Moratorium On UCG Proposed In Queensland  

Posted by Big Gav in , , ,

The ABC has a confused article on calls for a moratorium on "coal seam gas" production in Queensland - though the calls are actually for a moratorium on UCG (underground coal gasification) - Moratorium on coal-seam gas proposed. This seems to be another case of the competition between the CSG and UCG industries for the same coal seams, along with confusion on the part of environmental groups (though obviously there are environmental issues with both processes).

he Queensland Government is being urged to put a temporary halt to exploration of coal-seam gas conversion. At least three companies in the Surat Basin - involved in converting coal underground into gas - are hoping to get production leases.

Monica Richter from the Australian Conservation Foundation told Stateline the technology is still too unknown for production to go ahead. "Well just as the Queensland Government put a moratorium on the oil shale development industry of 20 years, I think a moratorium should be put on the development of coal to liquid, underground gasification," he said. "All of these technologies that are not necessarily yet proven, that do have a horrendous green house impact."

Paul Zealand from Origin Energy says a total moratorium would be unwise. "I've got nothing against underground coal gasification I just don't understand it yet, I don't think the state understands it yet," he said. "It's got a lot of development to do. But we shouldn't sterilize a large areas of what are some of the best coal seam prospects in the world for future experiments. We should contain that to a relatively small area."

Linc Energy says the process can be environmentally sustainable. Spokesman Stephan Dumble says his company is working towards a plant at Chinchilla that will convert underground coal into 20,000 barrels of liquid fuel a day.

Energy Minister Geoff Wilson says the Government is doing a lot of work examining how underground coal gasification companies might affect the profitable coal-seam gas sector. "Once the coal seam is burnt underground then the coal seam gas embedded in it is also burnt," he said. "So the challenge for both sectors of the coal industry is to work out an acceptable way for both sectors to be able to co-exist."

2 comments

Anonymous   says 1:24 PM

I am beginning to think that moves will made to limit UCG in Queensland. The coal seam gas sector has been has recently been a target of the big players ie shell, bg, conco-philips and Petronas.

These companies play for keeps ... so ucg is going to find it hard going ... I believe that only arrow energy has been applying for coal exploration leases over their coal seam gas tenantments? There’s going to be some hard ball played here ... I think only Cougars kingaroy lease doesn't have any possible overlapping areas of CSG and UCG.

These are difficult times to be a shareholder in UCG companies.

The Federal government will step in, if the state government puts a moratorium in Queensland. UCG is the worlds only chance of economical clean coal. Which China is very interested in. CSG is very limited in products that it can produce, and there are huge risks in contaminated water leakages when Queensland floods, destroying huge areas of land for agriculture and live stock. Economically, UCG is light years in front of CSM and Coal fired power plants, and its capable of producing diesel, Plastics, fertilisers and energy.

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