Narrabi to Wellington Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

The Narrabi to Wellington Pipeline was a proposed natural gas pipeline.[1]


The pipeline would run from the proposed Narrabi coal seam gas (CSG) project in New South Wales to the proposed gas-fired power plant in Wellington, New South Wales.

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Project Details

  • Operator: Santos
  • Owner: Santos
  • Proposed Capacity: 200 terajoules per day (184.9 million cubic feet per day)
  • Length: Unknown
  • Status: Cancelled


The pipeline was originally proposed in 2010 by Eastern Star Gas, now known as Santos.[1] In November 2011 Santos announced that it would not proceed with the pipeline or the Narrabi CSG project, in part because of opposition by environmentalists, famers, and other affected landowners.[2]

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.[3] 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.[3]

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."[4]

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.[5] (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.[6]) 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


  1. 1.0 1.1 State of the Energy Market Report 2011, Australian Energy Regulator, 2011
  2. Santos to drop CSG pipeline plan, Sydney Morning Herald, Nov. 17, 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 The coal seam gas debate, Parliament of Australia, accessed February 2018
  4. Unconventional Gas Facts: About Coal Seam Gas, Lock The Gate Alliance, Aug. 14, 2015
  5. 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.
  6. "Methane," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency information page, accessed July 2010

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