There may well be no coal seam gas (CSG) under Byron Shire, however, this is no reason for relief. There is more to the story that the miners and some politicians don’t want you to know.
Talk to a geologist outside the gas industry or not under a political thumb. Have a go at making sense of what is written on the NSW Department (Dept) of Resources website and hidden in some of the maps and drawings.
Much of Byron Shire sits above the giant ancient Clarence Moreton Basin.
This ancient Mesozoic basin from the time of the dinosaurs, over hundreds of millions of years slowly filled with eroded sediments, dead plants and animals.
Anaerobic microbes devoured the organic material giving off methane gas. Over millions of years the gas became bound with the sediments to form rock.
Methane was locked into the various sedimentary layers of the basin and not just in its coal measures/seams.
The gas that miners will be hoping to exploit in the ancient sedimentary rock below our Shire is unlikely to be from coal seams, however, this gas, just like CSG is classed as an ‘unconventional’ gas.
Unconventional because it is bound to the rock and only able to behave like a gas when the bonds to the rock are broken.
To fully exploit the gas bound in the ancient sediments below our Shire it is quite likely that both chemicals and massive hydraulic forces would be required. Just like much CSG, mining would involve the processes of fracking.
Fracking, here lies our immediate local concern for our kids’ future health and water.
Don’t be misled into believing that there is no exploitable gas under our Shire.
Garry Scott, Myocum