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Field Measurements of Fugitive Emissions from Equipment and Well Casings in Australian Coal Seam Gas Production Facilities

Prepared for the Department of the Environment by the CSIRO, 2014

Stuart Day, Mark Dell'Amico, Robyn Fry and Hoda Javanmard Tousi, CSIRO
June 2014

About this report

The Department has undertaken a collaborative project over the past 18 months with CSIRO to measure fugitive emissions associated with leakage from coal seam gas (CSG) facilities and well casings. The study collected field data measurements from 43 CSG wells in Queensland and New South Wales.

Measurements were made using a vehicle fitted with a methane analyser to determine total emissions from each CSG well. In addition, a series of measurements were made on each pad to locate sources and quantify emission rates. CSIRO found that, of the 43 wells examined, three showed no emissions. The remainder had some level of emission but generally the emission rates were very low, especially when compared to the volume of gas produced from the wells. No evidence of leakage of methane around the outside of well casings was found at any of the wells sampled.

CSIRO concluded in the report that the range of fugitive emission leakage measured was consistent with the emission factor currently used in the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting methodology for estimating emissions from equipment leaks.

The results obtained in this study represent the first quantitative measurements of fugitive emissions from the Australian CSG industry. The work will add significantly to the knowledge base about emissions in Australia and help to better characterise Australia's CSG emission profile.

The report is the first phase of a collaborative research program conducted between the Department and CSIRO into fugitive emissions from Australia's CSG industry.

Further information