GFCQ Interactive Gas Map – ‘LAYER DEFINITIONS’
The Queensland Government established the Surat Cumulative Management Area (Surat CMA) in 2011 in response to coal seam gas development in the area. The framework for groundwater management in the Surat CMA is provided under Chapter 3 of the Water Act 2000.
The Surat CMA was declared after consideration of:
- the location of petroleum and gas operations;
- the geology of the area;
- the potential for interconnectivity between aquifers in the area; and
- the cumulative impacts of water extraction by petroleum tenure holders.
In December 2016, the underground water management framework in the Water Act 2000 was expanded to include mining tenures. The Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) advised that coal mining and coal seam gas (CSG) developments target the same coal formation in the Surat and Clarence Moreton basins and impacts are likely to overlap.
In January 2020, the Surat CMA was amended to include coal mining tenures located within the Surat and Clarence Moreton basins. The amended CMA was declared following community consultation and in consideration of:
- the location of coal mining operations; and
- the cumulative impact of water extraction by petroleum and mining tenure holders.
Transitional provisions for existing mines no longer apply when the tenure is in a CMA. The Surat CMA is identified in this map. View the indicative Surat CMA map showing the Surat and Clarence Moreton Basins.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Surat Basin and the Southern Bowen Basin contain petroleum and gas (including CSG) and coal mining operations. CSG activities occur in the Walloon Coal measures of the Surat Basin and in the Bandana and Cattle Creek formations of the Southern Bowen Basin. Conventional petroleum and gas activities are undertaken in a number of Surat and Bowen Basin formations including the Precipice and Showground Sandstones.
Once granted, a petroleum lease gives its holder the right to explore, test for production and produce petroleum¹ within the defined area of the lease. Petroleum leases may be granted under Chapter 2 of the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (the Act). In certain situations, requirements under Chapter 3 of the Act must also be addressed.
¹ Petroleum as defined under section 10 of the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004.
Exploration permits for petroleum (including coal seam gas) are referred to as authorities to prospect (ATP) and may be granted for a period of up to 12 years.
An ATP generally cannot be renewed for a term ending more than 12 years after the ATP originally took effect.
Once granted an ATP gives its holder the right to carrying out an activity for the purpose of finding petroleum or natural underground reservoirs over a defined area.
A proposed advertised area for petroleum is an area where the Queensland Government has called for tenders for petroleum exploration.
The Queensland Government may release areas for potential resource activity based on the areas prospectivity for petroleum exploration or production. The areas are advertised for tender via the Queensland exploration program.
Before any resource activity can be carried out, the area has to be awarded to a successful tenderer and all of the required approvals need to be obtained.
To construct a petroleum pipeline outside the area of a petroleum lease, you need a petroleum pipeline licence (PPL). The PPL gives you the right to construct and operate the pipeline on designated ‘pipeline land.’ This is defined as land that you either own or over which you have:
- an easement
- a written agreement with the landowner to enter to construct and operate the pipeline
- a Part 5 permission.
Two types of PPLs are available:
- area PPL – allows you to build a system of pipes within the area of the licence without having to have a licence for each single pipeline. An area PPL can extend over several adjacent petroleum leases
- point-to-point PPL – granted from one point, or points, to another point, or points.
You will require a petroleum facility licence (PFL) for a processing, refining, storage or transport facility if the facility is not already covered by your petroleum lease or pipeline licence. The PFL will give you the right to construct and operate the facility on ‘petroleum facility land’. This is defined as land that you either own or over which you have:
- an easement
- a written agreement with a landowner to enter to construct and operate the facility on their land
- a Part 5 permission.
A petroleum well (as defined in the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004) is a hole in the ground made or being made by drilling, boring or any other means to explore for or produce petroleum; or to inject petroleum or a prescribed storage gas into a natural underground reservoir; or through which petroleum or a prescribed storage gas may be produced.
Coal seam gas (CSG) is held in place by water pressure. To extract it, CSG wells are drilled through the coal seams and the water pressure is reduced by extracting some of the water. This releases natural gas from the coal. The gas and water are separated and the gas is piped to compression plants for transportation via gas transmission pipelines.
For more information visit the Gas Industry Social & Environment Research Alliance (GISERA).
An Immediately Affected Area is the area of an aquifer within which water levels are predicted to fall, due to water extraction by petroleum tenure holders, by more than the trigger threshold within three years. The trigger thresholds are specified in section 362 of the Water Act 2000 as five metres for consolidated aquifers (such as sandstone) and two metres for unconsolidated aquifers (such as sand).
Within the Immediately Affected Area, there is significant risk that the supply of water from a bore tapping the formation will be impaired within three years.
A Long-term Affected Area is the area of an aquifer within which water levels are predicted to fall, due to water extraction by petroleum tenure holders, by more than the trigger thresholds at any time in the future. The trigger thresholds are specified in section 362 of the Water Act 2000 as five metres for consolidated aquifers (such as sandstone) and two metres for unconsolidated aquifers (such as sand).
Groundwater monitoring in the Surat Cumulative Management Area (Surat CMA) is required to inform three key outcomes:
- to identify groundwater impacts from petroleum and gas development that may have occurred
- to improve knowledge about the groundwater system, which improves Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment’s ability to predict groundwater impacts
- to support the evaluation of underground water impact report (UWIR) impact management strategies.
The Water Monitoring Strategy (WMS) is designed to achieve these outcomes. The WMS includes the specification of a groundwater monitoring network and tenure holder obligations for implementing that network and reporting data back to OGIA.
Since the UWIR 2012, implementation of the WMS has progressively built a substantial groundwater monitoring network across the Surat CMA. Data from the WMS has improved knowledge about the groundwater flow system and has helped to identify where further improvements are required. Data received by OGIA under the WMS is reviewed every six months and is publicly available on the Queensland Groundwater Database (GWDB) and the Queensland Globe.
Groundwater monitoring network
The term monitoring network is used in this report to describe a collection of groundwater monitoring points – groundwater piezometers or bores constructed into the subsurface to monitor groundwater pressure or chemistry.
A priority agricultural area (as defined in the Regional Planning Interests Act 2014) is an area that includes one or more areas used for a priority agricultural land use, whether it also includes other areas or features, including, for example, a regionally significant water source.
A priority living area (as defined in the Regional Planning Interests Act 2014) is an area shown on a map in a regional plan as a priority living area; and that includes the existing settled area of a city, town or other community and other areas necessary or desirable for the future growth of the existing settled area; and as a buffer between the existing or a future settled area and resource activities.
Strategic cropping land (as defined in the Regional Planning Interests Act 2014) means land that is, or is likely to be, highly suitable for cropping because of a combination of the land’s soil, climate and landscape features.
A strategic environmental area (as defined in the Regional Planning Interests Act 2014) is an area that contains one or more environmental attributes for the area; and is either shown on a map in a regional plan as a strategic environmental area; or prescribed under a regulation.