News

CSG media ‘is bad news’

TEST SITE: Metgasco spokesman Richard Shields, senior geologist Anita Doigh and drilling supervisor Craig Nairn.
TEST SITE: Metgasco spokesman Richard Shields, senior geologist Anita Doigh and drilling supervisor Craig Nairn. Lachlan Thompson

CONCERNS about CSG's environmental impact are the result of bad media coverage and public furore, according to Metgasco's drilling supervisor Craig Nairn.

Mr Nairn was at the test drilling site in Glenugie yesterday where the coal seam gas company is currently taking a core sample to see whether the coal seam, about 700m beneath the ground, holds methane gas.

Mr Nairn was accompanied by Metgasco's senior geologist Anita Doigh who is waiting until the drill rig returns samples of coal to test whether or not the Clarence Valley is a viable site for a gas field.

"I have been in this industry since 1992 and I was involved in the fracking of one well in 1992 but I have not fracked a well since," said Mr Nairn.

He said throughout the test drilling process it is not possible for water from the coal seam to come into contact with ground water.

According to Mr Nairn as the drill goes into the earth it is sealed from the water and rock around it by a foam gel.

At several stages throughout the drilling of the hole, steel and cement casings are inserted to protect surrounding aquifers.

The casing and its integrity, or lack of it has been the source of much of the controversy surrounding the CSG industry.

However, the spokeswoman for the Northern Rivers Alliance Against Coal Seam Gas, Boudicca Cerese has previously said the rate of failure for the steel and concrete casings around the wells can be as high as 60% over 20 years.

Spokesman for Metgasco Richard Shields, who was also at Glenugie yesterday, said the claim was made by lecturer in civil engineering at Cornell University in the United States, Dr Anthony Ingraffea.

Mr Shields said Dr Ingraffea does not have scientific evidence linking the fact a well is leaking to the fact it has contaminated surrounding aquifers.

Right now the drill bit is sitting just above the coal seam, at about 470m below ground.

Ms Doigh said she expects the coal seam is at a depth of about 500m.

Once the core hole has been drilled and samples from the coal seam have been tested, the hole will be filled with concrete and the area around it, according to legislation, should be returned to a state the landholder is satisfied with.

This site has not been approved as a site where natural gas or methane can actually be extracted. Metgasco's current licence is for exploration only.

Ms Cerese says once Metgasco has established this site sits atop natural gas, the Domestic Petroleum Act means as long as a production licence is issued by the NSW Government the project can continue with or without landholder approval.

Minister for Resources and Energy, Chris Hartcher was contacted to assess this claim but did not reply by print time.

Topics:  coal seam gas, metgasco




Ten things to do this week

CRAFY OCCASION: Co-ordinator of the Alstonville-Wollongbar Quota Club's Arts, Craft and Garden Fair, Susan French (left) with club president Diana Cooper holding a decorated boot which is part of a campaign in support of an organisation lobbyng for more service for those with depression.

Music, craft, rugby, theatre and more

Rudest map: What Northern Rivers place names made the cut?

Bullshit Hill is on Australia's rude map.

We still can't believe that Blue Knob isn't on the list

Lismore roadworks to disrupt bridge traffic

Roadworks

Watch out for changed traffic conditions this weekend

Latest deals and offers

Priscilla is coming to Brunswick Heads

Northern Rivers gender illusionist Maude Boate (Michael Gates) promoting the upcoming screenings of Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Brunswick Picture House.

Maude Boate will host two special screenings

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

Twice as much Troy will please country music lovers

CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN: Singer Troy Cassar-Daley plans to take some time off to spend with family next year.

TROY Cassar-Daley is releasing a new album and book.

Top 5 in local entertainment this week

No Caption

Top 5 events in local entertainment this week

Fallskaraoke: Sing for your tickets

The Jezabels are an Australian indie rock band formed in Sydney in 2007. They consist of Nik Kaloper on drums and percussion, Samuel Lockwood on lead guitar, Hayley Mary on lead vocals and Heather Shannon on piano and keyboard.

The 2016/17 Falls Music & Arts Festival line-up has landed!

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m