Condamine River seeps

Condamine River seeps

Gas seeps are a naturally occurring phenomenon around the world. The Condamine River seeps are located southwest of Chinchilla in Queensland

Australia Pacific LNG, through Origin, continues to invest in a robust, ongoing program of research into the seeps that includes monitoring bores, seismic studies, seep flow and flux measurements, river ecology health assessments and continued use of independent research and analysis experts.

Mitigation is working

We are continuing to refine and adjust how we manage and mitigate the seeps in the Condamine River.

Targeted intercept and development work adjacent and to the south of the river is having a positive impact in significantly reducing the seeps. 

This approach involves a combination of coal seam gas production wells and additional wells specifically designed to intercept shallow gas migrating towards identified natural geological faults that are providing pathways to the seeps in the river.

Measuring seep flow rates

Using methodology developed by CSIRO, regular gas flow measurements at the main seep location continue to be taken. The flow of gas, or flux, is measured by placing floating capture apparatus over the seeps in a defined grid pattern and measuring the amount of gas collected in a defined time period.

The results are presented in the graph below. Volumes are shown in litres per minute averaged per quarter, since Q1 2015.

Seeps%20 %20Q4%202019%20(004)
Seeps today (Oct 2018) - Resize

Condamine River Seeps October 2018

Condamine River seeps timeline

Dec 2011   Condamine River experiences major flooding, heavily scouring the riverbed.

Apr 2012    Condamine River seeps are identified. Historical evidence of shallow gas and natural gas seeps

                    in the area is well known. There is no coal seam gas development in the immediate area.

Aug 2012    Origin, as upstream operator for Australia Pacific LNG, initiates a long-term monitoring and 

                    research program and independent technical review by international scientific experts into

                    the phenomenon.

Sep 2013    CSIRO develop a method to measure the flow rates at the main seep. 

Nov 2013    Several monitoring bores are drilled nearby as part of ongoing studies.

Feb 2014    Independent technical review (Norwest) finds several possible factors may be contributing, including

                    the underlying geology, natural events such as drought and flood cycles as well as human activity

                    (water bores and future coal seam gas development).

Jan 2014    Increasing seep flow rates are observed. Regular measurement of flow rates begins using 

                    methodology developed by CSIRO.

Jun 2015    Several hoods are installed underwater to capture and safely vent the gas and provide additional

                    real time monitoring.

Jan 2016    Flow rates at the main seep peak at almost 2,000 litres a minute.

Apr 2016    The seeps are deliberately lit with claims large scale CSG development nearby and 'fraccing' is the

                    cause (despite no gas development in the area and the nearest fracced gas well being over 15km

                    away). The actions gain widespread attention.

Jun 2016    Informed by research, local seismic studies and technical review recommendations, three

                    specifically designed wells and a further monitoring bore are drilled as a first step towards

                    intercepting and reducing the amount of gas heading towards the river.

Aug 2016    Seep flow rates begin to fall.

Dec 2016    Three intercept wells come online, providing valuable insights to the management of the seeps and

                    future development in the area.

Mar 2017    Seep flow rates fall significantly.

Jun 2017    Twelve gas wells drilled directly south of the river are brought into production.

Oct 2017    Seep flow rates fall sharply to 158 litres per minute, around a quarter of the first flow rate measured

                    back in 2013.

Dec 2017    Measurements confirm the downward trend and a reduction of over 90% compared to the peak in early

                    2016. Work commences on a second development package of gas wells adjacent to the river made up

                    of 14 production wells and eight wells specifically designed to intercept gas heading towards the seeps 

                    through an identified natural fault and pathway. 

Feb 2018    Measurements confirm a continued reduction in seep flow rates to around 100 litres per minute.

Apr 2018    Increased flow rates begin to be observed as the 12 gas wells south of the river come off line for

                    maintenance and upgrade work, reducing their mitigating effect.

Jul 2018      Flow rates plateau around 1,000L/minute as these wells are progressively brought back into production.

Sep 2018    Flow rates fall dramatically after the second, larger package of mitigation wells immediately adjacent

                    to the seeps come on-line. Gas is intercepted and directed into gathering lines as part of regional gas


Oct 2018    Seep flow rates of around 50 litres per minute are recorded, the lowest level measured to date.