The hydraulic fracturing, 'fracking', that is also sometimes involved in the extraction of coal seam gas seems to pose risks of causing leakage between aquifers or between the coal seam and the surface. I do not discuss the subject on this page.
It seems to me that this project is very likely to have unacceptable long-term environmental consequences. To me the main concern would be that the proponents would bring many tonnes of salt to the surface which would then have to be disposed of. They estimate that salt extraction will peak at 115 tonnes per day from years two to four of the project. Quoting from the IESC report:
"Key potential risks of the project include: salt and chemical management and disposal; groundwater depressurisation and drawdown in aquifers within the project area and surrounds that may impact groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) and other groundwater users; and changes to surface water flow and quality as a result of discharges to Bohena Creek. Potential areas at risk from these impacts include: landowner bores in the northern portion of the project area, outside the Pilliga State Forest, overlying areas of gas extraction from the Hoskissons Seam; Hardys and Eather Springs; Bohena Creek downstream of the discharge location; and areas of co-produced brine, salt and waste are stored (SIC).
Bringing 115 tonnes of salt each day for years up from a coal seam, where it is stable and doing no harm, and dumping it at or near the surface is madness. I worked for 30 years in the hydrogeology (underground water) field. I am very familiar with the problems of salinity and groundwater. If this project goes ahead it will ultimately be an environmental disaster; maybe not in five or ten years, but certainly in the longer term.
There are renewable energy alternatives to fossil fuels that come with very little environmental risk, such as solar photo-voltaic, solar thermal and wind farms, as pictured on the right. Why risk the future of good quality farmland when we don't have to?
See Narrabri in Wikipedia.
Anti-coal seam gas organisation, Lock The Gate, has a net page on the Narribri CSG proposal.
On this siteClimate change
Climate change disasters and the Australian government's actions
Coal seam gasification, or in-situ coal gasification
End of coal
How should Australia generate its electricity?
Glossary of technical terms relating to wind power
Greatest crime in history
Impressive renewable energy developments in Australia
Major threatened disasters compared
Mid-North South Australia, leading the nation in renewable energy
Northern SA's renewables
Pumped hydro power
South Australia's success with renewable power
Turnbull Australian Government
Wind power in Australia
On the InternetA glossary of the energy debate; The Conversation.
Renew Economy; AGL ridicules Coalition request to keep Liddell [coal-fired power station] open extra 5 years.
The Conversation; Why coal-fired power stations need to shut on health grounds.
More coal doesn't equal more peak power, Alan Pears, The Conversation, 2017/09/13.
The big three Australian power generators see no future in coalAGL's statement on the Liddell closure.
Energy Australia boss says there are much better options than keeping the old Liddell coal-fired power station running for a few more years.
Origin Energy boss regects coal