As the world looks to new and more diverse energy sources for the future, one source that is growing rapidly is shale and coal seam gas (CSG).
Although gas is a fossil fuel, it is considered ‘cleaner’ than coal because it does not produce the same level of greenhouse gas emissions when burned. And because gas is currently cheaper than renewable energy sources — wind and solar — it is seen by many in the industry as a viable short to medium term option.
Australia has large reserves of coal seam gas, especially in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, while large shale gas deposits exist across the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.
CSG is currently being extracted from the Bowen and Surat Basins in Queensland and the Camden Valley in New South Wales, with numerous exploration wells across the Liverpool Plains and Hunter Valley.
The shale gas industry is still in its infancy — the first commercial project commenced operation in the Cooper Basin of South Australia in 2012.