The Brisbane Times 14 November 2012:
Vast amounts of methane appear to be leaking undetected from Australia's biggest coal seam gas field, according to world-first research that undercuts claims by the gas industry.
Testing inside the Tara gas field, near Condamine on Queensland's Western Downs, found some greenhouse gas levels over three times higher than nearby districts, according to the study by researchers at Southern Cross University.
Methane, carbon dioxide and other gases appear to be leaking up through the soil and bubbling up through rivers at an astonishing rate, the researchers said.
"The concentrations here are higher than any measured in gas fields anywhere else that I can think of, including in Russia," said Damien Maher, a biochemist who helped conduct the tests. "The extent of these enriched concentrations is significant."….
The team also took samples of airborne methane from major wetlands and high-density cattle operations near Casino in northern NSW.
ABC Rural 15 November 2012:
Dr Damien Maher says they can't say definitively that the higher methane levels are due to coal seam gas mining activity in the Tara region.
"What we can say is that we've got multiple lines of evidence that suggests that is what's causing it, so we looked at the chemical footprint of the methane that was added to the atmosphere and that chemical footprint was the same as coal seam gas in that area," he said.
"We looked at other traces, radon and CO2, and we found similar trends with those as well".
The researchers from SCU Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research:
Dr. Damian Maher curriculum vitae
Joint Submission on National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2012 - Fugitive Emissions from Coal Seam Gas
Rather predictably Metgasco's managing director complains that the research shouldn't have been released until it was peer reviewed. Conveniently forgetting that the submission was made as part of public comment sought by the Federal Government on a consultation draft of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Amendment Determination 2012 and, it can be found on Dept. of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website along with other submissions received.