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ACIL Allen report highlights economic benefits of CBM

World Coal,

A report from ACIL Allen, commissioned by coalbed methane (CBM) player AGL Energy, has indicated significant economic benefits could be found in investment in CBM.

The report suggests 16 000 jobs could be created, while the wholesale price of gas could be driven down by 12% in New South Wales (NSW).

Tim Nelson, AGL head of economic policy and sustainability, said “The report shows NSW has the potential to be self-sufficient in relation to long-term gas supply with significant downward pricing pressures, which will benefit NSW consumers.”

“Money we are not spending on imported, more costly gas from interstate is money that can be spent in NSW, boosting local economic activity and employment," Nelson added.

ACIL Allen said that they used their gas market model and a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model of the Australian economy to determine economic activity in NSW across a range of scenarios.

In the consulting firm’s “base case” scenario – which sees the CBM gas industry in NSW grow steadily and is not constrained by government policy – research suggests that by 2030 the CBM industry would produce 160 PJ/year. This would make NSW essentially self sufficient in relation to gas supplies.

New South Wales has geological systems comparable to those that host the major CBM resources in Queensland: extensive Permian and Jurassic coal measure sequences (the Sydney, Gunnedah and Gloucester Basins correlating with the Bowen and Galilee Basins in Queensland; and the Clarence Moreton Basin a geological analogue for the Surat Basin in Queensland).

The authors of the report note “While CBM exploration and development activity in New South Wales has not yet achieved the success of the industry in Queensland, it has clearly established that there are very large in situ resources of CBM in New South Wales and that these resources have the potential to support a large-scale production of natural gas.”

The full report from ACIL Allen is available here.

Adapted from press release by Sam Dodson

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