Coal Seam Gas

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WHAT IS COAL SEAM GAS (CSG)?

CSG is a naturally occurring methane gas which is known as Coal Bed Methane (CBM). It is a-by product of ancient plant matter that has formed over millions of years by the same natural processes which produce coal. Not long ago this gas was identified as a major problem in the underground coal mining industry due to it’s high flammability despite this, it is now recognised as a very profitable resource.

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. A combination of water and ground pressure traps the gas in the fracture of the coal seam.

As an end-use product, CSG is the same as natural gas. In Australia
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HOW MUCH WATER IS THERE?

It is impossible to say with certainty how much water is present in the coal seams. On average and, depending on the particular seams, an individual well may produce between 5,000 to 20,000 litres per day. If this level of production is applied to the wells in the field, we anticipate that between 0.5 and 2 mega litres (ML) of water will be produced daily which is between 200 and 700 ML of water per year.

WHAT WILL BE DONE WITH THE WATER?

At present, Lucas Energy (is a publicly traded oil and gas company) collects the water produced by the wells at it’s Stratford Pilot Project in lined storage dams on site. Some have a high salt content (greater than 5000 parts per million) which is stored separately from the remainder ( which have a lower salt content). Lucas has approval from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to use the low content salt water for irrigation under certain conditions which ensures that there is no detrimental impact on the condition of local soils and groundwater. The water is also used during daily operation for activities such as dust suppression and drilling.

A common approach to dealing with the water produced by the extraction of coal seam gas in many parts of the world, including Queensland, is to simply let it evaporate from large ponds. There are many treatment options to do this, but the most common process is reverse osmosis (RO). RO involves pushing water through
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