News

Santos wants to sink up to 6100 new CSG wells in CQ

ONE of Queensland's biggest coal seam gas projects, Santos GLNG, has applied for a huge expansion in central and southern Queensland, with options to sink as many as 6100 new coal seam gas wells.

The project has been on the company's books for most of the year and was approved early this month for environmental assessment under state laws by Environment Minister Tony Burke.

In its application to the Commonwealth Environment Department, Santos wrote it planned to expand its current 7000sqkm CSG operation to an 11,000sqkm operation.

Documents filed with the government reveal the company applied for approvals to sink 6100 CSG wells across southern and central Queensland, on top of the project's 2000-odd existing wells.

In addition to the wells, the proposal would need new gas and water pipelines, construction of new water and gas treatment plants, roads, sewerage, pits and quarries, to help service the massive project.

Documents also revealed the project would involve numerous accommodation camps to be built across the 35 petroleum tenements to hold a workforce of around 1700 during construction, and about 200 in operation.

The project area encompasses the Maranoa, Western Downs, Central Highlands and Banana regional council areas, including towns such as Roma, Miles, Surat, Taroom, Wandoan, Injune and Rolleston.

While it is early days for the project, under the Commonwealth approval, the Federal Government will have veto rights over any state environmental approvals, if it deems the state assessments are not up to scratch.

The company originally applied for the expansion - which will feed its GLNG export facility on Curtis Island off Gladstone - in early 2012.

But that application, which would have had to be assessed under both Commonwealth and state environmental laws, was withdrawn in November days before the latest application was submitted.

Before Friday, the state government's Coordinator-General website had the status of the project listed as "pending" Commonwealth approval, despite that approval being completed on December 3.

After inquiries from APN Newsdesk about the project, the state government released details of the projects ToR and updated the website late on Friday.

The public comment period for the project will close on Monday February 4, 2013.

Topics:  central queensland, coal seam gas, santos



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