CSIRO research on methane seeps in Surat Basin, Queensland; funded by partnership with coalseam gas (CSG), coalbed methane (CBM) companies – Sounds like Alberta’s Research Council (now Alberta Innovates) partnering with Encana on CBM and groundwater impacts research to blame nature

CSIRO research seeks information on methane seeps by Cassie Hough, April 28, 2014, ABC Rural
A study starting this year may give researchers a better idea of what is causing methane seeps in the Surat Basin in Queensland. The CSIRO’s Dr Damian Barrett says methane naturally escapes into the atmosphere from places like the Surat Basin where there are large coal deposits underground. Dr Barrett is leading the project and hopes the research will find out whether coal seam gas activity is causing the methane seeps and give authorities baseline data to compare over the life of the CSG industry. “We don’t know how much methane is naturally seeping to the atmosphere and we also don’t know the variation in these sources of methane.”

The research has come up with three different ways to measure the methane being released and it is hoped the research will give authorities baseline data to compare over the life of the CSG industry. “The first we’re doing a mobile survey using a vehicle and sampling instrument combined with meteorological measurements such as wind speed and wind direction,” Dr Barrett said. “That particular method allows us to travel across the countryside and detect where these methane seeps are. The second method will trial a new remote sensing method that detects methane and it’s hoped that will map where the natural methane seeps are. The third method uses sophisticated measurement of methane concentrations in the atmosphere, with atmospheric modelling and meteorological measurement to get broader scale estimates of the methane fluctuations.”

The research is being funded by a partnership between the CSIRO and coal seam gas companies. [Emphasis added]

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science agency

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