Arrow Bowen Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
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The Arrow Bowen Pipeline is a proposed natural gas pipeline.[1]

Location

The pipeline would run from the proposed Bowen Gas Project in the Bowen Basin, Queensland to Gladstone, Queensland.

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Project Details

  • Operator: Arrow Energy
  • Parent Company: Royal Dutch Shell (50%), PetroChina (50%)
  • Proposed Capacity: 2,108.3 million cubic feet per day[2]
  • Length: 261 Miles / 420 kilometers
  • Status: Shelved
  • Start Year: 2021

Background

The pipeline would be operated and owned by Arrow Energy, which is jointly owned by Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina.[3] Arrow Energy's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the pipeline was approved by the Queensland Government in March 2013 and received Federal approval in October 2014.[1]

As of July 2020 there has been no progress on the pipeline in more than two years, and it appears to be shelved.

The pipeline would carry coal seam gas from the proposed Bowen Gas Project in the Bowen Basin. In April 2017 Arrow Energy was granted a license to build the pipeline by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines.[4] However Arrow Energy has not yet decided to proceed with construction because of delays in developing the Bowen Basin coal seam gas project.[4]

Coal seam gas

Coal seam gas is found in coal seams, where underground water pressure keeps it contained. Pumping water out of the coal seam releases this pressure and allows gas to escape from the coal into a well.[5] Coal seam gas wells produce large volumes of water (averaging 10,000 litres of water per day per well in Queensland). This water can contain salt and other contaminants that exist normally in coal seams in varying concentrations.[5]

According to the environmental group Lock The Gate Alliance, the impacts of coal seam gas mining include "encroachment on good farming land, disruption of other land uses and industries, clearing of bushland, air pollution, contamination or depletion of ground or surface water, pollution of waterways, health impacts on workers and nearby residents, and damage to biodiversity."[6]

The practice also raises concerns about global warming because methane is a relatively potent greenhouse gas with a high global warming potential 72 times that of carbon dioxide (averaged over 20 years) or 25 times that of carbon dioxide (averaged over 100 years), according to the IPCC's Third Assessment Report.[7] (Note that the global warming potential of methane was estimated at 21 times that of carbon dioxide, averaged over 100 years, in the IPCC Second Assessment Report, and the 21 figure is currently used for regulatory purposes in the United States.[8]) Methane in the atmosphere is eventually oxidized, producing carbon dioxide and water. This breakdown accounts for the decline in the global warming potential of methane over longer periods of time.

Articles and resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Arrow Bowen Pipeline EIS, Arrow Energy, accessed July 2020
  2. Gladstone: a LNG hub to rival the west, Gas Today, August 2011
  3. Shell, PetroChina jv paves way toward big gas development in Australia, Reuters, Nov. 30, 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 Arrow Energy wins Australian gas pipeline license, but plan on hold, Reuters, May 1, 2017
  5. 5.0 5.1 The coal seam gas debate, Parliament of Australia, accessed February 2018
  6. Unconventional Gas Facts: About Coal Seam Gas, Lock The Gate Alliance, Aug. 14, 2015
  7. Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)"Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis: 2.10.2 Direct Global Warming Potentials", IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  8. "Methane," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency information page, accessed July 2010

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