Friday, 16 December 2011

Online media briefing into coal seam gas

The Australian Science Media Centre will host an online background briefing series into coal seam gas today. The series aims to help journalists sift through the hype surrounding this controversial subject and to understand the facts.
Online media briefing into coal seam gas
Date: Friday, December 16, 2011
Time: 11:00
This online background briefing series will feature a range of experts from different institutions and industry and will include topics such as:

* Why are industries interested in coal seam gas and why should the public care?
* What actually is coal seam gas, how does one collect it and how is it different to shale gas? What is fracking and why is that important?
* Where are Australia's deposits, are they widespread and are all the sites suitable - if not, why not?
* Why is water such a key part of all this: groundwater, contaminated water, leaching, water use and waste water are all hitting the news, but which are the most important issues, which are the hardest to deal with, which will cause the most harm and how many questions are still unanswered?
* Is it worth it? The pros and cons of CSG: How green is CSG compared with other energy sources. Why is it seen as having a key role in a move to renewable energy? Are the emissions actually lower? How real are the issues of soil contamination and health effects?

Briefing 1: The Process
* What does CSG involve and why is it now being considered?
* How does CSG form and where can CSG mining take place in Australia?
* What is the process for mining coal seam gas?
* Which chemicals are used? What is hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), and is it dangerous?
* How does it differ to extracting shale gas?
* What are the key difficulties and issues to be considered?
* What can we learn from the rest of the world?

* Dr Peter Stone, Director of the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance
* Dr Judy Bailey, Coal geologist and coal and sedimentary petrologist, University of Newcastle
* Dr Edson Nakagawa, Director of the Petroleum and Geothermal Portfolio, CSIRO