Milk?

Gloucester Water Studies

2004 gas blow out 300m away in the same wells

Lies, damned lies, statistics
and AGL

ACCC takes action
Dec.2013 against AGL

AGL versus
Environment Protection Agency 2013

AGL fined $1,550,000
for deceptive & misleading conduct 2013

NoFibs Gloucester Showdown

Fracking near Gloucester homes under AGL’s latest coal seam gas plans

AGL buys up Hunter Valley vineyards

CSG companies ignore water quality guidelines in irrigation reports

A matter of trust: – letter to Gloucester Advocate

AGL’s Gloucester ‘Produced Water’ Irrigation Trial
“A Sham and a Farce!”

AGL's proposed gas storage facility at Tomago, near Newcastle

2011 NSW Parliament
Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas

Affected Mid North Coast Councils

Upper Hunter Shire Council

Thomas Davey, Tourism Advancing Gloucester

MidCoast Water

New South Wales Farmers Associations Dairy Committee

Bruce Robertson,
Beef cattle farmer

Steven Robinson, Psychiatrist

Barrington-Gloucester-Stroud Preservation Alliance

Manning Alliance

Rob Oakeshott's coal seam gas press releases
2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010
Water Trigger - Gloucester BioRegion - Hunter Valley health

AGL's proposed gas storage facility at Tomago, near Newcastle

2011 Gloucester AGL Blockade

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An overview of possible impacts from coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers, New South Wales

Integrated Project by Elfian Schieren, 2012

1. Introduction

The burning of fossil fuels for energy underpins all modern economic activities and has greatly assisted modern social development (Australian Department of Resources Energy and Tourism, 2011).

More than a century ago the idea was raised that greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels had potential to cause global warming (Hoffart et al, 2002).

Since then human induced greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal have significantly increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (IPCC, 2007)

Atmospheric levels of CO2 have increased from 280ppm to over 380ppm since 1989 (Garnaut, 2008).

In recent years research revealed a rising trend in average global temperatures associated with these increased concentrations of greenhouse gases (IPCC, 2007).

Current climate simulations suggest a mean global warming of between 1.5 to 5.8ºC in the next hundred years (IPCC, 2007).

The impacts of climate change on food and resource security are greatly concerning to governments and policy makers.

Extreme weather events such as severe droughts, floods and high or low temperature anomalies are thought to correlate with rising temperatures and pose a serious threat to agriculture and coastal societies (Rosenzweig et al, 2001).

Increasing global population and consumption rates place further stress on global ecosystems.

Economic systems are also being put under pressure to maintain growth in energy production, mainly to cater for high consumption lifestyles in developed countries (Satterthwaite, 2009).

Increasing energy demand from growing domestic and overseas economies, pressure for climate change mitigation and finite oil supplies is prompting industries toward the production of alternative fuel sources (Australian Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, 2011).

The Australian Federal Government (2011) emphasizes the need for large scale investment to meet the energy demands of a growing population and achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Australia is the world’s ninth largest energy producer with an abundance of renewable and non-renewable energy sources and investment in new energy sources is considered essential to future economic growth (Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, 2011).

In Australia much of the energy transition to lower emissions will be achieved through the use of gas-fired power instead of coal power and expansion in renewable energy development.

In particular coal seam gas (CSG) and geothermal technology are considered crucial elements to developing Australia’s energy future (Australian Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, 2011).

Increasing use of gas for electricity has seen exponential growth in development of Australian CSG reserves located in Queensland (QLD) (30.3%) and, to a lesser extent, New South Wales (NSW) (2.5%).

Together these reserves total 32.8% of all Australian gas reserves including conventional gas (Australian Energy Regulator, 2011).

One of the areas opening up for coal seam gas development is the Northern Rivers region in Northern NSW, a move that has raised considerable community concerns as to the environmental and social impacts of CSG (CSG Free Northern Rivers, 2012).

This report aims to provide a preliminary appraisal of the possibility for CSG to contribute to sustainable development in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

The report is only a brief look at a likely large and complex issue, intending only to provide a broad and brief review of the potential CSG impacts in consideration with the character and development in Northern Rivers.


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