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24 Oct 2013

Release of new software allows greater public access to CSG industry data

by Dan Howard, Cameron March

Ease of access is the key to promoting better information flow to landowners on the cornerstone topics of water monitoring and management and assists in breaking down the barriers for less sophisticated users.

The Queensland Government and the Queensland Gasfields Commission have shown their commitment to facilitating increased transparency and greater public access to industry information with the release for the Coal Seam Gas Globe software. The software, meant to be the first of its kind, is a further step by the Queensland Government and the Gasfields Commission toward their commitment to promote the harmonious coexistence of the CSG and agricultural industries.

Below is a brief outline of the information that the software now makes available to the public and what this may mean for operators and industry participants.

What is "Coal Seam Gas Globe" and what information is available?

This online facility is publically available through the Department of Natural Resources and Mines' (DNRM) website. Effectively the software is a "plug-in" which operates through the widely used "Google Earth" software. The user experience is largely similar to the governments "Qld Globe Pro" software which has been operational for some time.

This software provides a one-stop-shop to its the users who are able to access to important CSGindustry data, including:

  • the location of gas wells (both CSG and non-CSG);
  • the location of registered water bores (both government and private);
  • water level monitoring bores; and
  • related petroleum tenure information.

While much of this information has been publically available through the DNRM's "interactive resource tenure mapping" facility and various other services, this new software now combines this information with the advanced satellite imaging and navigation functions available through Google Earth. It also includes details of the operator, type and status of CSG wells together with extensive water bore information (for example, water monitoring data, groundwater reports, and bore water levels).

How will it affect industry participants?

Industry participants should have little concern with these types of initiatives. In fact, it is the aim of the Queensland Government and the Gasfields Commission to enhance the public profile of the CSG industry and to promote coexistence between participants and landowners by providing a platform that enables easy access to important information about petroleum activities and water assets.

On a practical level, the move towards information transparency within the CGS industry should be further welcomed by industry participants. Particularly in the context of land management, having this type of information available to landowners is likely to assist landowners to conduct their activities while at the same improve their overall understanding of CSG development. Likewise, the location of water bores and water access information may prove useful industry participants to planning CSG activities.

Overall, ease of access is the key to promoting better information flow to landowners on the cornerstone topics of water monitoring and management and assists in breaking down the barriers for less sophisticated users through a simplified and centralised information platform.

 

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.