Coal seam gas (CSG) mining requires extensive above ground infrastructure, including an area of cleared vegetation for each gas extraction site, water storage, access roads and gas pipelines.
The impact of unconventional gas well heads on the landscapeThe aerial photograph of an unconventional gas mining field shown here provides an example of the scale and density of the above ground footprint of CSG production.
During the exploration phase an area of approximately 40m x 40m cleared land is required for each borehole. This is necessary to accommodate the drilling rig, testing and monitoring equipment, sheds and vehicles.
During the production phase a wellhead is needed every 300-900 metres. Each wellhead will require at least one hectare of cleared land for the drilling pad to accommodate pumps, generators, compressors, vehicles and a storage pond (or tank) to hold produced water. Further land clearing will be necessary for the construction of gas pipelines, wide roads capable of handling heavy vehicles and equipment and fire breaks.
The impact of the proposed CSG mining on the natural environment will be significant. There will be considerable destruction of the environment by land clearing, significant ongoing heavy vehicle movements, with attendant risks to wildlife, and the increased likelihood of the introduction of weeds.