Group sets COO straight on coal seam gas

Water in US homes affected by CSG mining. Image:

The chief operating officer for Apex Energy NL, Chris Rogers, contacted Stop CSG Illawarra on April 5.

He accused the group, which is campaigning against coal seam gas (CSG) projects in the region, of publishing two inaccuracies on its website: that drilling had already commenced and that CSG’s contribution to global warming is equally as bad, if not worse, than coal.

Jess Moore, spokesperson for Stop CSG Illawarra, responded to Rogers on April 22. She said the community has a right to know the full facts of CSG mining and that a Royal Commission into all impacts of CSG mining is needed.

Moore said: “The first point you make is contradictory. You say ‘drilling has not commenced at all’ and ‘drilling took place in early 2004’. As the Darkes Forest-1 well has been drilled, we stand by the comment that ‘drilling has already commenced’ …

“You ask us to ‘research [our] facts on natural gas, CSG and coal as well as their respective greenhouse gas effects’. We have and will continue to do so. Our findings reflect the global warming impact of CSG mining is as bad, if not worse than coal.

“While less carbon dioxide is emitted from burning gas than burning coal to generate the same amount of energy, a comparison simply on this basis is misleading.

“Additional greenhouse gas emissions are generated during the development, processing, and transport of gas, equal to about one third of those released during combustion.

“Further, the methane that leaks without being burnt warms the atmosphere at — according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (2009) — 105 times the rate of CO2 over a 20-year period.

“The inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks put figures for methane leakage at a conservative 1.5% of the gas consumed. Howarth (2010) puts it at 3.6% to 7.9% for shale gas. Either figure means that CSG mining has a greater warming impact than coal over 20 years.”

Illawarra CSG asked Rogers for a “guarantee that hydraulic fracturing will not be used as a method of extraction by Apex or any associated entities in the Illawarra”.

Apex's website currently says “we have no intention to complete any wells via the fraccing completion method” because “we do not believe that fraccing will produce sustained commercial gas flow results in the current areas of influence”.

Stop CSG Illawarra argues this “intention” contradicts other Apex actions and statements, whereby Apex sought and gained approval for a borehole to be fracked in the Illawarra.

Rogers responded to Stop CSG Illawarra’s clarifications and questions. The entire body of his email read:

“[Darkes Forest-1] was drilled on 2004. This is the only Apex energy drilled hole anywhere in the universe to date regardless of your inaccurate information. As for your other comments, nothing I can ever say or do would convince you otherwise so let's just leave it at that.”

Moore told Green Left Weekly that Stop CSG Illawarra will continue to campaign for a Royal Commission into all impacts of CSG mining, a moratorium on CSG mining until the outcome of the Royal Commission, and a ban on fracking.

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To again attempt to assist with accurate information, Stop CSG Illawarra report the following on it's web site: "15 coal seam gas (CSG) wells have been approved for development in the northern Illawarra, and drilling has already commenced. Further wells are being discussed and applied for in the region. These wells are in and around the Sydney Water Catchment, and pose a direct threat to our water supply" As previously pointed out drilling has not commenced on this project. The project is DoP Project # 07 103. The DF#1 well drilled in 2004 is not part of the approved 15 hole project. Furthermore, the text above states that Apex has applied for and been granted permission to carry out fraccing in the Illawarra. This is incorrect. Apex holds exploration licences and under the terms of such licences, Apex can only carry out exploration work. Fraccing is a production method and would require a different lease arrangement to be granted by the NSW government and further environmental assessment to be made. Therefore again I urge Stop CSG Illawarra and indeed Green Left to research it's facts. Apex is keen to assist with facts in relation to its current project as I have previously told Stop CSG Illawarra. Lastly, contrary to your opening headline, I am not the company CEO. Best Regards Chris Rogers
Apex Energy N.L, Peabody Energy, Ormail Energy Limited are all in bed together. Who else? Chris Rogers is tell people access contract have been signed by neighbours when no contract has. Chris Rogers make all Apex Energy documents including signed access contracts public and let the public see them. You had Alex's documents online at one point. Its also not just fraccing chemical that we have to be concerned about but the chemicals used in the drilling of the well. Stay away from OUR water.
Landowner access agreements have been signed some time ago for ALL 15 approved well sites. It is not appropriate to make these agreements available without landowner consent. A further landowner agreement was signed at the end of April 2011 for a further well outside the Illawarra project area. This landowner complimented Apex for its" professionalism and cooperation" in contradiction to what the landowner expected as a result of recent anti CSG publicity. Apex and its partner companies only wish to do business ethically and legally in an environmentally sustainable manner as it has done so to date. Furthermore, Apex will assist any person or organisation in providing accurate and objective information about its project. Apex has offered to assist Stop CSG Illawarra with accurate information on Apex's project. However, it will only provide such information if providing this information is ethical. Regards Chris Rogers

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