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CSG could increase methane emissions near ‘bubbling’ Condamine River, report finds

The ABC’s Dominique Schwartz and colleagues report (17.4.17) on recent investigations by the University of Melbourne’s Energy Institute, which suggest that harmful effects from bubbling methane emissions – such as those seen from the Condamine River in southern Queensland – could rise significantly with continued coal seam gas mining.

‘A scientific report looking at bubbling methane emissions in a Queensland river has found that the release of such gases could rise significantly with continued coal seam gas (CSG) operations.

‘The ABC last year reported landholder concerns about intensifying methane emissions from the Condamine River near Chinchilla, which led to dramatic pictures of it being set alight by NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

‘In a report to be released today, the University of Melbourne Energy Institute states the continued depressurisation of coal seams, combined with groundwater extraction by industry and landholders, “could significantly increase gas releases from weak or porous zones such as the Condamine River” in southern Queensland.

‘… The Energy Institute has warned that unmeasured methane leaks from unconventional gas fields could cause Australia to fail its Paris climate commitments.

‘Its new report, commissioned by the Australia Institute, reviews current scientific literature to assess the risk of so-called migratory or fugitive emissions resulting from rapidly expanding CSG development in Queensland.’

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