As the demand for natural gas is increasing in Australia, depletions in conventional gas reservoirs have extended developments to unconventional gas in Queensland. The resulting increased coal seam gas (CSG) industry not only supplies the domestic Australian needs but has also been extended to the international LNG market. This review describes the infrastructure installed and field developments made to accommodate the CSG development in the Surat Basin. There is a range of technical challenges which accompany extracting gas from thin highly permeable coals, these include fines production from inter-burden clays, modelling counter-current two phase flow in well bores, solutions for the decommissioning of wells and fate determination for co-produced water. Additionally, this review illustrates the range of social challenges that need to be taken into consideration together with CSG development. Interaction and coexistence with the well-established agricultural sector in the area as well as investigation of effects on ground water aquifers is discussed. Furthermore the cumulative social and economic impacts of this large commercial development are depicted. Ultimately the review of the CSG industry in Queensland and its both technical, social and regulatory challenges provides context for current and future research findings on this topic.
This review paper was published in the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering.
Towler B, Firouzi M, Underschultz J, Rifkin W, Garnett A, Schultz H, Esterle J, Tyson S, Witt K (2016) An overview of the coal seam gas developments in Queensland. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 31 249-271.