Another 30,000 CSG wells proposed for Queensland: QCC

MORE than half of Queensland's local government areas are being considered for coal seam gas exploration or actively drilled, according to statistics released by the state government.

As at July 1, at least 42 of the state's 73 local government regions had outstanding "environmental authorities" on them relating to the coal-seam gas industry.

In total, there were 229 permits already in place, 127 of which allowed for the drilling of gas wells.

A further 44 petroleum leases allowed for the eventual development of resources and 56 pipeline permits were issued for those funnelling the gas to facilities.

The figure covers the entire amount of permits in place, some of which may have been given approval years earlier.

The highest concentration of these permits was delivered to well-known gas boom areas including the Western Downs in south-west Queensland which had 55 outstanding permits.

The Isaac, Central Highlands and Gladstone regional councils in Central Queensland had 22, 31 and 22 respectively.

Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast councils areas had nil.

Queensland Conservation Council executive director Toby Hutcheon questioned how proper environmental oversight was being delivered with so many permits issued.

"(Wells) are being operated particularly close to aquifers," Mr Hutcheon said.

"No one can give a definitive answer on what the impact is, that's what's concerning."

Mr Hutcheon said already there were 10,000 gas wells operating throughout the state with another 30,000 proposed.

These wells will feed into a number of multi-billion-dollar gas refining projects being developed on Curtis Island off Gladstone.

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, the industry's peak body, did not respond to a request for comment before deadline.

The two state departments that govern the CSG industry - Mines and Environment - said permit holders faced stringent environmental regulation before being approved.

Before any work could begin, every firm must be given an environmental authority from the Department of Environment.

Once obtained, they must then earn a petroleum and gas tenure from the Department of Mines.



The Queensland Government has released 229 "environmental authorities" for the CSG industry in Queensland.
These include permits for drilling wells, surveying areas, building refineries or other facilities or early exploration.

  • Western Downs 55
  • Maranoa 46
  • Gladstone 22
  • Isaac 22
  • Toowoomba 11
  • Rockhampton 8
  • Barcaldine 7
  • Ipswich 5
  • Bundaberg 4
  • Mackay 3
  • Sunshine/Gold Coast Nil.