Coal Seam Gas or commonly called as CSG is a combustible fossil fuel found in the gaseous state and it made up of 95-97% Methane. This gas is a by product of coal formation and is found abundantly in Australia particularly Queensland and New South Wales. CSG extraction has been happening in these regions for not just 5-6 years but since past 3 decades but it has seen explosive growth in the last decade where Billions of Dollars are invested in exploration and extraction of CSG pumping money in the local economy and creating of thousand of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled jobs. It not just adds to prosperity of the society but also helps Australia meet its energy demands without putting an extra burden on imports of crude oil putting a heavy dent on the balance of trade.
Like every extraction of natural resources, coal seam gas extraction is also not an easy task and requires high level of expertise leaving dirt and greenhouse gasses emission as a by product. CSG is usually found at a depth between 300m – 1000m and pipes needs to be drilled in the coal bed. A lot of fresh water is used for extraction as water is able to liberate coal gas from the coal beds and for this ground water is utilized, the problem is most of the extraction activities and pipe networks are laid across farm lands where farmers are afraid of depleting water levels and accidental release of toxic gases which could not only destroy the crops but would also render the fertile land barren.
The problem with massive CSG extraction is the government encourages companies to pump in as much money as they want and in return they were entitled to extract as much gas as they could for maximum profitability and mutual betterment of the society. Since ground water is the only natural resource this industry needs to extract CSG, the government has allowed unquestioned extraction of ground water for their activities till it reaches a trigger where they would be required to act good and work on replenishing the ground water level but the law does not the govern them to do so, it would completely rely on their goodwill nature.
CSG is not an enemy as it is ready to take the load of Australia’s energy requirement which would not only save precious dollars used to pay middle east for crude oil imports but will also reduce energy costs and its home grown and is not subjected to various stages. Australia is also ambitious on exporting the gases but despite of economical advantage, the companies and the government needs to ensure that ecology is also benefitted and better ways of ground replacement to be implemented to ensure equal amount of water is redeposit into the ground.
Australasian training education centre , ATEC, is the national training center in Australia. Some of the training course it offers are :