THE backers of a $1 billion Newcastle export coal-seam gas terminal say the overall project will cost $2.5 billion if a feasibility study gives the go-ahead at the end of the year.
As well as the $1 billion terminal, Eastern Star Gas is proposing a $500 million pipeline from Narrabri to Newcastle, on a different route from the Hunter to Queensland pipeline promoted by a consortium of Hunter business people.
Eastern Star hopes to start exporting gas by 2014, with more details of the project emerging in a briefing yesterday to the stock exchange.
Chief commercial officer Roland Sleeman said Eastern Star was working with power station builder ERM Power on plans for a gas-fired power station near Wellington.
Under this plan, the gas would go from Narribri to Coolah and Wellington, then on to Bayswater and Newcastle.
Farm Online reports the opposition are making overtures to farmers about environmental damage caused by coal seam gas extraction (you can be certain they'll do absolutely nothing about it if they manage to get elected of course) - Federal opposition backs farmers over CSG.
FORMER federal resources minister Ian Macfarlane has weighed into the coal seam gas debate and backed landholder calls for an independent reassessment of the science surrounding mining impacts on groundwater reserves.
Mr Macfarlane, the shadow minister for resources and energy, said after visiting farms on the Darling Downs last week that there was a strong belief that the large Condamine Alluvium freshwater aquifer was directly connected to the Walloon Coal Measures, which are currently being dewatered and depressurised for Coal Seam gas production.
The Condamine Alluvium is the primary source of water for several Darling Downs townships and supports irrigation and grazing industries worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Queensland economy every year.
Coal Seam Gas production involves removing water from coal seams to access trapped gases. Coal seam water, which can range from fresh to saline, is separated from the gas at the surface.
It was impossible to dewater the Walloon Coal Measures without causing detrimental impacts to the Condamine Alluvium, said Cecil Plains irrigator Stuart Armitage, one of the landholders who met with Mr Macfarlane last weekend.
“The pressurised Walloon Coal Measures is what keeps the Condamine Alluvium where it is,” Mr Armitage said. “If that pressure wasn’t there, the Condamine Alluvium would disappear into the Walloon.”
Landholders have been calling for a moratorium on further CSG developments until the full range of impacts of CSG production on such large and important aquifers have been independently studied and verified.
The FT's "beyondbrics" blog has a post on unconventional gas in China - China needs foreign know-how for domestic gas.
A push by China to exploit its domestic energy resources, especially gas shale reserves, could lead to the country importing less gas from abroad in coming decades.
But the strategy will be anything but self-sufficient. It will depend crucially on engaging foreign companies to share costs, risks and technology.
A report from Wood Mackenzie this week predicted that unconventional gas, including shale gas, coal seam gas, and coal bed methane, could be a quarter of China’s gas supply by 2030.
Chinese majors will lead the way. Sinopec aims to produce 2.5bn cubic meters of unconventional gas annually in 2015. Officials at CNPC, China’s largest oil and gas producer, have said they hope to produce 500m cubic meters of shale gas by 2015 - up from no shale production today.
But experts say they will need foreign support and know-how to develop unconventional gas assets, including coal bed methane as well as shale gas.
Last month CNPC signed a memorandum with Encana, a Canadian firm known for its shale assets, that could lead to a shale gas joint venture. And PetroChina’s and Shell’s joint takeover of Arrow energy will give the Chinese company access to Arrow’s coal seam gas expertise.
There’s also an opening for foreign firms to engage in exploration for unconventionals in China. Several foreign companies are already active in the sector, though major commercial successes have so far been few.
Shell has a coal-bed methane project under exploration in Ordos, as well as a joint venture with PetroChina to develop shale gas in Sichuan province. BP is working with PetroChina to assess coal bed methane potential in western Xinjiang province. And Far East Energy, a Houston-based firm, has just signed a gas sales contract for a coal bed methane project in Shanxi province.