A cloud over coal seam gas

Business Spectator - Robert Gottliebsen - 22.2.2011

This article by Gottliebsen, takes a good look at the CSG industry from the financial markets’ point of view – and he thinks its not a good look.
“It will take a long time before the oil and gas industries restore the loss of global trust that followed the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster, where executives simply did not work out what they had to do and did not understand the risks.
In Australia we have not encountered a BP-style disaster but the management style seems similar – they have not worked out what they have to do and the risks they face.
And attacking rural communities can back-fire in Australia.”

One of the many excellent comments on this article: “Why are we allowing international companies to develop our coal seam gas reserves only to repatriate profits with a meagre resource rent tax paid to Australia?
In the mean time they will ruin the mainstay of the Australian bush – the Artesian Basin, which, once wrecked, cannot be fixed. It’s possible that the tax paid will not be enough to compensate for the damage caused and also that the companies will declare bankruptcy, leaving tax payers with the bill. In my opinion, the only reason BP is still alive following the Gulf of Mexico disaster is that the US and UK shareholders are an important group and bankruptcy would be a politically unsavoury path.
In addition, most of the LNG to be produced from the coal seam gas is targeted for the international market, which leaves the domestic market paying too much for the gas. If we were short of gas then there would be a trade off between environmental damage and energy need – but there is no shortage. We must protect our food bowl from the short-term focus of the Queensland government. What about the energy needs of our children and their food bowl? Why do we risk wrecking this simply for export dollars and for energy supply to Asia?”
Well said, Stephen Dykes!


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