CSG production a step closer in New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND coal producer Solid Energy revealed this week it had moved a step closer to commercial production of coal seam gas.

Angie Tomlinson

Research scientists from Solid Energy and independent US oil and gas company Resource Development Technology yesterday presented research to the 2006 Petroleum Conference in Auckland that showed promising early results at five sites in the Waikato area.

“This is a particularly timely project with the serious gas supply gap New Zealand faces in the very near future,” said Solid Energy research manager Dr Tim Moore.

“Early indications show flow rates of two to five PJ per annum, potentially sufficient for commercial development. Such rates would allow us to supply gas to between 40,000 and 100,000 households a year, or meet 5 to 10 percent of Huntly Power Station’s annual needs.”

Moore said gas purity was very positive with results showing methane levels at more than 98%.

He said the next stage was to proceed to drill five appraisal wells in the second quarter of 2006, with full results available at the end of the year.

“If all goes well, gas from these deep Huntly coalfields could be supplying industry or homes as early as 2008,” Moore said, adding coal seam gas projects were an important example of non-traditional uses of coal.