Oil and Gas News

NSW Government contests CSG bill

NSW Independent Justin Field has passed a coal seam gas (CSG) moratorium bill through the NSW Legislative Council, with the support of the Labor opposition; the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and the Australian Greens.

However, the Liberal Government, alongside the Nationals, has rushed to defeat the bill, which aims to derail Santos’ Narrabri gas project.

The bill is proposing to ban the prospecting for, or the mining of CSG in NSW, and will now go before the Legislative Assembly.

Field said it was madness to put the state’s land and water at risk when the world was quickly moving to new and exciting alternatives in renewable energy.

“We have an opportunity in this place to take a different path. For that reason I am proud to introduce a bill that will place a moratorium on coal seam gas development across the state,” Field said.

Santos achieved an approvals milestone in April with the Narrabri gas project after being referred to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) in NSW.

The NSW Department of Planning is set to complete its assessment report on the project and provide it to the IPC for consideration, which the IPC making a decision within 12 weeks of receiving the report.

Santos has outlined that the Narrabri project has the potential to supply enough natural gas to meet up to half of the demand in NSW.

However, Field added that “we do not need this project” and “we do not need it for gas supply and it will not reduce the price of gas” during a speech to the Legislative Council.

“All it will do is impact on land, water, communities and industries. By comparison, unconventional gas is expensive gas. Unconventional gas fields are high-cost, low-yield operations in comparison with conventional gas plants that are currently delivering for our domestic needs,” Field said.

“Unconventional gas, fracked gas, coal seam gas, shale gas – whatever you want to call it – takes a lot of infrastructure and hundreds of wells.”