Worley Parsons suppresses explosive gas emissions report under gas industry pressure

An explosive report demolishing gas industry claims that coal seam gas is "clean energy" has been suppressed by the Board of the company that wrote it.

The report was commissioned by the not for profit renewable energy research group Beyond Zero Emissions and fully completed in September.

Worley Parsons have a $580 million contract with Queensland Gas Company for engineering and procurement services for the company’s massive Queensland Curtis LNG project.

"We have a contract for the delivery of this report. The report has been completed, and the fact that its findings are inconvenient for the gas industry and Worley Parsons is not a good enough reason for its suppression. It is of the utmost importance that the proper scientific research into the true emissions impact of coal seam gas sees the light of day" says Matthew Wright, Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions. "We need to clear the air on gas emissions."

This report supersedes a report selectively and repeatedly quoted by oil and gas industry lobby group APPEA, but hidden from public view until its release under pressure a few days ago.

***The supressed report includes information that:

There is no Australian field data on fugitive emissions and that the American Petroleum Industry data that the industry and government rely on is out dated and superseded, including well workovers having emissions around 8500 times previous estimates. Individual wells in the US have reported fugitive emission levels of up to 30 percent, and fields of up to 15 percent of total well yield.

In addition the American Petroleum Industry compendium which is the basis for industry claims that coal seam gas is lower emissions are blown out of the water by the compendium itself which says:

"The Compendium is neither a standard nor a recommended practice for the development of emissions inventories"

The process for extracting CSG involves pumping of aquifers which allows the gas to migrate through an underground field and be extracted. The geology of these individual fields is not understood, and the gas takes different migratory paths in parallel to the intended path of the drilled extraction wells. A wide example of a path that is unknown is via existing and old abandoned stock water and cropping well bores. No mapping exists of these wells and bore holes that have been sunk over the past two centuries. In the US, fugitive emissions in a field of 12,000 wells have been reported as high as 30% of total well yield.

Gas will not displace any coal power plants in China. According to the report absolutely no coal fired power plants in China will be taken off line and replaced by gas plants, making a mockery of claims by Rick Wilkinson of APPEA any coal will be displaced by gas in China. Rick Wilkinson must stop taking Australians for mugs and come clean on the real emissions of gas.

Another trick used by the industry is to create exaggerated well and field lifespan projections to overestimate production and therefore grossly underestimate total life cycle emissions.

Inaccurate and misleading WorleyParsons response

An inaccurate and misleading public statement has since been released to select media outlets by a public relations company on behalf of Worley Parsons.

The statement falsely claims that Beyond Zero Emissions agreed to not to proceed with the report. We deny this and call on Worley Parsons to release any written evidence to prove this allegation. Correspondence in writing with Worley Parsons clearly confirms that the report was completed two months ago, and despite repeated requests, Worley Parsons have refused to release it.

The statement also claims that Worley Parsons will release a new and different academic paper instead. "If Worley Parsons wish to release another paper (peer reviewed or otherwise) that is an entirely separate issue to their contractual obligation to release the report commissioned by Beyond Zero Emissions and completed two months ago. Releasing a watered down version in an obscure academic paper is a an attempt to bury this critical information."

We call on WorleyParsons to immediately deliver the complete and unaltered original document completed two months ago to Beyond Zero Emissions as they are contractually obliged to do.