2016 04 26 as of 3:35 pm Jeremy Buckingham’s clip at 4,233,138 Views
2016 04 25 as of 10:02 pm: Jeremy Buckingham’s clip at 4,000,135 Views
2016 04 25 as of 9:30 pm: Jeremy Buckingham’s clip at 3,992,739 Views
2016 04 25 as of 6:15 pm: Jeremy Buckingham’s clip at 3,937,124 Views
2016 04 25 as of 1:00 pm: Jeremy Buckingham’s clip at 3,797,458 Views
2016 04 24 as of 3:30 pm: Jeremy Buckingham’s clip at 3,089,826 Views in two days!
April 25, 2016: 6:12 Min. Jeremy Buckingham interviewed on CBC’s As it Happens
Meet the Aussie MP who set a river on fire to protest fracking As it Happens, April 25, 2016, CBC News
Australian MP Jeremy Buckingham says a fracking operation nearby has allowed methane to leak in to the river.
An Australian MP became a viral sensation after he lit a river on fire and blamed a nearby fracking site for contaminating the river.
“In hindsight, I may not have done it. It was probably a dangerous thing to do.”
– Jeremy Buckingham
Jeremy Buckingham tells As It Happens host Carol Off that he was only expecting to see a small flame, not the inferno seen on the video, “It was truly shocking to see a river explode in flame and most alarmingly, maintain a flame.”
In the video, the Australian MP for New South Wales lights the Condamine River on fire with a barbecue lighter. The river can be seen bubbling with methane, which Buckingham believes is the result of a fracking operation less than a kilometer away.
“It illustrated our concerns about how dangerous the fracking and coal-seam gas industries are.”
There have been reports of methane seeps in the river since 2012, triggering a series of investigations.
The company that is responsible for the fracking, Origin Energy issued a statement suggesting that the methane leak is probably a naturally occurring phenomena in the area. A statement backed by the energy regulator, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
Buckingham is quick to dismiss anything from the company or CSIRO, who he says is too chummy with the corporations. “They’re actually funded by the gas industry,” he says.
Buckingham goes on to say they have historical records as well as anecdotal evidence from farmers in the area that the methane was not there before.
“It would be a remarkable coincidence if it had nothing to do with the fracking industry. [Emphasis added]
April 25, 2016 shortened clip with audio transcribed on CBC News‘ main page:
Even in Canada’s National Post! ‘We did not expect it to explode’: Australian politician blames fracking after setting river ablaze with a lighter by Ben Guarino, April 25, 2016, Washington Post
[A few comments first:
Two recent 4.6 and 4.8 earthquakes near Fox Creek, Alberta have resulted in fracking being discontinued in the area. http://www.cbc.ca/…/fox-creek-fracking-operation-closed…
Neil Odegard ·
Discontinued…. Not CAUSED. big difference.
The AER, the U of C and the U of A, along with AGS have confirmed that hydrualic fracturing in the Fox Creek play based pilot area is the cause of hundreds of induced seismic events. The AER even hosts a “Spot Light on Seismicity” page, where you can view all the frack quakes on an excel spreadsheet.
Frack induced seismicity is also happening in Rocky Mountain House and Cardston Alberta, NE BC, and most notably Oklahoma in the US. All proven.
There was no “investigation”, Repsol fracced and caused a 4.8, they shut down operations, then submitted a letter asking for AER approval to continue flow-back operations. Of course, it was approved by our rubber stamping AER-because they have no public interest or public health mandate and could give a shiz less what they knowingly permit to be destroyed. As long as industry keep paying their bills and Mr. Protti gets to eat two steaks for lunch!
The Town of Fox Creek has had such severe water shortages, they have had to truck in water, numerous times.
“The town has had to spend $300,000 to truck in water after levels in the aquifers it normally depends on fell too low, said Ahn. The town has received whistleblower reports of drilling rig leaks that could affect Fox Creek’s water supply and received contradictory messages from those involved.
Ahn said the town fears government and regulatory officials don’t have its best interests at heart.”
Methane coming to the surface is nothing new, and neither is a politician looking for a photo-op and votes pretending to be concerned about something.
Exacllty…stories like this could be valid but there are so many htat are fraudulent…and have resuled in charges laid. Most people dont realize that natural seepage of gas (and oil) is common..Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Dissolved Gases in Well Water
Dissolved gases in well water are a common ocurrence in Alberta. The major gases found in wells are methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide.
Common problems with methane and carbon dioxide are “spurting” taps and priming problems (gas locking) in pumps. The gas problem varies in severity – from occasional “spurting” from the hot water taps to a constant flow of gas from the well casing.
Methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen are all odourless gases. Exercise caution if the water contains methane. Methane will burn, can be explosive and must be vented to the outside. For further information on Methane Gas in Well Water, refer to Agrifacts 716 (D63). Carbon dioxide and nitrogen should also be vented to the outside because these are asphyxiates and can cause death by suffocation. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and can accumulate in low, enclosed spaces, such as wells or pump pits. Well pits are no longer legal in Alberta, but many old pits still exist. Accumulated nitrogen in a well pit killed two Alberta teens in 1999.
Bob Jones I guess the oil Corporation are pretty good a BS as well eh. Like nothing can possible be wrong becasue when it comes to making $$$ everything is always A okay. BS runs both ways.
Lizette Dufour Considering fracking has been taking place since the mid 1960’s in Canada without any major incident, I’d say it is relatively safe.
If you were Bruce Jack and his family, would you consider this a major incident?
How about the Primrose, FTS leaks, are those major? With cap rock destroyed, a waterbody and aquifer contaminated, and many species of wildlife killed.
What about the contamination of the Rosebud Aquifer?
What about our children, poisoned by a company fraccing by our home, in which public notifications were intentionally falsified so that we were unaware of sour gas venting and combustion station emissions by our home?
How about the contamination of an aquifer near Grande Prairie, would that be considered a major incident?
There are major impacts to fracking everywhere, so much so, many jurisdictions have had the foresight to ban the process. But not Canada, here Health Canada hid their report on significant harms to ambient air, public health and water sources from fracking, for 2 years, only to release it because journalist Dr. David Kattenburg was given access to the report via a Freedom of Information request.
Can you kindly provide links for those fraudulent charges laid? Thanks.
End of a few comments]
Some people want to watch the world burn. Others — like Jeremy Buckingham, a member of the Australian Parliament — will settle for rivers.
In an act of protest against coal seam fracking, the Greens Party member recently took an aluminum boat down the Condamine River in Queensland, Australia. This was no lazy afternoon cruise. The surface of the river fizzed with bubbles of methane gas. Methane is colourless and odourless — but it’s also quite flammable. Buckingham leaned over the side of the boat, and, as though lighting a barbecue, set the methane ablaze.
At this stage we don’t know fully the reason why the methane is coming to the surface
Presto: Instant river flambé. “We did not expect it to explode like it it did,” Buckingham told The Washington Post early Monday in a phone interview. He’s calling for the gas industry to halt fracking in Australia until the source of the methane can be determined.
“This is the future of Australia if we do not stop the frackers, who want to spread across all states and territories,” Buckingham said in a video of the river fire, which he posted to Facebook. The flames lasted for an hour as the methane continued to churn out of the river bed and feed the fire, he said. As of early Monday morning, more than 3.3 million people had viewed the video.
The Condamine River isn’t the first flaming body of water to spark environmental health concerns. When a layer of oil and trash on top of Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River caught flame in 1969, the resulting furor led to the passage of the Clean Water Act. In 2014, a discarded cigarette set a polluted river on fire in Wenzhou, China; a year later, flaming waste floating on a lake in India oozed sulphuric fumes so pungent they ruptured a bystander’s cornea.
The work that we do is entirely independent. We don’t hold back any information that’s coming out of our research. We’re just stating the science
Fracking, too, has its share of heated discussion centred on fiery water. Homeowners living near hydraulic fracturing wells in Texas and Pennsylvania were able to light methane in the water coming out of their faucets. In 2014, American researchers hunting for this so-called fugitive methane were able to trace it by following specific inert elements that had hitchhiked along with the natural gas. In the cases of flaming spigots, the researchers believe that faulty casings and other chinks in the wells’ integrity allowed the methane to escape, not the fracking itself.
Buckingham’s evidence isn’t as concrete — his experimentation begins and ends with setting rivers ablaze. “I acknowledge we don’t have the proof,” he told The Washington Post. But Buckingham points to reports of increasingly bubbly water after fracking began in the Queensland area to buttress his view.
Not everyone shares this conviction. “At this stage we don’t know fully the reason why the methane is coming to the surface,” said Damian Barrett, a natural gas researcher at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia’s national science agency. [Just like Alberta Research Council (changed later to Alberta Innovates Technology Futures) is controlled by CAPP/Encana/AER etc?]
Barrett told The Washington Post early Monday that because the gas wells are more than 4.8 kilometres away from the Condamine, fracking’s connection with the river methane is dubious. The fracking wells would have to connect chambers of gas improbably far apart. “It’s highly unlikely,” he said — though “not impossible.”
[Is Barrett lying? The 2012 investigation report states:
Tenure is held by Origin with four Origin CSG wells positioned within a five kilometre radius of the initially reported gas seep location; the closest being approximately 1.4 kilometres from the reported gas seep location.
Jeremy Buckingham reports that fracing is just one kilometre away. How many refracs have been and are being completed since 2012?:
[Even if the fracking is 11.2 kilometres away, Expert Reality Check:
Slides from Ernst presentations
End Expert Reality Check]
In an interview with the Guardian Australia, Buckingham accused the Australian research agency of being in bed with the coal gas industry. (Barrett, in addition to his post at the CSIRO, directs the Gas Industry Social & Environmental Research Alliance, a partnership between the coal gas industry and the Australian government.)
Barrett denied any impropriety. “The work that we do is entirely independent,” he told The Washington Post. “We don’t hold back any information that’s coming out of our research. We’re just stating the science.”
[Reality Question: What does “entirely independent” mean?
Independent: The oil and gas industry’s (and its enablers, government, research councils, Munk School of Global Affairs POWI, regulators, academia, mainstream media) favourite, most abused word?
Entirely independent: Running scared? ]
Though it’s “quite possibly true” that the river’s methane has begun to bubble more dramatically — CSIRO has been studying the area for the past three years — Barrett points out that the coal seams near Condamine are close to the surface, tucked under just a few hundred feet of earth. Typically, he said, the sediment on the bottom of the river bed prevents the rising methane from producing such bubbles. It’s possible that the river, scoured clean of sediment, is simply releasing gas that has been there all along.
Made flammable by fracking or not, Barrett hopes no one else will try to light the river on fire. “It’s not really advisable.” [Emphasis added]
AND IN THE GLOBE AND MAIL, VANCOUVER SUN AND EDMONTON JOURNAL, NOT IN THE CALGARY HERALD! Aussie politician blames fracking for exploding river (with video) by Washingont Post, April 25, 2016
River on fire in Greens MP’s video is natural, not fracking, says CSIRO, Jeremy Buckingham says scientists ‘making excuses’ for CSG industry after footage shows him touching off sheet of flame on the Condamine river by Calla Wahlquist, April 24, 2016, The Guardian
No surprise there. The Australian Petroleum Association admitted years ago their industry operations were going to bugger the water:
The coal seam gas industry has conceded that extraction will inevitably contaminate aquifers. ‘Drilling will, to varying degrees, impact on adjoining aquifers,’ said the spokesman, Ross Dunn. ‘The intent of saying that is to make it clear that we have never shied away from the fact that there will be impacts on aquifers,’ Mr Dunn said.”
And in Canada, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers admits their industry operations have buggered the water:
CAPP’s Alex Ferguson says many worries about water quality are based on past operations involving coal-bed methane — shallow deposits in closer proximity to groundwater. These did occasionally contaminate water resources, he says. In some of the more infamous instances, affected landowners could light their well water on fire.”
“Nearly a decade after the CBM boom, the BLM revealed that ‘several environmental situations of concern’ had sprung up in ‘the progressive center of coalbed methane development from the Fruitland Formation.’ Gas and hydrogen sulphide seeps had appeared where none previously existed. Healthy springs had dried up. Older, natural seeps gushed poisonous gases in greater volumes than ever before. Underground coal fires broke out as industry dewatered some seams and introduced oxygen. Old gas wells served as pathways for methane migration into groundwater. Soils became so saturated with fire damp in the Animas River Valley, south of Durango, Colorado, that plant and grass roots suffocated. The zones of methane-killed vegetation extended for miles.
The startling BLM report, issued in 1999, also admitted that the federal agency responsible for the management of public lands had witnessed a dubious science experiment in the west. Basin geology was so complex and full of faults that it was impossible to predict with accuracy where the methane might pop up next. Moreover, said the report, the hydrology of the area was poorly understood: ‘Years may pass before a full understanding is achieved. The capability does not currently exist to predict the next area a problem might arise or to mitigate an existing seep.’
… Methane seeps also appeared in rivers and creeks where landowners had not seen such things before. By the 1990s, La Plata County residents of a small subdivision by the Pine River reported that their kitchen sinks had become fountains of sparkling water supersaturated with methane. Some residents could even light the river running by their houses on fire.
Large ponderosa trees started to die off due to methane suffocation, and state investigators found one house filled with so much methane that it stood on the verge of exploding. The residents traced their problems to ten coalbed methane wells that Amoco had drilled nearby in the late 1980s.
… Later studies did find industry responsible for the seeps, and Amoco settled a lawsuit out of court. The company bought nearly half a dozen homes in La Plata County and bulldozed them. Amoco was also later forced to close one of its CBM wells. A real estate study commissioned by La Plata County found that having a CBM well in your backyard could diminish property values by as much as 22 percent. Despite all of this, Amoco never admitted to any wrongdoing.”
The CSIRO has defended its independence [Like Dr. Alexander Blyth’s secretly edited “independent” reviews blaming nature, E. coli, rain, citizen water wells, citizen water use, drought, historical records of methane in other water wells without providing any evidence to back up these fabricated blames, while ignoring all the real evidence showing water wells contaminated after fracing having historic records saying “Gas Present: NO” before fracing, and ignoring law violations and extremely shallow coals frac’d intentionally by companies with massive volumes of frac fluids injected under high pressures, in secret, and then fraudulently covered-up by enabling regulators?]
after a Greens MP, whose footage of burning methane on a Queensland river went viral, accused the government-funded research body of “making excuses” for the coal seam gas industry.
Jeremy Buckingham, a member of the New South Wales parliament’s upper house, posted the video, which showed him lighting the surface of the Condamine river with a barbecue lighter and sending flames licking around the boat, on his Facebook page on Friday. By Sunday it had been shared 13,000 times and had 2.2m views.
The CSIRO began studying methane seeps in 2012 in the Condamine river, which is near Chinchilla, about 300km west of Brisbane, after locals reported seeing bubbles. The gas is most evident at an area called Pumphole where the video was filmed. It is just over 5km from the gas field but there is a gas well within 900m, according to Buckingham.
Speaking to Guardian Australia, Buckingham said it was “implausible” that the gas flow was not linked to the coal seam gas industry, which expanded in the area in 2011.
“It would be the most remarkable coincidence that the very thing that we warned would happen has happened in the middle of a gas field and it’s totally unrelated,” he said.
But Professor Damian Barrett, research director of the CSIRO’s onshore gas programme, insisted it was “unlikely” that the gas seep was linked to fracking in the region.
Professor Barrett has received funding from:
State government agencies
Australian Coal Association Research Program
Australian Research Council
all the major global mining companies.]
Barrett said there were naturally occurring fissures in the rock in that part of the Darling Downs where, owing to the coal beds being less than 100m from the surface, methane had been known to leak out. At least four of those fissures are in a 3km stretch of the Condamine river, including Pumphole.
“The presence of the industry there has not caused that crack to occur or that fault to occur, it’s been there for aeons,” Barrett told Guardian Australia. “The gas has probably been coming to the surface there for as long as people have been there.”
Barrett said the amount of gas seeping in that area had markedly increased in the past 12 months, a trend he said could be caused by a shift in sediment from the river bed, which would mean the gas was less dispersed, or could be the result of water that rushed into the alluvial aquifer during the 2011 Queensland floods slowly depleting, which would release the pressure and allow more methane to come to the surface.
Barrett said evidence from the CSIRO’s study suggested it was “unlikely” the increased gas seepage was caused by the coal seam gas industry.
“It’s not to rule it out completely, but we don’t see a direct connection, a direct relationship, [What about indirect connections between the fracing and river pollution? The purpose of fracing is to create new fracs, widen existing fracs, connec [Precisely! That’s where industrial “brute force and ignorant” high pressure, repeat hydraulic fracturing comes in, to create connections]t to natural fissures and cleats] between what’s happening on the gas fields up to this point in time and what’s happening in the river,” he said.
“The nature of the way those coals are laid down … those beds are discontinuous, they don’t tend to form natural connections. [Precisely! That’s where industrial “brute force and ignorant” high pressure, repeat hydraulic fracturing comes in, to create connections]
“There could be a connectivity, a pathway there, but if there was it would be highly unusual.” [Contradicting the very intent of fracing?]
Barrett said it was not an “unusual occurrence” for that part of the river to hold a flame if it was not flowing, although lighting it was “not necessarily an advisable thing to do”, and said there were a number of places in the world – notably the Eternal Flame Falls in Shale Creek Preserve in upstate New York – that could hold a flame for most of the year.
Origin Energy, one of three energy companies to have coal seam gas wells in the region, also released a statement saying the gas was naturally occurring and posed no risk to public safety provided people use “common sense”.
However, Buckingham said the flame on the Condamine river has previously winked out quickly but this time remained alight for more than an hour.
He said farmers in the region had only reported seeing bubbles in the river since 2012 [fracing in the area started in 2011], which did not fit with the explanation of a naturally occurring methane seep.
“The CSIRO might not have the causation yet but it is a remarkable correlation that within 12 months that the marked expansion of that gas field [in 2011] the river closest to that gas field starts bubbling,” he said.
“That particular arm of the CSIRO is funded by the industry and I believe that they are making excuses for the industry that they have let off the leash.”
Barrett said that was untrue.
[Repeat Reality check:
Professor Barrett has received funding from:
State government agencies
Australian Coal Association Research Program
Australian Research Council
all the major global mining companies.]
“The CSIRO takes very seriously and regards it as very important that its research is entirely independent and we have mechanisms in the organisation to make sure that the research we do is independent and can be trusted,” he said. [A little desperately over the top defending his industry paid for “independence?” Like “independent” Dr. Blyth at the Alberta Research Council getting paid by Encana and having the government secretly edit his reports, even changing his conclusions and Dr. John Cherry falsely and way over the top, proclaiming Canadian academics clean from corporate money?]
NSW Greens MP sets Condamine River on fire by Matthew Newton
Matthew Newton, 23rd Apr 2016, Surat Basin.com
WHAT was a NSW Greens MP doing in a boat on the Condamine River with a stove lighter in his hand earlier this month?
Viewers of Channel 10’s The Project found out last night, when the show aired footage of NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham setting fire to a methane seep on the Condamine River.
The video shows the MP igniting the bubbling methane seep, which explodes.
After swearing in surprise and retreating to the side of the boat, Mr Buckingham is heard saying: “Unbelievable! A river on fire!”
In a media statement, Mr Buckingham said he had travelled to Chinchilla to “investigate the coal seam gas industry on the environment as part of the Greens’ campaign to ban fracking and unconventional gas in Australia.”
It was reported in February that methane gas seeps in the Condamine River were intensifying.
Origin, who operate CSG wells within the nearby area and who have been monitoring the leaks, [Why is a company – notably one that kept secret for 1.5 years their CSG (CBM) wells are leaking and contaminating aquifers – allowed to do the monitoring? Where are the regulators? Where are the independent water experts?] which were first reported in 2012, reaffirmed that the seeps pose no risk to the environment, or public safety, providing people show common sense and act responsibly around them. [Do you believe a secret keeping, aquifer contaminating CBM company? Why are the press reporting what a company says about something as serious as their operations releasing methane and contaminating water?]
“We are concerned by the actions of some local activists and green campaigners deliberately lighting up the seeps in the river to gain attention for their anti-gas views. This is neither safe nor responsible behaviour,” Origin Chief Executive Officer, Integrated Gas, David Baldwin said.
Mr Baldwin said there were several scenarios that could be contributing to the seeps including the underlying geology, natural events such as drought and flood cycles [Alberta Research Council’s Dr. Alexander Blyth and Alberta regulators blamed drought too on the dangerous levels of methane, ethane and other gases in Rosebud’s drinking water supply – during years of record rainfall, while keeping secret that Encana had broken the law and fractured the community’s drinking water aquifers.] and human activity which includes water bores [The research council and Alberta regulators blamed citizen water wells too for causing the dangerous methane contamination while ignoring all the historic water well records that say “Gas Present: No.“ A few years later, the Alberta regulator secretly removed the historic water well records that said “Gas Present: No” from the government database and replaced them with altered records that are now blank for gas present or not.] and CSG operations [A Canadian oil and gas lobby group, CAPP, confessed in 2014 that CBM fracing contaminated Alberta drinking water wells with methane, making them flammable. This after years of companies and CAPP lying to citizens and the public, claiming there had never been a water well anywhere, contaminated by the oil and gas industry. Then, a few years later, they narrowed their lie down to just in Alberta. More years later, they admitted there was maybe one water well contaminated by the oil and gas industry in Alberta, while the regulators continued their lie of never any water well contaminated by the oil and gas industry. The unconventional oil and gas industry and its fraudulent, blame-the-harmed-citizen-or-nature enablers have no credibility – anywhere.]
Last night, The Project reported that “locals believe (the gas seeps) were a direct result of the CSG activity that’s scourged their land for a decade, causing distress for farmers and alleged health issues for nearby residents” and following Hopeland farmer George Bender’s suicide last year “the David and Goliath between the mining companies and the downtrodden townsfolk has become a national talking point.”
The show also reported CSIRO’s Professor Damian Barrett comments on the methane seeps, who said it was bubbling to the surface “like many deposits around the world that have coal in them and it’s finding its way through natural cracks and fissures to the surface through the condamine river.”
Further investigation has been undertaken into several possible geological mechanisms and pathways which may explain the phenomenon, as recommended by Norwest’s independent technical report about the seeps released in 2014.
The work, along with recent detailed seismic studies, has identified some underground areas near the seeps that have the potential to accumulate and trap small pockets of natural gas.
The unique geology formed tens-of-millions of years ago and including some natural geological faults appears to create a potential pathway towards the surface underneath the river.
Origin is now working on a possible solution that it hopes will reduce the bubbling. [STOP FRACING?]
To watch the video, click here. [Emphasis added]
Amazing to see this damning Australian news in mainstream Canadian media!
Australian MP sets river on fire, blames nearby fracking, Politician Jeremy Buckingham conducted ‘experiment’ in Queensland. Warning: video contains graphic language by Australian Broadcasting Corporation with files from CBC, April, 2016 5:31 PM ET Last Updated: Apr 23, 2016 5:33 PM ET, in CBC News
An Australian MP is blaming seeping methane from a nearby fracking site for making it possible for him to set Queensland’s Condamine River on fire.
Jeremy Buckingham — a Greens party MP for New South Wales — posted a video of the incident to his Facebook page on Friday. As of Saturday afternoon, it had been shared more than 50,000 times. [Views as of:
9:30 pm: 2,139,915
9:40 pm: 2,145,405
9:55 pm: 2,155,375
10:21 pm: 2,172,407
11:00 pm: 2,197,087
12:25 am, April 24: 2,255,489
1:20 am, April 24: 2,300,914
“Unbelievable! A river on fire. Don’t let it burn the boat,” he says in the video. “The most incredible thing I’ve seen. A tragedy in the Murray-Darling Basin.”
The Murray-Darling Basin is the largest river system in southeastern Australia and a significant source of fresh water for drinking and agriculture.
Buckingham said the river burned for more than an hour. He believes the nearby coal seam gas (CSG) operations were to blame.
“This area has been drilled with thousands of CSG wells and fracked. This river for kilometres is bubbling with gas and now it’s on fire,” he said.
“This is the future of Australia and the Murray-Darling Basin if we do not stop the frackers who wants to spread across all states and territories … this is utterly unacceptable.” [Where are the MPs in Canada saying that about frac’ing CBM/CSG in Canada? Where are the MPs in Canada saying Encana’s illegally frac’d drinking water in Alberta is so explosive, it’s too dangerous to use even for flushing toilets?]
The Greens are campaigning to ban fracking in Australia.
Reports of gas seeps in river
There have been reports of methane seeps in the Condamine River— located near Chinchilla in southwest Queensland — since 2012, triggering a series of investigations.
A report by Norwest Corporation, a scientific analysis firm, outlined several scenarios that could be contributing to the bubbling in the river. These included natural events such as drought and the recharging of aquifers after floods.
Human activity such as CSG operations and water bore drilling were the other possible contributing factors.
Professor Damian Barrett, the lead researcher into unconventional gas with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, has been monitoring the river’s gas seeps.
“The isotopic signature is telling us it’s coming from coal at that point in the landscape but coal is quite close to the surface and there’s a naturally existing small fault line, which cuts the river at that point,” he said. [Encana illegally repeatedly frac’d coal aquifers in Alberta, ranging from 100.5 – 121.5 metres below the surface. Companies are fracing extremely shallow coals, they are intentionally frac’ing biogenic methane]
Barrett said research over the past 12 months showed the rate of the gas bubbling in the river was increasing.
Fracking company says ‘no risk’
Origin Energy, which operates CSG wells in the district, has also been monitoring the bubbling.
“We’re aware of concerns regarding bubbling of the Condamine River, in particular, recent videos demonstrating that this naturally occurring gas is flammable when ignited,” a statement from the company said.
“We understand that this can be worrying, however the seeps pose no risk to the environment, or to public safety, providing people show common sense and act responsibly around them.
Origin Energy converts coal seam gas to LNG for export to Asia from Australia.
“Ongoing research has identified several scenarios that could be contributing to the seeps including the natural geology and faults (formed tens-of-millions of years ago), natural events such as drought and flood cycles as well as some human activity, which includes water bores and coal seam gas operations.” [Emphasis added]
WATCH: Australian MP lights river near gas fracking site on fire by Brent Rose, April 23, 2016 1:01 pm Updated: April 23, 2016 1:11 pm, Global News
WATCH ABOVE: Jeremy Buckingham, an Australian MP for the Green Party, uploaded a video to his Facebook page showing him lighting the Condamine River on fire.
You may not want to light a match near the Condamine River in Queensland, Australia or you might catch fire.
Jeremy Buckingham, an Australian MP for the Green Party, uploaded a video to his Facebook page showing him on a boat in the middle of the river, lighting the surface of the water on fire as what appears to be methane gas bubbles up from the depths.
The exact moment Buckingham lights his lighter above a gas seep, a section of river immediately caught on fire forcing Buckingham to jump to the other side of the boat – while using an appropriate expletive anyone would use if a wall of flames was about to engulf you.
“Unbelievable, a river on fire,” said Buckingham wide eyed.
In the video, Buckingham blames nearby coal seam gas (CSG) fracking for the phenomenon and warns against expanding fracking in other parts of Australia. [Government investigations (first reported in 2012), found isotopic fingerprints of the gas to match those from formations being industrially completed. Refer to next article: Government investigations found (page 19) that the source of the gas was “consistent with gas originating from Surat Basin geological formations.” ]
“This is the future of Australia if we do not stop the frackers who want to spread across all states and territories and do this to your community, to your environment,” said Buckingham.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation News, the methane gas seeps were discovered in 2012.
A 2013 scientific analysis investigation by Norwest Corporation was launched after the discovery and the report concluded that there were several possible reasons why methane gas seeps formed in the river.
Natural events like droughts and flooding could cause these gas bubbles to form but the report also indicated fracking and water bore drilling are also possible culprits.
Origin Energy, the company using CSG fracking nearby the river, says they are monitoring the methane seeps but that they don’t pose any risk to the local environment or to public safety.
In a company statement they said “We understand that this can be worrying, however, the seeps pose no risk to the environment, or to public safety, providing people show common sense and act responsibly around them.” [Emphasis added]
Watch: Condamine River in Queensland, Australia Explodes Into Flames From Methane Coming From Nearby Fracking Sites by Max Phillips, April 22, 2016, Ecowatch
So much methane gas is now bubbling up through the Condamine River in Queensland, Australia that it exploded with fire and held a large flame. Gas seeping into the river began shortly after coal seam gas operations started nearby and is growing in volume and the stretch of river affected is expanding in length.
Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham travelled to Chinchilla in South Western Queensland to investigate the impact of the coal seam gas industry on the environment as part of the Greens’ campaign to ban fracking and unconventional gas in Australia.
“I was shocked by the force of the explosion when I tested whether gas boiling through the Condamine River, Qld was flammable,” Buckingham said. “So much gas is bubbling through the river that it held a huge flame for over an hour.”
Methane was first discovered bubbling through the Condamine River near Chinchilla in 2012 where coal seam gas wells had been drilled by Origin Energy nearby. There are hundreds of wells in the immediate area, with three companies—Origin Energy, QGC and Arrow Energy—all operating coal seam gas fields nearby.
Locals say the river has never bubbled like this historically. Government investigations found (page 19) that the source of the gas was “consistent with gas originating from Surat Basin geological formations.”
The concern is that depressurising the coal seams for gas extraction has caused methane gas to flow up other cracks, fissures, bores, to the surface—such as through the Condamine River. This is directly polluting the river and the air, but also methane is a potent greenhouse gas and these fugitive emissions are a major concern.
Not only is the gas bubbling becoming more intense recently, but it is spreading to a greater length of the river. Origin Energy, which operates wells in close proximity to the gas seep, has installed some monitoring pipework, and the Queensland government has put stakes on the river bank to mark each visible seep.
“Explosive gas boiling through a river shows just how damaging fracking and unconventional gas extraction can be,” Buckingham said. “We should be going with clean renewable energy and banning fracking and unconventional gas in Australia. The era of fossil fuels is over.”
“I do not want to see this happen to the Namoi River, or any other river in NSW [New South Wales], or anywhere else, which is why unconventional gas should be stopped. The fact that this is happening in the Murray Darling Basin is a national disgrace.”
Chinchilla local resident, John Jenkyn, who lives next door to the QGC Kenya gas field and gas processing facility said: “Anything that contaminates the underground water is a terrible thing. Depressurising the aquifers to extract the coal seam gas seems to have made the gas flow out beneath the Condamine River and it’s now spreading further.
“Over the last few years there more and more patches of bubbles have appeared on the river and the pressure of the gas has increased to the point where it is like an over-sized spa bath. It’s a river, it shouldn’t be doing that.”
Karen Auty, Chinchilla resident and activist against unconventional gas, said: “It’s deeply troubling to see contaminated water ways and to see water bores blow out with gas or fail and ground water levels drop. We’re all deeply concerned about the water.
“As local residents we want to know whether it is safe to live among all these gas wells and infrastructure, what are the impacts on our health?” [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
Frac ‘n Fraud Down Under: Origin Energy execs kept aquifer contamination secret for more than 1.5 years, knew CSG (CBM) wells leaking into aquifers. Are Origin Energy CSG (CBM) wells contaminating Condamine River with ‘intensifying’ methane bubbling too?
Linc Energy’s Massive Frac’d Land Time Bomb, “Executives could face the prospect of jail. Damage has been going on for years.” Secret report reveals more than 300 sq km of severe contamination to groundwater, prime agricultural land and air near Chinchilla, SE Queensland
After the fire was contained emergency services found the source of the blaze – a mining exploration hole leaking methane. And the hole is still ablaze. An emergency services spokeswoman said firefighters were unable to put out the methane flame.
The coal seam gas industry has conceded that extraction will inevitably contaminate aquifers. “Drilling will, to varying degrees, impact on adjoining aquifers,” said the spokesman, Ross Dunn. “The intent of saying that is to make it clear that we have never shied away from the fact that there will be impacts on aquifers,” Mr Dunn said.
2014 08 28: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: Coal bed methane operations contaminate water resources And still (as of April 22, 2016) no responsible action by any regulator, government staff, MP, MLA, or water scientist like Dr. John Cherry or agency like POWI at Munk School of Global Affairs, only synergy & silence.
Yet CAPP’s Alex Ferguson says many worries about water quality are based on past operations involving coal-bed methane — shallow deposits in closer proximity to groundwater. These did occasionally contaminate water resources, he says. In some of the more infamous instances, affected landowners could light their well water on fire.
Alex Ferguson was appointed Commissioner and CEO of the BC Oil and Gas Commission from 2007-2011
“That’s actually fairly common.”
EnCana VP, Mr. Gerard Protti (appointed Chair of the AER by the government in 2013) in a 2006 interview about Ernst’s frac’d and contaminated water. And still (as of April 22, 2016) no responsible action by any regulator, government staff, MP, MLA, or water scientist like Dr. John Cherry or agency like POWI at Munk School of Global Affairs, to correct Mr. Protti’s lie, only synergy & silence.
The US EPA, in their 2015 draft report, admitted aquifers are being frac’d in Alberta and water wells contaminated with natural gas. The reference they used was for the peer-reviewed, published paper by Drs. Tilley and Muehlenbachs, U of A, presented U Cambridge, UK, 2011.