Coal Seam Gas

Last updated:27 June 2014

Coal Seam Gas (CSG) is a naturally occurring methane gas found in most coal seams and is similar to conventional natural gas. In Australia the commercial production of CSG commenced in 1996 in the Bowen Basin, Queensland. Since then production has increased rapidly, particularly during the first decade of the 21st century. CSG has now become an integral part of the gas industry in eastern Australia, particularly in Queensland.

Information about reserves of CSG has grown significantly, particularly in the Bowen and Surat basins in Queensland. In New South Wales reserves have been proven in the Sydney, Gunnedah, Clarence-Moreton and Gloucester basins. Exploration has been undertaken or is planned to be undertaken in other coal basins including the Galilee, Arckaringa, Perth and Pedirka basins.

A major driver for the growth in CSG was a decision in 2000 by the Queensland Government that required 13% of all power supplied to the state electricity grid to be generated by gas by 2005. That requirement has been increased to 15% by 2010 and 18% by 2020.

CSG reserves have grown to such an extent that a number of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) plants have been proposed based on exports from Gladstone, Queensland.