Natural Resources (Gas and Mining)

Gas

Natural gas provides an affordable, clean energy solution that will assist in the transition to a carbon-constrained environment. Gas is an essential energy source for the industrial and manufacturing sectors in Queensland and is increasingly used in electricity generation. Now and in years to come, the gas industry will play a significant role in Queensland’s continued strong economic and regional development while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Gas Transmission and Distribution refers to the supply of natural gas via transmission and distribution pipelines and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) via cylinders to domestic, commercial and industrial customers. It does not refer to the extraction of gas from its source, nor the installation or maintenance of gas appliances within domestic or manufacturing environments.

The gas industry is a major supplier of energy to Queensland. Gas is supplied in the form of natural gas, which is carried by transmission pipelines and reticulated networks, or as LPG, which can be supplied by a reticulated network, but is generally carried in cylinders. When natural gas is chilled to minus 160 degrees, it forms Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), which can also be carried in tankers or cylinders.

Gas Transmission:

Major natural gas transmission pipelines in Queensland where natural gas is transported from the field to market are operated by APA Group, Jemena Limited, Arrow Energy and AGL Energy.

Gas Distribution:

Natural gas distribution networks in Queensland (serviced by transmission pipelines) are operated by two major gas distribution businesses – APA Gas Networks and Origin Energy.

Domestically, gas is an important energy resource for Queensland and has been recognised as a key transitional fuel to a lower carbon intensity economy. Due to its low greenhouse gas emissions relative to other fossil energy sources, gas will play an increasingly significant role as a fuel source for electricity generation, industrial processes, business and residential customers.

CSG:

CSG is a form of natural gas trapped in coal beds by water and ground pressure. It refers to the methane gas lining the open fractures between the coal (called the cleats) and the pores within the coal (called the matrix). To extract the gas a well is created by drilling a hole to the coal seams. CSG is then liquefied to produce LNG.

CSG is an energy source around the world and is in abundance in Queensland. Most of Queensland’s CSG is close to existing major gas pipelines, making it an attractive energy source for power station operators, large industrial users and gas retailers.

A large proportion of the commercial coal seam gas production comes from the Bowen Basin areas of Moranbah, Moura, Fairview, Spring Gully, Peat and Scotia and the Surat Basin areas of Roma, Dalby, Chinchilla and Emerald

Mining

Queensland has an abundance of high-quality metallurgical coal and thermal coal, with the preferred method of mining being open-cut with 38 open cut and 12 underground coal mines currently in Queensland (DNRM Coal Statistics Dec. 2015). Industry and government exploration in 2010 identified an inventory estimated at 34 billion tonnes of raw coal; this is expected to be more given exploration over the last 6 years, especially in the Galilee Basin.

Coal is used to generate over 40% of the world’s electricity and it is a vital ingredient used in the production of 70% of the world’s steel. Queensland coal is especially in high demand because of both metallurgical and thermal coal which is low in ash and sulphur. Queensland’s production and exports are predicted to increase with substantial investment, both local and foreign, in projects for new coal mines in areas such as the Galilee and Surat basins.