Bubbling river blamed on Coal Seam Gas (Coal Bed Methane)

Bubbling river blamed on Coal Seam Gas (Coal Bed Methaneby David Wroe, May 30, 2012, The Age
Video has emerged of a major gas leak on the Condamine River in Queensland that conservationists say could be dangerous methane leakage from a nearby coal seam gas project. Anti-CSG campaigner Drew Hutton, who helped to shoot the video on the river west of Brisbane, said there were several stretches of river where furious bubbling was happening, each stretch about 30 to 40 metres long. The leak site is close to a CSG [CBM] project from energy giant Origin. The company said in a statement hat underground coals that stored gas were closer to the surface than was typical. ‘‘Local knowledge’’ said gas seepage on the Condamine went back at least 30 years, it said. … Mr Hutton said the gas could explode if it reached a certain concentration. … “Our gas metres shows that it’s methane. It’s dangerous.” Of Origin, he said: “They know about it. They’ve been out there. This has been happening for weeks and weeks. I’m not ruling out that it could be naturally caused but the chances are pretty minimal. It’s over too long a stretch of the river and there’s too much of it.” He called on Origin to released all the data it had on the area. CSG [CBM] projects reduce the groundwater, which can cause gas to “migrate” underground and emerge in other places. “When you draw down the water, you open up the possibility for pathways to be established,” Greens mining spokeswoman Larissa Waters said the leak showed the need for a five-year moratorium on CSG projects – a motion the party had put to the Parliament without success. “Methane leaking into drinking water is a disaster,” [Emphasis added]

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