Western Downs gas pipeline release shocks landholders, but Queensland Government satisfied rules were followed

Western Downs gas pipeline release shocks landholders, but Queensland Government satisfied rules were followed

The Alliance represents landholders, community groups and individuals worried about what it calls “the rapid and unrestrained development of the coal seam gas industry across Queensland.”

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Landholders on the Western Downs and gas company Origin Energy are at odds over two gas releases but the authorities are not worried (ABC Rural)

It said the gas release took landholders along the Origin pipeline at Wandoan by surprise and it wants to know why there was little supervision of the release by government environmental authorities.

Wandoan landholder Neville Stiller said he was notified of a second gas release earlier this month but not the first on the 25th of May, which was incredibly loud.

“Like an F1-11 rumbling for quite some time. Actually the first one, when it was going off, I was driving up the paddock in the vehicle with the windows wound up and I could hear it over the vehicle.”

Mr Stiller said his property ‘Elimatta’ near the locality of Guluguba, is around eight kilometres from the property where the gas was released.

Mr Stiller said he runs livestock on his property and noted that they reacted to the loud noise of the gas release from the pipeline.

“The cattle were edgy, the fact that it went on for a couple of hours was annoying.”

Origin Energy has sent a written response to the ABC regarding BSA’s and Neville Stiller’s concerns.

Both instances relate to a planned, corrective maintenance activity on part of our gas pipeline.

To depressurise the section of pipeline, and allow for maintenance to occur, gas and air was released at both ends.

The activity was undertaken in accordance with our Environmental Authority (EA) which included advising landholders in the vicinity of the pipeline that it would be conducted during daylight hours and involve some noise.

While common industry practice when conducting maintenance work on a gas pipeline, this is not an activity that is conducted on a regular basis.

A spokesperson for the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines also sent the ABC a statement in relation to the gas releases near Wandoan.

On Monday 25 May 2015 and on Monday 13 July Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) undertook planned maintenance of its Woleebee Lateral pipeline.

For both releases APLNG engaged with residents and alternative arrangements were made. Queensland’s regulatory framework and compliance regime imposes strict environmental conditions and safety and health standards to minimise the likelihood of environmental harm or nuisance.

Prior to activities commencing, all CSG exploration and production projects must first undergo a rigorous environmental assessment process and be granted an Environmental Authority (EA) by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

EA’s prescribe stringent conditions on CSG activities, including avoiding potential impacts on air quality and groundwater, to minimise the likelihood of environmental harm or nuisance.”


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