Australia Pacific LNG, through its upstream operator Origin, use hybrid drill rigs in development drilling activities (pictured below). They are safer, more compact and drill faster with minimal disturbance, meaning there is less impact to the environment and surrounding communities.
The well development process enables some of the water contained within the seams to be pumped to the surface. This pumping reduces the groundwater pressure, allowing the gas to flow up the wells. The gas and water that comes out of the wells are separated at the surface. The gas is piped to a processing facility for distribution via pipelines to residential and industrial customers including power stations, and to the LNG facility near Gladstone. The produced water is brackish and is piped to treatment facilities.
Hydraulic fracturing helps the gas to flow
In some locations, there are limited natural pathways for water and gas to flow within the coals, especially where coals are not highly ’permeable’. In this situation, a fluid made of predominantly water and sand with a small number of chemical additives, is pumped down the well bore. The fluid is directed into an isolated section of the coal under pressure to create additional pathways (fractures) to help release and extract the gas. This is called hydraulic fracture stimulation, or hydraulic fracturing. It is a proven and accepted well completion methodology which has been used for over 60 years internationally and for over 40 years in Australia. The process is controlled and closely monitored.