Sources and mobility of gas in formations below the Walloon Coal Measures

Investigating the potential impacts of coal seam gas (CSG) production in the Surat Basin in southeast Queensland on important water supply aquifers that underlie the target coal seams in the Walloon Coal Measures

The Walloon Coal Measures in the Surat Basin in southeast Queensland are the target resource for Australia’s largest CSG development. There is concern that increasing amounts of gas may be entering water supply bores that extract water from aquifer formations, including the Hutton and Precipice sandstones that are below the Walloon Coal Measures.

This project will collate existing data on the prevalence of gas in water supply (e.g. stock, agricultural and town water supplies) and water monitoring bores in these aquifers underlying the Walloon Coal Measures to determine the current state of the system.

The project will then aim to build on the existing understanding of the groundwater systems in these aquifers, investigate the sources of gas within them, and how they may be affected by non-CSG water extraction and CSG activities.

The outcomes of this research will allow for the establishment of a framework for future monitoring to validate whether the presence of gas in groundwater bores is increasing or not, what the source of any such gas is and whether CSG production activities are a contributing factor.

This CSIRO research project aims to build our understanding of the agriculturally important water supply aquifers that underlie the coal seams within the Wallon Coal Measures in the Surat Basin, Queensland.