Friday, March 30

Are we to remain in a dirty industrial revolution?

Historically, coal fuelled power generation has made a valuable contribution to Australia’s development and wealth creation. This however should not lead us to now ignore the evidence of coal industries’ major contribution to anthropogenic climate change and local air pollution.

Yet this week the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) approved the Works Approval for Dual Gas Pty Ltd’s new 600 MW coal fuelled power plant in the Latrobe Valley. How can a power plant expected to have a greenhouse gas emission intensity similar to that of a black coal power plant be considered “part of the solution” in 2012?

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA), a nation wide health advocacy group, took their concerns to VCAT last year after the EPA approved a 300MW plant – an un-precedent legal step for a health organization. This is because DEA are strongly of the view that coal is a health hazard and that there are alternatives that can now cover all needs in the delivery of reliable power.


Renew Economy


Carbon Energy out of spark

JUST over a month after becoming the first Australian company to export synthetic gas power to a commercial electricity grid, Carbon Energy is suspending operations outside Dalby, letting a handful of staff go.
But the Brisbane-based ASX-listed company expects to be back with a vengeance as soon as it can find a partner for a full-scale underground coal gasification project - a move that if successful would create "hundreds" of permanent jobs.

"We actually think we're now at the point where we can move to full-scale operation," managing director Andrew Dash said.

"Our footprint is just 5 per cent of the same area required for an equivalent coal seam gas development. We have very low impact on other land uses, we're not on strategic cropping land, so we think we've got a very good opportunity here and it's really just about focusing on moving to the next phase."

Mr Gash said there were 18 people at Carbon Energy's UCG plant at Bloodwood Creek, near Dalby.


Courier Mail

Region's CSG to get assessment

THE Northern Rivers will be one of the first regions to undergo a detailed scientific assessment of the impact of coal seam gas mining, including impacts on underground water.

Federal environment minister Tony Burke yesterday released the priority list of the regions to be assessed by the Interim Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining.

He said the study would provide better information for decision makers to ensure protection of water resources.

Group Against Gas Kyogle spokeswoman Leah Hobbs said while her group would prefer a ban on all drilling while the scientific studies were conducted to ensure it would not contaminate the region's water, she welcomed the announcement that the Northern Rivers would be one of the first to undergo scientific assessment.

Read More

Northern Star

Armidale demands answers on CSG plans

The last information session on the draft strategic regional land use plan in New England was held in Armidale Town Library last night.

Over the past two weeks environmental groups, community members and farmers have had the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns to representatives from the Department of Planning.

Around 30 Armidale residents provided feedback on the plan which aims to protect areas of high agricultural value from Coal Seam Gas mining.

Spokesperson with the Northern Inland Council for the Environment, Carmel Flint said the community also wanted to know how the plan could be applied to their situation.

"Why the important farmlands around Armidale weren't identified as strategic agricultural land? Why this plan maps some high conservation areas but then doesn't do anything to protect them. And why the proposal for a gas prospecting license across the Northern Tablelands doesn't trigger proper community consultation."

Due to the new application to prospect for gas across the Northern Tablelands, more people attended a protest against the plans outside the Library.

"There's not one hectare that's going to be definitely off limits for mining. So we think that's so serious it warrants protest." Said Ms Flint.


ABC News

Going slow on CSG makes economic sense




What’s the rush? That gas isn’t going anywhere.
The rush is on to ramp-up Australia’s coal seam gas (CSG) production and exports at a frantic pace. This is no trivial undertaking. In addition to the huge projected expansion of CSG wells, there are roads, pipelines, and liquefaction plants to be built, harbours to be dredged, and ports to be constructed.

We have had little more than 10 years’ experience with CSG. But individual wells may operate for up 40 years, and future development will dwarf what we have seen to this point. The scale of planned CSG development, and its cumulative impacts on the environment, are far beyond anything yet experienced.

Current plans call for a giant leap in the dark, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are three reasons why Australia would greatly benefit from a more deliberate approach to CSG development:


The Conversation

Have You Heard About CSG?

Have you heard about coal seam gas? It is the hottest new energy play in Australia. But more important, it is the latest nail in the coffin for the hoax that is America's supposed LNG export industry.

Let me make this crystal clear... America will never be a natural gas exporter.

It's impossible. There is nobody left to buy our gas. The world market will soon be flooded with ultra-cheap fuel.

That means the vast majority of natural gas investors are making a huge mistake.

Simply by illustrating the facts and figures that surround the world's shale gas deposits, I can prove America's export dreams will turn into an investing nightmare. But add in what will be the hottest energy play of the century and the figures are overwhelming.

Even the most diehard of American natural gas bulls can't deny what's happening right now in Australia.

It's called coal seam gas (CSG)... and the island-continent has more of it than it knows what to do with.

CSG is similar to shale gas for two reasons.

Read More

Resource Investors

Coal Seam Gas Development in the Hunter - What You Need to Know : Meeting


When:17 Apr 12
3-6PM
Where:Pokolbin Community Hall, McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin
New South Wales
AUSTRALIA
CostFREE
Phone(02) 9262 6989
Emailjemilah.hallinan@edo.org.au
Websitehttp://www.edo.org.au/edonsw/site/default.php

 
 
When:17 April 2012 - 3-6PM

Where:
Pokolbin Community Hall, McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin
New South Wales
AUSTRALIA
CostFREE
Phone(02) 9262 6989
Emailjemilah.hallinan@edo.org.au
Websitehttp://www.edo.org.au/edonsw/site/default.php
 
Description:

The Hunter region of NSW is covered by numerous exploration licences that allow companies to explore for coal seam gas (CSG). There is potential for the area to be opened up for CSG extraction in the future. The Environment Defenders Office EDO will present a workshop to inform the community about the processes for assessing and approving CSG activities and the opportunities for having a say.
 
The EDO is an independent non-profit community legal centre that specialises in public interest environmental law.
 
The workshop will explain how CSG exploration and extraction is regulated, with a focus on the opportunities that exist for the community to have a say and the rights of landholders.
The workshop will be presented by solicitors from the EDO.
 
This workshop should be attended by anyone who owns land that is covered by a coal seam gas title. This workshop is also suitable for anyone who is interested to know more about how the coal seam gas industry is regulated.
 
Light refreshments will be provided.
 
RSVP essential. Please contact the EDO on (02) 9262 6989 or email education@edo.org.au
For further information or comment, please contact:
 
Jemilah Hallinan, Legal Outreach Director, Environmental Defender's Office.

Exoma Energy launches 22 well Galilee Basin petroleum drilling campaign



Exoma Energy (ASX: EXE) is embarking on an aggressive 2012 drilling program in the Galilee Basin, Queensland, that will appraise the conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources it discovered last year.

The company and its partner CNOOC will drill up to 22 wells across its 27,000 square kilometre acreage to appraise the coal seam gas (CSG), conventional oil and shale oil and gas resources there.

Drilling is expected to start with next month with the first rig provider by drilling contractor Ausdrill while negotiations are well advanced for the provision of a second rig.

The wells are designed to deliver a strategic understanding of the basic geology within the 5 permits with the objective of defining the most favourable areas in which to develop reserves.

Exoma said it will drill up to 13 CSG core wells during 2012 to measure and map the distribution of gas within the Permian Betts Creek and Aramac Coal measures.

Read More 

Proactive Investors

Tap our rich CSG reserves

COAL-SEAM gas is developing as a bonanza for Australia and specifically for Queensland. Notwithstanding considerable pressure from anti-development forces, the Queensland election campaign saw both main parties remain committed to its ongoing development.

In global terms, shale and coal-seam gas, both of which Australia has in abundance, are set to repeat the Houdini escape trick like coal and oil, which emerged to leapfrog dwindling energy sources of wood and whale oil. Conventional sources of gas, which supplies one-quarter of the world's energy, had been getting scarcer. Prices had risen from the $2 a gigajoule common in Australia to $10 in international markets. But new fracking technology has come to the rescue supplementing conventional deposits with shale gas and CSG and bringing global prices back down to $2 a gigajoule.

Natural gas from conventional wells, especially off the North West Shelf, has become one of the mainstays of Australia's mineral wealth. But our CSG and shale gas reserves are actually greater than those of conventional natural gas.

CSG reserves are located in Queensland and NSW, and in Queensland this source now dominates the state's gas supply. Output has grown from virtually nothing 10 years ago to a level comparable to the Bass Strait's gas production.

Anna Bligh and Campbell Newman have both been supportive of the industry. By contrast, the NSW government has allowed exploration and production to be tied down by the environmental and NIMBY oppositions that seem to be endemic with any new form of wealth, and current production is minuscule. Local opposition groups portray CSG as posing risks to farmland and water supplies. The proximity of the gas supplies to hobby farms and the absence of landowners' rights to sub-service minerals have fuelled these pressures. NSW is only now making cautious moves, prodded by Martin Ferguson in Canberra, to allow its own immense deposits to be brought onstream.


The Australian

Ohio agency says fracking-related activity caused earthquakes





CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio state agency said on Friday there is evidence that the high-pressure injection of fluid underground related to fracking caused a series of Ohio earthquakes culminating in a New Year's Eve tremor in any area not known for seismic activity.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which overseas the oil and gas industry, said in a report that the state should pass a new law prohibiting drilling at what is called the Precambrian basement rock level (a depth that begins at 9,184 ft) and would require companies to "review existing geologic data" before drilling.

The agency also said it wants the state to require "continuous pressure monitoring systems with automatic shut-off" that monitor the pressure levels of injected waste fluids that would be controlled remotely by the state.


The Chicago Tribune

Advance Western Downs Projects

The Western Downs is part of a broader region that is on the cusp of a $100 billion energy industry emerging from the resource rich Surat Basin Energy province.

The region has over 47 major projects scheduled for commissioning by 2013, creating an estimated 12,500 jobs.

Leveraging of the energy sector investment in the region will ensure long term economic growth. This includes opportunities to work with and supply projects, power station sector needs and the potential to establish new industries.


Get fracking or risk shortages, NSW warned

NSW faces a potential crisis in gas supply within three years unless the government approves a number of coal seam gas projects despite community concerns, two energy consultancies have warned.
Opposition from landowners and community groups would probably slow the development of CSG projects and consumers would pay the price through higher energy costs, said independent consultant Wood Mackenzie.
Any slowdown could delay new gas-fired power projects and increase the state's reliance on coal, contrary to policies to reduce carbon emissions, reports The Australian Financial Review.
The warnings come as Santos, which holds the biggest CSG acreage in NSW, faces fierce opposition to its drilling plans in the Gunnedah Basin, in the state's north, because of concerns about potential damage to water aquifers and agricultural land.
AGL Energy is producing relatively small volumes of CSG near Camden, south of Sydney, while Metgasco plans to produce CSG in the Clarence Moreton Basin in the state's inner north.


The Land

NZ launches fracking inquiry

New Zealand's environmental watchdog has announced an investigation into the consequences of the controversial mining method known as fracking.

New Zealand's Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says there is a strong case for an official investigation into hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking is the practice of using high-pressure injection of water, sand and chemicals to fracture underground rock to release oil and gas.

The Green Party says New Zealanders should be worried about fracking which international studies have linked to drinking water contamination, health problems and earthquakes.

The New Zealand inquiry will report to parliament by the end of the year.

In Australia, the New South Wales Government has extended its fracking ban until April when a review on potential risks is complete.

However, Western Australia still allows shale gas fracking.

Australian Network News

Coal seam gas: myths and facts

The government intends developing 20 per cent of Australia's energy needs from alternative pollution-free sources by 2020. There are various options involved in this plan including wind, hydro, solar, geothermal, tidal and biomass energy from methane gas. Recently citizens of Yass had an opportunity to hear about another energy alternative - coal seam gas.

To obviate some of the myths that accompanied the installation of wind turbines (where one anti-wind owner swore the turbines were actually advancing on his property, fearing they'd soon be in his backyard!) the National Party invited Geoffrey King, an international legal consultant with a very considerable knowledge of coal seam gas, to speak.

While coal seam gas production and commercialisation has developed over more than 30 years, legislative control has only occurred since its first commercial production and controversies (particularly in Queensland) demonstrate that it is risky for governments not to have an effective and detailed regulatory regime for its control.


Yass Tribune

Thursday, March 29

Pilbara miners 'causing havoc' in communities

Large numbers of short-term mining industry workers in Western Australia's Pilbara region are causing havoc in some communities, leading to fights in overcrowded taverns, public urination and more rubbish on the streets, an inquiry has heard.

The federal parliamentary committee looking into the impact of so-called fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers on local communities on Wednesday held its first WA hearing in Karratha, 1535 kilometres north of Perth.

Point Samson Community Association representative John Graham, who has lived in the Pilbara for 16 years, told the House standing committee on regional Australia that transient workers hired for oil, gas and mining projects were having a detrimental impact.

Many lived in mining camps but were bussed into Point Samson community, 60km from Karratha, on weekends.

"They were falling out of the buses and urinating in public," Mr Graham told the inquiry.

Read More

SMH

Invitation to PEL 470 landholders

Sydney solicitor Mary Lou Potts and Soil Futures soil scientist Robert Banks will be presenting a case against Leichardt Resources in regards to the renewal of Coal Seam Gas exploration licences in the PEL 470 area.
 
The landholders will be putting a case forward to the government as to why Leichardt Resources can renew exploration licences after previously presenting false information to the government.
 
Chair of the Bellata/Gurley CSG Action Group Penny Blatchford believes the information put forward contradicts the Strategic Land Use Policy recently produced by the O’Farell Government.
 
“The information put forward by Leichardt Resources claims the PEL 470 region was not of agricultural value yet the Strategic Land Use Policy clearly states it is strategic agricultural land,” Mrs Blatchford said.
 
She believed the information put forward by Leichardt resources was based on “desktop studies” and was not accurately sound.
 
“As a group we hope that the government will hear our pleas and reconsider renewing Leichardt Resources exploration licences in our area,” she said.

Moree Champion

Felton Food Festival


On Sunday the 15 April 2012 the Felton region will be hosting its very first Felton Food Festival. 2012 is the Year of the Farmer and the Felton community is excited to showcase the beauty and productivity of the Felton region.

The festival is packed with exciting events. Celebrity chef and owner of Tank and Bretts Wharf Restaurants in Brisbane, Alastair McLeod, will provide cooking demonstrations and competitions. Celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis from ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and SBS TV ‘Costa’s Garden Odyssey’ will bring his infectious enthusiasm and give advice on growing food in the home garden .

All profits made will go to the national suicide prevention charity R U OK?. There will be something for everyone, so keep an eye on this website, or our Facebook page to stay up to date with this exciting event!"

Where:


64 Bryce Rd, which is located just 30km from Toowoomba in Felton East, QLD 4363
Click here for a map and directions to the site. (There will be signs out on the day to help guide you from the New England Highway and the Toowoomba - Karara Road.)


Felton Food Festival.org

Grand Canyon Under Seige from Mining





Under pressure from mining interests, Members of Congress have introduced H.R. 3155, a bill that would overturn federal conservation efforts on publicly owned lands adjacent to the Canyon. And more recently, the National Mining Association and the Nuclear Energy Institute have gone to court to reverse recent conservation rulings by the Interior Department.

The net effect would be to open up these delicate lands to uranium mining and industrial-scale development.

If they succeed, your once in a lifetime trip to the Grand Canyon will include heavy truck traffic, industrial out-buildings flanking the Canyon itself, power lines and utility roads and polluted streams. The experience would be the equivalent of putting a shopping mall in the Louvre.

This is yet another example of special interests trying to profit off the destruction of America’s wilderness areas.

Daily Galaxy.com

Xstrata on track for Wandoan mine

ELEANOR HALL: The Xstrata mining company has received the final go ahead to develop Australia's biggest open cut coal mine on Queensland's Darling Downs.

Local farmers and environmentalists say they are devastated.

But the state's Land Court has recommended that the Queensland Government approve the project, and the new premier says he's excited at the prospect.

Farmers say the development will consume prime food-production land and destroy lifestyles.

But the new LNP Government disputes the claim that the mine will be built on prime farmland.

Click Here to Go to Audio 

The World Today with Eleanor Hall

Green group attacks Xstrata mine nod

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has criticised the Land Court over its ruling on the Wandoan mining project in the Surat Basin on southern Queensland's Western Downs.
Yesterday, the state's Land Court gave the final go-ahead for the Xstrata mining company to develop Australia's biggest open-cut coal mine near Wandoan, north-west of Toowoomba.

The Land Court recommended the Queensland Government approve the project and new Liberal National Party (LNP) Premier Campbell Newman says he is excited at the prospect.
Lobby group Friends of the Earth and seven local landholders had tried to halt the project on environmental grounds and say they are devastated with the court's decision.

Farmers say the development will consume prime food-production land and destroy lifestyles.
However, the new LNP Government disputes the claim the mine will be built on prime farmland.

Xstrata's plans have the potential to see the largest open-cut coal mine in the Southern Hemisphere and at the very least, it would be Australia's biggest open-cut coal mine.



ABC News

We'll keep farm gate open: Labor

THE federal government has ruled out tougher rules for foreign investment in agriculture, warning that any such changes could damage Australia's economic relationship with China.
Ahead of a major speech today in which federal Treasurer Wayne Swan will call for closer business-to-business links between Australia and China, his cabinet colleague Craig Emerson said there was no case for imposing new controls to limit Chinese investment in Australia.
 
Dr Emerson said foreign in­vestment, including from China, would play an important part in Australia's plans to take advantage of the rapidly rising demand for food in developing countries – demand which could lead to a boom in agricultural production with opportunities for farmers similar to the opportunities the resources boom has opened up for mining companies.
 
Speaking to The Australian Financial Review ahead of the release of a paper he wrote on Australia and the Asian Century, Dr Emerson said: "At least some foreign investment is essential for lifting Australia's food production capacity. It always has been, always will be.
"For Barnaby Joyce (the leading coalition advocate of tighter foreign investment rules for agriculture) to claim it can be done through Australian savings is politically opportunistic claptrap," Dr Emerson said.
 
"Coalition proposals to lower the FIRB screening threshold for private investment from our non-FTA (free trade agreement) partners would be seen by China as specifically targeting its private companies – at potentially great cost to Australia."


The Land

Media Release: Good science and balanced development must guide new LNP government in Queensland

The Lock the Gate Alliance today congratulated Queensland Premier Campbell Newman whose government yesterday ruled out approving the Acland and Felton coal mines on the state's Darling Downs and called on him to make science and balanced development the key themes of his term of office.

Lock the Gate president, Drew Hutton, said it was obvious Mr Campbell was going to make quick and decisive changes to the way things worked in Queensland and he was hoping Lock the Gate could work with the new government instead of going to war with it, as they had to do with the previous Labor government.

"Mr Newman has made a good start. The Acland and Felton projects should never get approval because they are on good agricultural land and in closely settled areas. Such places are not suitable for high-impact mining," Mr Hutton said.

"However, we would like to see Mr Newman expand the percentage of the state covered now by the category of strategic cropping land to that of good farm land which will occupy about 4 per cent of the state.

"This will ensure places like the hilly but fertile South Burnett and the highly productive Wandoan-Taroom regions are protected.

Mr Hutton also said he was pleased to hear the new government would be concerned to base their decisions on mining on good science.

"The key part of the LNP's policy affecting rural Queensland is their strategic regional land use policy. If this process accurately identifies our best farm land, vulnerable parts of our underground water systems and areas of high conservation value and keeps high-impact resource extraction away from these areas, then that will be a healthy outcome for all," Mr Hutton said.

"However, if he continues the policies of the discredited Labor government and allows mining companies to do whatever they like, then he will find the gate firmly locked against him."

Mr Hutton said he would be seeking a meeting with the new government as soon as possible.


Contact:  Drew Hutton 0428 487 110

Campbell Newman slams farm gate shut on miners



Glen Beutel, the 'last man' in the ghost town of Acland, yesterday. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen Source: The Australian
QUEENSLAND'S new Liberal National Party government vetoed two massive coal projects after Premier Campbell Newman yesterday declared some of the nation's most fertile farmland off-limits to mining.   
The decision delighted Glen Beutel, the "last man standing" in the ghost town of Acland, where Mr Newman has vowed to block New Hope Corporation's plan to double coal production to 10 million tonnes.

"I'm just a cork in the ocean," Mr Beutel said yesterday.

"I've been resisting their efforts to purchase me, and have been trying to point out a lot of the aspects of the mine that aren't very good, so it will be a relief to have this over."

The ousted Bligh government had granted "significant project" status to fast-track the stage three expansion of the open-cut mine.

But the new Premier yesterday said it was "inappropriate" to expand the mine in the state's southern food bowl, 150km west of Brisbane. Mr Newman also said he would oppose the creation of Australia's first coal-to-liquids project on fertile farmland at Felton, on the Darling Downs. French company Ambre Energy claims the $3 billion project could supply one-fifth of Queensland's unleaded petrol and LPG needs.


The Australian

Wednesday, March 28

Coal seam gas: Prospecting applicatrion a concern

A community group in Armidale says it’s found a major application for Special Petroleum Prospecting over much of the Northern Tablelands including Walcha.

The application made by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council covers an area that reaches from the border near Tenterfield, down to Glen Innes, Armidale, Walcha and to the mid-north coast.
 
“We were alarmed to discover last week that an application for coal seam gas ‘prospecting’ has been submitted across a vast area including the New England Tablelands and including towns such as Armidale and Walcha,” said Carmel Flint, spokesperson for Armidale Action on Coal Seam Gas (AACSG) and a regional co-ordinator with Lock The Gate Alliance.
 
The group and said the government needs to be out in front letting the community know about these plans rather than letting people stumbling across them on a website.
 
“There is some suggestion there might be a joint venture partner, but we don’t know who that is, but we thoroughly respect the rights of NSW Land Council to pursue whatever economic activities in the interests of its members, our argument is clearly with the NSW Government.
“We don’t think it is appropriate for them to be issuing licenses of this extraordinary scale.”


Walcha News

Activist hopeful of LNP ignoring Palmer

An anti-coal seam gas activist is confident Queensland Premier Campbell Newman will make decisions about mining projects free from backer Clive Palmer's influence.

Drew Hutton says the Liberal National Party government should be more open to protecting Bimblebox Nature Refuge, near Alpha, than Labor was.

Mr Palmer's company Waratah Coal wants to mine it.

Mr Hutton, president of the Lock the Gate Alliance, says the LNP has a stronghold in rural Queensland and must serve the voters who elected them, not a mining magnate who finances them.

"I always look on the bright side and Campbell Newman is a new broom," Mr Hutton told AAP on Wednesday.

"The old government, from Lock the Gate's point of view, was clearly hostile and let the mining industry rip up rural Queensland.

"They (Labor) had no vested interest in looking after those people and the LNP clearly does.

Read More

Brisbane Times

Current coal seam gas approach not covering risks: Australian study

Australia would greatly benefit from a "slow down and learn approach" to managing possible risks from coal seam gas extraction given the near impossible challenge of modelling its impacts, argues Professor Alan Randall from the University of Sydney.

"The grand Australian coal seam gas project is just getting started, so there is still the opportunity to slow things down, learn more about its impacts and apply what is learned to control the direction, scale and speed of future development," says Randall, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University, in an article to be published in the forthcoming edition of the Environment and Planning Law Journal.

"Regulatory approaches are continuing to evolve but I am suggesting something much more comprehensive than anything currently under serious consideration."

Read More

Physorg.com

Fracking: The Deeper You Dig, The Darker It Gets : NZ

The water that flows down from Mount Taranaki and through the pristine dairy country that surrounds the tiny settlement of Kapuni is not fit for human consumption. But it’s nothing to do with what’s on the land.  It’s what’s happening below it, and it has locals afraid for their health.

Locals say the Kapuni Stream is contaminated and they are blaming the toxic poisons being used by oil companies in an extraction method that has drawn criticism around the world – hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process in which liquids laced with chemicals are pumped into the ground at high pressure to force oil to the surface

They talk about the polluted stream and contaminated ground water and point to a curious cluster of cancer cases. Even the Taranaki District Health Board admits that the death rate from cancer in the province is significantly higher than in the rest of New Zealand.


Massive Magazine NZ

Origin equity issue possible

ORIGIN Energy may yet go back to shareholders for more funds once it makes its final investment decision on a second liquefied natural gas train at its Australia Pacific LNG project being built on Curtis Island off Gladstone Harbour.   
Origin managing director Grant King and chief financial officer Karen Moses said raising extra equity remained a possibility.

APLNG will need to put together an extra $6 billion in funding for a second train - or processing plant - at the APLNG project, on top of the $14 billion it has committed to the project's first stage.


Courier Mail

Gas could be just as dirty as coal, study reveals

COAL seam gas, widely touted as a greener fuel than coal, could have just as deep a carbon footprint unless world-class standards are used when extracting the gas from the ground, an expert report has found.

A study into the life-cycle greenhouse emissions of Australia's energy sources by consultancy WorleyParsons found conventional gas from large offshore wells typically produced 38 per cent less greenhouse emissions than black coal, largely because it burnt more cleanly.

But the equation could shift dramatically for the fledgling coal seam gas industry - the subject of a fierce political battle in NSW and Queensland - if meticulous standards were not followed when the gas was extracted from the ground.

SMH

Farmers fight mine but horse has bolted



Pat Devlin on his property near Wandoan, 450km west of Brisbane, yesterday, after losing a Land Court case against coalmining in his area. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen Source: The Australian


AUSTRALIA'S biggest open-cut coalmine will engulf rich farmland, west of Brisbane, after a court rejected a last-ditch bid by local farmers and greens to lock the gate because it would exacerbate climate change .   
The rolling cattle and cropping country around Wandoan has become a battleground of the competing interests to produce wealth from mining, food from the land and to abate Australia's greenhouse contribution.

Caught in the middle are life-long farmers such as Pat Devlin, 61, who last night vowed to stay put after the Queensland Land Court ruled to allow multinational Xstrata to press on with the huge coalmine that will border his property. "We're going to sit it out right here," he said. "If they do start mining, we will be pushing as hard as we can to make sure they meet the environmental conditions . . . they are not going to shut us up."

His neighbour, John Erbacher, a son of one of the soldier-settlers who opened up the district after World War II, was not so sure.

Read More

The Australian

Broncos heading our way

IN A first for a country area, Dalby rugby league fans will get the chance to rub shoulders with the entire Brisbane Broncos squad when the NRL club makes a visit.

The full Broncos squad will travel to Dalby this weekend for a fan day on Saturday ahead of a dinner later that night.
The fan day at Dalby Leagues Club is the first time the full Broncos squad has assembled for an event like this outside Brisbane. It has come about due to the relationship between the Broncos and Arrow Energy.


Toowoomba Chronicle

Greens rue rejected CSG proposal

THE Australian Greens have accused the two major political parties of burying their heads in the sand after they rejected the Greens' proposal last week, for a broad-ranging, nation-wide Senate inquiry on Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining.
The ground-breaking inquiry would have investigated the potential irreversible damages and down-stream impacts of CSG mining on farmland and water resources, in areas outside of the Murray Darling Basin.
But Greens CSG spokesperson QLD Senator Larissa Waters expressed frustration at the attitudes of the government and coalition, saying they had instead chosen to remain in the dark about the real impacts of CSG mining in Australia, by voting down her proposal.
“We’ve just seen an incredibly disappointing but perhaps unsurprising vote in the Senate against taking any action on CSG - despite the huge community concern about this rapacious, dirty and risky industry, which of course is risking our land and our water and the future of our rural communities,” she said shortly after the result.
Ms Waters said the Green’s inquiry would have looked at the big picture of CSG mining across Australia, including its impacts on communities, health, the economy, the nation’s coasts, land and environment.


The Land

Current coal seam gas approach not covering risks

Australia would greatly benefit from a "slow down and learn approach" to managing possible risks from coal seam gas extraction given the near impossible challenge of modelling its impacts, argues Professor Alan Randall from the University of Sydney.

"The grand Australian coal seam gas project is just getting started, so there is still the opportunity to slow things down, learn more about its impacts and apply what is learned to control the direction, scale and speed of future development," says Randall, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University, in an article to be published in the forthcoming edition of the Environment and Planning Law Journal.

"Regulatory approaches are continuing to evolve but I am suggesting something much more comprehensive than anything currently under serious consideration."

Coal seam gas is trapped in pores inside the coal and held in place by large volumes of water. It is released by withdrawing this water, producing huge volumes of waste water (an estimated 300 gigalitres annually) which is very salty.


Sydney University

Fracking facts for all


Clarence Alliance Against Coal Seam Gas Mining (CAACSG) has recruited a star-studded group of speakers from within the anti-CSG movement for the information night

FENCE-SITTERS will have the chance to learn what could occur if coal seam gas (CSG) mining is allowed to proliferate across the Clarence Valley.
Clarence Alliance Against Coal Seam Gas Mining (CAACSG) has recruited a star-studded group of speakers from within the anti-CSG movement for the information night at South Grafton Ex-Services Club from 6pm on Friday.
Speakers include founder and president of the national Lock the Gate alliance Drew Hutton and self-described CSG refugee Brian Monk who was forced to leave his Queensland property for the Northern Rivers because of CSG mining.


The Daily Examiner

Tuesday, March 27

Coal seam gas: The musical

They've signed petitions, waved placards, confronted politicians and now activists are using musical theatre to spread their anti-coal seam gas message. 

Ollie Heathwood is in a fluster.

One hand clutches a beer while the other waves around, madly ordering people into groups scattered throughout the hall of Lismore's Italo Club.

"I don't have time Stan," she says to one of the budding performers who wants to make a suggestion about the content of the musical they're rehearsing.

"We only have a few hours."

Ollie retired about seven years ago after more than 30 years of directing musical theatre primarily in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

She said she was pulled from her slumber when the issue of coal seam gas exploration reignited her passion for protesting through performance.

The result is a musical called Folklahoma, and about 60 people gathered on Sunday for the first rehearsal.

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ABC North Coast NSW


CSG body hits back at Jones

THE peak body representing Australia's coal seam gas industry has hit back at radio station 2GB and broadcaster Alan Jones over a decision to pull two adverts promoting CSG.
The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association Limited (APPEA) has refuted Jones' claims the adverts are factually wrong and accuse him of banning them from his high-rating show to discuss the issue.

Rick Wilkinson, APPEA's Chief Operating Officer (Eastern Region) said the removal of the ads was consistent with Jones' position on the issue.

"We are disappointed by 2GB's decision not to run the ads as they are fact-based and informative for 2GB listeners,'' he said.

"Whilst there is a lot of misinformation out there on the issue of CSG, there is absolutely nothing inaccurate in our advertisements.''

The adverts, which were broadcast on Monday several times during Jones' program and were to be the start of an advertising campaign pushing the $46 billion industry's claims of economic and environmental benefits.


The Australian

Miners 'threat to park'

Environment Minister Robyn Parker has accused the NSW Opposition of scaremongering over claims parts of the Dharawal area are at risk of contamination from mining.

On Sunday, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell elevated the Dharawal area, near Darkes Forest, to national park status, protecting the area from coal seam gas exploration.
The announcement was immediately attacked by Opposition environment spokesman Luke Foley, who said the area would still come under threat from mining companies which owned exploration licences close to the 6500ha park.

A nearby site in Darkes Forest is already being explored by Apex Energy for its coal seam gas potential. Mr Foley said it was "likely" there would be several hundred wells if mining went ahead with a "high potential" for groundwater contamination.

"It is likely that there would end up being several hundred wells if it went to production and there is a high potential for off-site impacts on the new national park, including on groundwater and other water reserves," he said.

"Creating a national park that straddles coal seam gas activities makes a mockery of the O'Farrell government's pre-election commitment to protect high conservation and prime agricultural land."


Illawarra Mercury

Kaitangata CSG drilling update : NZ

L&M Energy is wishes to provide the following update regarding its Kaitangata CSG appraisal programme within PEP 38219, located 60km south of Dunedin.
The Taratu-1 well is at a current depth of 323m and is drilling towards an expected total depth of approximately 350m. To date the well has intersected approximately 23m of the Kai Main coal seam and 12m of the Carson seam between 309m and the current depth. So far a total of 41 canisters of coal have been gathered for further analysis, including measurement of gas content and saturation levels.
During the week, the Washpool-1 well reached a depth of 219m before being suspended. The smaller rig being utilised for the upper portion of the well has been demobilised with the larger rig mobilising to deepen the well upon completion of Taratu-1. To date 7.5m of Barclay coal has been intersected within the Washpool-1 well.
Taratu-1 and Washpool-1 are the second and third wells respectively of a five well programme. The wells are set to test the coal seam gas potential from five sub-bituminous coal horizons (Capstick, Jordan, Kai Main, Carson and Shore) within the coalfield.   

About L&M Energy Limited

L&M Energy Limited is a New Zealand based company dual listed on the ASX and NZX stock exchanges. The Company is focused on the discovery and development conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources. The Company holds equity interests in over 8,200 km2 of exploration acreage contained within eight New Zealand exploration permits.

4 Traders

LNP's policies concern Queensland miners

QUEENSLAND's resources industry is lining up to meet the new Campbell Newman-led government to clarify the LNP's policies and assess what Queensland's electoral earthquake means for the industry's expansion and controversial issues like coal-seam gas.   
While the heads of industry contacted by The Australian yesterday broadly welcomed the change in government, there has been some disquiet over the lack of clarity about the LNP's policies towards the booming sector.

Mining executives are concerned about measures that include a blanket ban on mining in some areas and the extra level of bureaucracy through the regional planning initiative.

The LNP has stated that the statutory regional plans will establish specific land-use zones, and because of the community concerns around CSG and the need to preserve strategic cropping land, the new government plans to fast-track plans for the Darling Downs and the Golden Triangle regions.


The Australian

Origin Energy


Origin Energy is considering how to fund the likely expansion of Australia-Pacific LNG, including selling down its stake in the Queensland liquified natural gas project – a joint venture with ConocoPhillips and Sinopec.
Origin is yet to commit to the $6 billion expansion, including a second processing unit that would increase annual LNG production at APLNG to 8.6 million tonnes, but has made repeated mention of the plan – including in a presentation yesterday. For now, all we can do is guess who the company might be speaking to about funding.
Business Spectator

Activist to sue Clive Palmer over CIA claims

AN anti-coal seam gas activist says he intends to sue mining billionaire Clive Palmer for accusing him of treason.

Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton says a notice of intention to pursue a defamation matter has been drafted and will be sent to Mr Palmer tomorrow.

Mr Palmer last week said the CIA was funding Greenpeace, the Australian Greens and Mr Hutton in an attempt to undermine Australia's coal industry.

Mr Hutton said he had dropped the idea of pursuing Mr Palmer in court, but changed his mind after Mr Palmer made fresh comments.

The mining magnate today backed away from his CIA claims but says he doesn't regret them because they distracted people from a negative campaign against the Liberal National Party in the Queensland election.


The Australian

Will the LNP win affect CSG exploration in Queensland?

It's the landslide to end all landslides. As we know, the Queensland election has left Labor a shell of its former self and Bob Katter's Australia Party has emerged with a toehold on the electoral landscape, with two seats to its name.

At least one group, a curious alliance of environmentalists and landowners, will welcome this modest gain from Bob Katter's party. Known as the Lock the Gate Alliance, this group has been campaigning for some time against the rapid expansion of coal seam gas exploration in Queensland. Drew Hutton from the alliance joined us to discuss what the election outcome means for the future of coal seam gas exploration in Queensland.


Radio National

Monday, March 26

Origin mulls over more APLNG equity sales

Origin Energy is still considering further a selling downs of its equity in the Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas (APLNG) project in Queensland to pay for a second processing "train".

The integrated energy firm last month left the door open for further reductions in its stake in APLNG after selling down its equity to China's Sinopec, leaving Origin with a 37.5 per cent stake, from 42 per cent preciously.

Origin on Monday said in a presentation that funding choices for train two, including additional equity raisings, would depend on factors including the cost of project finance and timing of a decision to proceed with the second phase.


9 News

United Uranium acquires Bremer Basin uranium prospective projects



United Uranium (ASX: UUL) will take up three uranium prospective tenements within the Bremer Basin in Western Australia under an agreement with United Mining Resources.

The three tenements comprise two projects, the Young River Project and the Hyperion Project.

United Uranium will target uranium associated with reduction-oxidation changes in the Middle Eocene palaeochannels.

Uranium mineralisation of this type has been discovered close to the tenements, and the area is similar in age and lithology to that of the Gunbarrel Basin, which hosts Energy and Minerals Australia’s (ASX: EMA) Mulga Rock deposit.

Mulga Rock is Western Australia's largest independently owned uranium resource. Energy and Minerals Australia is targeting production in 2014.


Proactive Investors

CSG is a lot to wade through on the farm

WHEN Cecil Plains landholder Graham Clapham returned home late last week there was a package waiting for him at his front door.
Plastered on the box perched on his front steps was a sticker that read "Caution: Heavy 27kg."
Carrying the box into his home and placing it on the kitchen table, his worst fears were realised when he opened the package to reveal it was the 6000 page Environmental Impact Statement document for Arrow Energy's proposed state-wide coal seam gas projects.
The EIS was released for public consultation on Friday after being considered by the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) since December.
Landholders across the region have been granted an extension by government to 60 business days to respond to this heavy EIS goliath, which Mr Clapham calculates is roughly 100 pages a day of scientific analysis for a busy farmer to wade through.

"I'll have to give up sleeping and working on the farm to make sure I can get through the whole thing," he laughs.


QCL

China First delayed by a year: Palmer

Mining magnate Clive Palmer says his China First project will not start exporting coal in December 2014, as initially projected.

The first exports for the project, run by Mr Palmer's company Waratah Coal in Queensland's Galilee Basin, will be delayed by a year because of inaction by the former Labor government, he says.

He told reporters in Brisbane on Monday the project was given state significance by former premier Anna Bligh in 2008 but little had been done since.

"Whether that can be made up or not is a matter for the new government, but certainly we can say our schedule's at least 12 months behind and we need to try to do something to increase that," he said.


9 News

Media Release: Hutton Condemns Palmer's "Mischievous" Defamation

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, responded with disgust to today's news that mining magnate, Clive Palmer, had made his defamatory comments about him to distract the media from negative stories about the LNP.

"Clive Palmer has simply made any defamation case against him more winnable because his comments were made knowing they were wrong and for mischievous, opportunistic reasons," Mr Hutton said.

"This is obnoxious behaviour from a public figure. I was not going to pursue this matter any further but his comments today have cause me to re-consider.

"However, the main thing it has done is to re-kindle my determination to ensure his proposed China First coal mine is never allowed to obliterate the beautiful Bimblebox nature reserve.

"The LNP needs to cut this man loose. He represents the unacceptable face of the party."

Contact: Drew Hutton 0428 487 110