A new research alliance has been formed to support the sustainable development of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in Queensland.


The Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) has been founded by CSIRO and Australia Pacific LNG (a CSG-to-LNG joint venture between Origin and ConocoPhillips) to undertake research in five key social and environmental areas: groundwater and surface water, biodiversity, land management, the marine environment and socio-economic impacts.


CSIRO and Australia Pacific LNG have provided initial seed funding totalling $14 million over the next five years for the Alliance to undertake the research into the Queensland CSG industry.


The CSG industry has been providing significant quantities of gas for Queensland for more than 30 years. It now provides 90% of Queensland’s gas supplies and about 15% of its electricity generation, and is now working to advance one of the largest resource developments in Australian history.


Mr Maxson, Project Director, Australia Pacific LNG, said the CSG/LNG industry is poised to deliver economic benefits, but, additional information about the industry is being called for by stakeholders such as regional communities, farmers and conservation groups.


“Science is well-placed to contribute constructively and objectively to this desire for additional information which will be used to further shape and guide the CSG/LNG industry – and this is where GISERA will play a crucial role. The Alliance’s robust governance framework will ensure the delivery of quality peer-reviewed and publicly available science,” Mr Maxon said.


CSIRO Chief Executive, Megan Clark said membership of GISERA would be expanded to other companies both in and outside of the industry, as well as research purchasers and providers such as government agencies and universities. Stakeholders such as agricultural industries and communities will also be sought as members.


Australia Pacific LNG is the leading producer of CSG in Australia and holds the country’s largest CSG reserves position, currently providing more than 40% of Queensland’s gas supply. While GISERA’s initial focus will be directed at Queensland’s CSG-LNG industry, it has the potential to expand its focus to gas operations in other parts of Australia. Results will be made publicly available following peer review with all relevant material posted on the GISERA website www.gisera.org.au