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Environments - MINING ENGINEER    



Coal Seam Gas - Dispute

MiddleMiddle High SchoolSecondary

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

Ethical Understanding Australian Curriculum General Capability: Ethical Understanding

Australian Curriculum Cross Curriculum Priorities: Sustainability Priority 



1. Coal seam gas is natural gas. Coal seam gas (CSG) is primarily methane – a colourless and odourless gas, found in coal deposits formed over millions of years from fallen trees and other plant matter.

Natural gas collects in underground coal seams by bonding to the surface of coal particles. The coal seams are generally filled with water and it is the pressure of the water that keeps the gas as a thin film on the surface of the coal. The technical term for this is 'adsorption'.

Natural gas in coal seams in Australia is not a new discovery. It was first identified when coal mining began in the early 1900s. With advances in technology, CSG, also known as onshore ‘unconventional’ gas has developed into a key fuel source, helping to lower our carbon emissions as we move to a low carbon future.

In Australia, coal seam gas is plentiful. Australia's major coal seam gas resources are found onshore in eastern Australia. Currently the largest known proven reserves are in Queensland's Bowen and Surat basins.

CSG has been produced from these areas since the mid 1990s. Until recently, the bulk of supply has been derived from the Bowen Basin. However, production from the Surat Basin’s Walloon Coal Measures is now growing rapidly.

For more information go to: Parliament of Australia: The development of Australias coal seam gas resources

Australia has vast gas resources

Gas resources


And, Coal Seam Gas resources:

CSG in Australia

But, that doesn't mean that all people agree with what should be done with this resource!


2. Read the following websites and write down the pros and cons of mining this Coal Seam Gas. Reading

BTN - Gas Dispute: 1st March 2011

Gas Dispute
ABC News: 13 May 2016

13 May 2016
ABC: Rural: Coal Seam Gas

Coal Seam Gas
The Conversation: May 2015: Groundwater: the natural wonder that needs protecting from coal seam gas

The Conversation
The Conversation May 2016: River on Fire: even if it's not coal seam gas we should still be concerned

The Conversation
CSIRO: Developing the shale gas potential [PDF]

The Conversation: 22 July 2014: The Challenge of sorting fact from fiction on coal seam gas

The Conversation
The Conversation 29 October 2015: Who gets to decide whether we dig up coal and gas?

The Conversation

3. After reading the pros and cons of mining coal seam gas, what do you think if you were:

a. A mining engineer

b. A land owner

c. A politician

d. An environmentalist

4. Set up a debate - each stating your perspective!

Who has the strongest case? Why?




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