World-first research finds methane is 'higher in CSG areas'

Anti-CSG protestors try to get a meeting with member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis. Photo: Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Anti-CSG protestors try to get a meeting with member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis. Photo: Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

WORLD-first research from two scientists at Southern Cross University has found methane levels in the air and water in areas where coal seam gas mining has taken place are up to 10 times that in unmined areas.

Dr Isaac Santos and Dr Damien Maher took thousands of air and water samples from gas fields near Tara in Southern Queensland and compared them with samples from the Northern Rivers region where a number of coal seam gas wells have been proposed.

They found methane levels in creeks around Tara were up to 10 times higher than in the Northern Rivers and up to three times higher in the atmosphere.

These findings undermine claims by CSG industry representatives that the industry can drastically reduce Australia's green- house emissions if it is given the go-ahead.

Before Dr Santos and Dr Maher had completely released their findings, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), a pro-CSG lobby group, questioned the rigour of their scientific methodology.

"Incomplete research from Southern Cross University academics this week lacks the basics of scientific rigour," said APPEA chief operating officer Eastern Region, Rick Wilkinson.

Mr Wilkinson went on to say it is not possible to link higher levels of methane in the Tara area to the presence of the gas industry.

"Irrespective of any difference in readings, the fact people assume that difference is because of the presence of a gas industry suggests a flawed methodology," he said.

"We have multiple lines of evidence which suggest that the higher levels of methane in these areas are linked to CSG."

Dr Maher also said methane magnified heat 25 times more strongly than carbon dioxide and increased methane emissions, as a result of CSG development, would contribute to atmospheric change which he linked to global warming.

Dr Maher acknowledged there were no direct consequences of increased methane levels for people's health, however, he said methane was only one of the gases that could leak from a coal seam and further research would be needed to assess the consequences of these other gases leaking into the atmosphere.

CSG exploration in the Clarence Valley has been approved by the O'Farrell Government with limited production approved for wells in the Richmond Valley.

Topics:  csg southern cross university

Men of league hit the greens for community

Barry Hancock and Kev Embrey of the Fraser Coast at a recent Men of League Bowls Day.

Tweed to gather on Coolangatta greens.

Crowning bowls champions

CHAMPS: Mark Casey, one half of Gold Coast champion bowls pair with Jayden Christie, play on Monday.

Who will it be?

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

Expert's talk on Olley's life is not to be missed

THE ARTIST: Artist Margaret Olley at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in 2006.

RARE insight into the life of one of most cherished hoarders

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Leonardo DiCaprio nearly drowned while filming

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar winner almost drowned in Galapagos

Miranda Kerr to wed next year

Supermodel Miranda Kerr

Supermodel and Snapchat founder to wed

What's on the small screen this week

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

TWO big reality shows wrap up this week while

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge