29 May 2012, Gas release bubbling up through Condamine River

Key Information:
Incident Type: Gas Release
Date: Identified 29 May 2012
Location: Chinchilla, Surat Basin, Qld (40km West of Chinchilla on the Condamine River)
Company: Origin
Video of Incident: Gasileaks

Description of Incident:

From the Lock the Gate Alliance (30 May) media release:

“The gas is bubbling to the surface in at least four spots along this stretch of the river and, according to a local landowner, the coal Seam gas company operating in the area – Origin – has identified it as coal seam gas and is testing to see which of its seams it comes from.”

Origin Energy (30 May) media release:

“We are confident that the seepage apparent in the Condamine River does not result from our activities. Origin’s nearest gas well infrastructure comprises four pilot wells one kilometre away from the occurrence.” 

Qld Government response (30 May) in The Land Online media reporting:

“The state government yesterday sent liquid natural gas investigators to the site, a fishing spot known locally as the “coal hole”.

“The LNG Enforcement Unit began investigations after a landholder raised concerns about the possible causes of bubbling gas in the Condamine River about six kilometres downstream of Chinchilla weir,” Mr Cripps (Queensland Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps) said.

 “All those wells are cased and not part of a production field and there are no CSG pipelines in the vicinity, he said.

 “Based on this information, the enforcement unit advised the landholder that the cause of the bubbles was unlikely to be CSG activities,” he said.

Mr Cripps said Origin Energy’s tests showed the methane was naturally occurring and “rising” through the geology of the area.

Initial Media:
29 May, Kate Ausburn: Coal seam gas leak causes Condamine River to bubble?
30 May, ABC Online: Claim CSG river leak caught on video
30 May, The Australian: CSG ‘bubbling to surface’ along river
30 May, The Land Online: CSG video claims to show river leak 
31 May, 9 News Online: CSG linked to river bubbles, expert says

 Follow up information:



About Justin Field

I am a public commentator on mining, energy, democracy and environmental issues and an active member of the Greens in NSW. For the last four years I have been actively involved in the social movement against inappropriate mining and opposed to the quarry mentality that seems to be driving energy, economic and social policy in Australia today. I spent the three years previous as a policy advisor to Greens MPs in the NSW Parliament, most recently for Jeremy Buckingham with a focus on the mining portfolio. My background includes seven years in the Australian Army between 2000 and 2007. Following Officer Training at Duntroon in Canberra I had the rare privilege to be posted to The Pilbara Regiment in north Western Australia. Based first at Exmouth, then later at Karratha, I was able to see the impacts of large scale mining, processing and exporting on the environment and cultural heritage of the Pilbara. I grew up in Gladstone Queensland, and for some time on a small pawpaw and mango farm just outside of town. That farm was compulsorily acquired by the Queensland Government to make way for the shale oil industry that was proposed for the region. Farming in the district all but disappeared as a result of the buy-up. What has come to Gladstone is the a massive expansion of coal exports and more recently the construction of three liquified gas export plants on Curtis Island, much of which was previously pristine, located at the Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Today I live and work part-time in Sydney and part-time on the NSW South Coast. Is is one of the few areas of NSW not covered mining exploration licences (however Leichhardt Resources announced plans in early 2013 to drill for coal seam gas in the Shoalhaven). I am currently working as the Senior Strategist for The Sunrise Project, working with coal and gas impacted communities to help drive the transition of Australia’s energy systems to being renewable and sustainable. My blog enables me to test my ideas and air my opinions. All opinions are my own and do not represent The Sunrise Project or the Greens. I am happy to receive any questions or feedback at justinfield1@gmail.com You can follow me @justinrfield on Twitter, 'Justin Field' on facebook or view my professional experience at LinkedIn.

Posted on May 30, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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