The report released by the New South Wales Chief Scientist should give the green light to the responsible development of the state’s natural gas resources.
Having considered all the information available and noting the rapid evolution of technological developments applicable to CSG from a wide range of disciplines, the Review concluded that the technical challenges and risks posed by the CSG industry can in general be managed through:
• Careful designation of areas appropriate in geological and land-use terms for CSG extraction
• High standards of engineering and professionalism in CSG companies
• Creation of a State Whole-of-Environment Data Repository so that data from CSG industry operations can be interrogated as needed and in the context of the wider environment
• Comprehensive monitoring of CSG operations with ongoing automatic scrutiny of the resulting data
• A well-trained and certified workforce, and
• Application of new technological developments as they become available.
NSW consumes around a quarter of the gas used in the eastern Australia gas market, yet supplies only about one per cent of the gas production for that market.
The state’s 1.3 million gas customers rely on interstate producers for 95 per cent of their supply, despite the state possessing very significant reserves and experienced gas companies being willing and able to produce local gas for local consumers.