Dawson Valley 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 Dawson Valley Pipeline is an operating natural gas pipeline.[1]

Location

The pipeline runs from the Bowen Basin in Queensland to near the town of Moura, Queensland. The exact route of the pipeline can be found through the project's page at the Australian Energy Market Commission.[2]

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Project Details

  • Operator: WestSide
  • Parent Company: WestSide (51%), Mitsui (49%)
  • Current Capacity: 30 terajoules per day (27.7 million cubic feet per day)
  • Length: 29 Miles / 47 kilometers
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 1996

Background

The Dawson Valley Pipeline is operated by WestSide, and owned as a joint venture between WestSide (51%) and Mitsui E&P Australia (49%).[3]

Coal Seam Gas

The pipeline was built in 1996 as part of the first commercial coal seam gas operation in Australia.[3] 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.[4] 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.[4]

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."[5]

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.[6] (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.[7]) 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. QLD: Dawson Valley Pipeline, Australian Electricity Market Commission, accessed February 2018
  2. Dawson Valley Pipeline, AEMC, Feb. 26, 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 DAWSON VALLEY MERIDIAN SEAM GAS, Mining Link, accessed February 2018
  4. 4.0 4.1 The coal seam gas debate, Parliament of Australia, accessed February 2018
  5. Unconventional Gas Facts: About Coal Seam Gas, Lock The Gate Alliance, Aug. 14, 2015
  6. 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.
  7. "Methane," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency information page, accessed July 2010

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