Who owns the gas?
Under Australian and Queensland law, minerals and resource property rights, including CSG, are held by the State and not by the owner of the land. Resource companies bid for development rights, and in exchange pay royalties to the Government when the asset starts producing.
Landholders are paid compensation
The Queensland Government requires CSG operators to pay fair and reasonable compensation to landholders under certain conditions.
Under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004, CSG operators have specific notification obligations and are required to abide by the Queensland Government’s Land Access Code in gaining access to and carrying out operations on any property.
Gas wells have limited impact on the land
A CSG well, when in operation, covers a fenced area that is typically half the size of a netball court. During the construction phase, a larger area is cleared to provide access for drilling rigs and other equipment.
Once in operation, the land located around the wellhead area can return to previous use such as grazing and/or cropping.
At the end of its economic life, a CSG well is decommissioned, the well plugged with cement, surface equipment removed and the remaining lease area is rehabilitated.
Of the 335,000 hectares of good quality agricultural land (GQAL) in the Australia Pacific LNG area (as defined by the Queensland Government), only 7% (23,726 hectares) is expected to be disturbed during construction. Due to progressive rehabilitation of disturbed areas, it is estimated only 1.3% (4,319 hectares) of GQAL will be removed from production.