CSG sector turns to science to aid industry

IN what could be seen as a further sign the coal seam gas industry is keen to fight back against negative publicity, the Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas joint venture has teamed up with the CSIRO to launch a new CSG research alliance.
CSG sector turns to science to aid industry CSG sector turns to science to aid industry CSG sector turns to science to aid industry CSG sector turns to science to aid industry CSG sector turns to science to aid industry

The Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA), launched on Wednesday, will carry out research in five key social and environmental areas to support the development of the industry.

CSRIO and APLNG, a joint venture between ConocoPhillips and Origin Energy, will provide initial funding of $14 million for research in the five areas of groundwater and surface water, biodiversity, land management, marine environment and socio-economic impacts.

APLNG project director Page Maxson said GISERA would play a crucial role in providing additional information about the CSG industry called for by stakeholders such as regional communities, farmers and conservation groups.

"Science is well placed to contribute constructively and objectively to this desire for additional information which will be used to further shape and guide the CSG/LNG industry," he said.

In recent times the CSG sector has been under a constant barrage of negative publicity brought about by environmentalists and other lobby groups concerned about the threat posed by CSG activity to regional water tables.

CSIRO chief executive officer Megan Clark said the alliance's robust government framework would ensure it delivered quality peer reviewed and publicly available science.

Results from the research will be made publicly available on the GISERA website. GISERA will initially focus on the Queensland CSG industry but could potentially expand its focus to gas operations in other parts of the country.

Membership in the alliance will also be offered to other companies in and out of the industry, government agencies, universities, agricultural industries and communities.

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