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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Unnatural gas

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Don McMillan,  Echo, May 26, might be a oil and gas worker of 30 years, but he does not seem to appreciate the difference between the natural gas normally supplied to Byron Bay restaurants (mainly from gas fields in Moomba, South Australia) and the coal seam gas resources that the Knitting Nanas Against Gas are demonstrating about.

So Don, you can uplift your heavy heart, because the natural gas most Byron Bay restaurants use when cooking has about 50 per cent less carbon dioxide emissions than the emissions from the predominantly coal based electricity that these Byron Bay restaurants would otherwise be probably be using, if they were not using natural gas.

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  1. Thankyou Robert. it is good to hear from someone who knows something about natural gas.
    {Aside: Gas Exploration ended in NSW due to protests on Metgasco’s conventional gas well. ASX MEL 8/4/14 & 15/5/14]
    You are correct Natural gas is a clean energy relative to coal. 50% less CO2 negligible nitrates, sulphurs and particulates. Gas from central Australia contains C1 – C5, N2 ~ 15% CO2. C3H8 Propane is used in gas bottles that has to be trucked in. Note, Fracking in central Australia as a routine process has occurred since the 1980’s.
    CSG is predominately methane ~96% CH4, 3% N2 and <1% CO2 [This is Surat & Bowen QLD Nos – I do not know your area.] On a gas stream basis CSG is cleaner. Secondly on a Carbon Hydrogen ratio CH4 [1:4] is again much cleaner than C3H8 [3:8].
    I am pleased that you do not object to Natural gas and realise that Fracking does not affect the health of consumers.
    Also you seemed relax about Cooper basin wells ability to isolate and not contaminate aquifers. These wells are deep and encounter 10 – 15 aquifers that must be isolated. So drilling shallow wells in North NSW encounter 1 or 2 aquifers should not be an issue.
    So please realise that locally sourced CSG as with any produce would have been better for the environment.
    So what is the fuss?

    Well, the NSW ban on natural gas exploration is not small it is big. The gas industry is getting huge abuse from the NSW Domgas uses and unions desperately endeavouring to save up to 50,000 jobs [I do not know how to confirm this no. In QUPEX speech.] I can assure you that it is heart-wrenching telling workers that their job has been sent off shore. Classic case of shifting the deck chairs. Good example is IPL warning that their fertilizer plant may have to close due to natural gas supply. Inevitably we’ll import fertilizer and in doing so, lose control on its quality. Once imported fertilizer is spread across the land you cannot take it back. The chemicals found in shallow aquifers are fertilizers, herbicides and animal remains. Shallow aquifers in the northern river areas and generally across NSW are in poor condition mainly due to poor wellbore construction. When drilling a water bore there is no requirement to isolate the gas and water zones. Some NSW agricultural water bores have been following gas for over 50 years.
    Hope this helps


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