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The challenge

Risk and benefits for society

Australia has vast resources of both coal seam gas (CSG) and shale gas, both of which have the potential to make a significant contribution to the Australian energy portfolio. The extraction of resources such as CSG are among the most recent changes and challenges to our environment and rural communities, bringing risks as well as benefits to society.

Our response

A collaborative research alliance

Through the Gas Industry Social & Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA), we are working with communities, government and industry to research the environmental, social and economic impacts associated with Australia's natural gas industry.

Research on social and economic impacts and opportunities informs and supports change in regional areas and communities affected by CSG development. It also provides a legacy of knowledge that enables communities to benefit from future resource developments.

The results

Assessing social and environmental impacts

Through GISERA, we conduct a range of research including agricultural land management, surface and groundwater, marine environment, social and economic, terrestrial biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.

We are also investigating the potential impacts of CSG development on water resources through the Australian Government's Bioregional Assessment Programme, as well as working to measure the impact of fugitive emissions from CSG.

Fugitive emissions

This factsheet sets out what the science tells us about methane emission sources from CSG wells, pipelines, compressors and other infrastructure associated with CSG production, and their importance in warming the earth’s climate.

Methane seeps in the Condamine River

A fact sheet has been developed by CSIRO researchers with expertise in hydrogeology, geology, ecology and biogeochemistry to summarise what we currently know about these methane seeps in the Condamine River (Queensland) including natural and human causes, and the human and environmental health and safety impacts of methane escaping from underground.

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