First ever coal seam gas scientific research alliance established

By July 13th, 2011

Industry and science came together in Brisbane today to launch a groundbreaking new research alliance to support the sustainable development of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry. The alliance was officially launched by CSIRO Chief Executive Megan Clark and Page Maxson, Project Director, Australia Pacific LNG.

Dr Clark said the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) has been founded by CSIRO and Australia Pacific LNG (a CSG to LNG joint venture between Origin and ConocoPhillips) to undertake research in five key social and environmental areas: groundwater and surface water, biodiversity, land management, the marine environment and socio-economic impacts.

“CSIRO and Australia Pacific LNG have provided initial seed funding totalling $14 million over the next five years for the Alliance to undertake this research into the Queensland CSG industry,” said CSIRO Chief Executive Megan Clark.

The CSG industry has been providing significant quantities of gas for Queensland for more than 30 years. It now provides 90% of Queensland’s gas supplies and about 15% of its electricity generation, and is now working to advance one of the largest resource developments in Australian history.

Mr Maxson, Project Director, Australia Pacific LNG, said this is an exciting development for Queensland and Australia as a whole because of the significant economic benefits the CSG/LNG industry is poised to deliver. But, additional information about the CSG industry is being called for by stakeholders such as regional communities, farmers and conservation groups.

“Science is well-placed to contribute constructively and objectively to this desire for additional information which will be used to further shape and guide the CSG/LNG industry – and this is where GISERA will play a crucial role,” Mr Maxson said. 

“The Alliance’s robust governance framework will ensure the delivery of quality peer-reviewed and publicly available science”

CSIRO Chief Executive, Megan Clark

“GISERA has been designed to promote a broad membership base to ensure it delivers ‘public good’ science that will benefit the broader community and industry. This will be achieved through expanding the membership to other companies both in and outside of the industry, as well as research purchasers and providers such as government agencies and universities. Stakeholders such as agricultural industries and communities will also be sought as members.”

CSIRO’s breadth and depth of research includes social, economic and ecological sciences. This places the organisation in a unique position to provide impartial and integrated research to the industry, regulators and wider Australian community.

Australia Pacific LNG, a founding member of the alliance, is the leading producer of CSG in Australia and holds the country’s largest CSG reserves position, currently providing more than 40% of Queensland’s gas supply. Australia Pacific LNG was instrumental in the genesis of GISERA, partnering with CSIRO to provide impartial and independent scientific research for the benefit of industry, government and community alike.

“The Alliance’s robust governance framework will ensure the delivery of quality peer-reviewed and publicly available science,” said CSIRO Chief Executive Megan Clark.

While GISERA’s initial focus will be directed at Queensland’s CSG-LNG industry, it has the potential to expand its focus to gas operations in other parts of Australia. Results will be made publicly available following peer review with all relevant material posted on the GISERA website .

Gisera logo.