Drilling interaction with social responsibility improves water access, resource utilization ///

In Australia, unconventional coal seam methane gas (CSMG) is also being produced in high quantities, in addition to conventional oil and gas drilling. Currently, 90% of Australia’s onshore proven and probable petroleum reserves are in the form of CSMG, with most of that being in the Surat basin (61%) and Bowen basin (27%). Coal seam gas in Australia is wet (when compared to coal seam gas in Canada), which requires separating water from the gas. According to the Australian National Water Commission, “The beneficial use of co-produced water represents an opportunity for petroleum producers to maximize the resource by providing (including trading) water to other parties for use.”1 While water from CSMG wells tends to be fresher in quality than water produced from conventional formations, the water is generally of poor quality, characterized by high salinity, high sodium adsorption rations (SAR), and the presence of contaminants. Water quality and volume often determine whether, and how, produced water is used, how it is treated, and where it can be discharged.

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