Project background

The Project has 144 wells, 92 of which are currently in production.

Besides the wells, the other major element of the Camden Gas Project is the Rosalind Park Gas Plant in Menangle, where natural gas is collected via low pressure underground gathering lines, compressed, dried and made ready for use by households and businesses, and transmitted into the greater Sydney natural gas network.

In February 2016, AGL announced that it will progressively decommission wells and rehabilitate sites at the Camden Gas Project prior to ceasing production in 2023.


AGL's Camden Gas Project has been in operation since 2001 and safely supplies around five percent of NSW's gas needs.


Location

The Project produces natural gas from coal seams throughout the Macarthur region of New South Wales. The field is located around 65 kilometres south-west of Sydney and operates within the Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly local government areas.


Latest update - Camden workover activities

AGL’s Camden Gas Operations would like to advise of decommissioning and rehabilitation work planned for our EM31 well site commencing Friday, 19 October 2018 and finishing by Thursday, 15 November 2018.

Typically these activities will require the use of a ‘Workover Rig’ (pictured below) and some auxiliary equipment on site. No drilling or fracture stimulation (‘fraccing’) will occur.

Strict safety, environmental and operational guidelines will be followed in accordance with the conditions of the development consent granted to AGL by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, NSW Environment Protection Authority and the Office of Coal Seam Gas.

If the commencement date needs to change, due to workover activities being delayed at other well sites, and when the Workover Rig moves to a different site, AGL will update this webpage and notify the community on notice boards and letters.

Please feel free to contact Alex Fitzpatrick directly should you require any further information on the 24-hour Enquiries and Complaints Hotline 1800 039 600.


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Overview
Community
Environment
Documents

In this section

Community complaints and enquiries

If you would like to enquire or make a complaint about the Camden Gas Project, please feel free to contact us via the following channels:

AGL Community Complaints & Enquiries Hotline: 1800 039 600

Email: AGLCommunity@agl.com.au

Mail: AGL Community Complaints & Enquiries, Locked Bag 3013, Australia Square NSW 1215

You can find out more about how AGL engages with the community here and access the Community Complaints and Feedback Policy here.


Fact Sheets

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September 2018

Club Menangle Race Against Drought

With the ongoing drought in the local area AGL are continuing to support our farmers.

AGL were recently naming rights sponsors of Club Menangle’s Race Against Drought, raising much needed funds for the Dilly Drought Drive and Buy A Bale.

You can find out more about supporting local farmers through the Dilly Drought Drive here.

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July 2018

Dilly Drought Drive

We are proud to support the communities where we operate.

AGL lent a helping hand to farmers in Wollondilly by providing drought-stricken farms with feed for cattle.

We donated $30,000 to the Dilly Drought Drive to assist with funding hay to be delivered to support local farmers. 90 bales of hay arrived on 10 b-double trucks from Victoria because NSW is out of feed.

The hay went to local farmers like the Werombi Hayter farm, Biffin Dairy, Moore Dairy in Glenmore and Birds in Mount Hunter.


March 2018

Camden Show

For the fifth year in a row AGL again supported the Camden Show in 2018.

Our involvement with the show and other community activities in the Macarthur region is part of our ongoing commitment to the Macarthur community.

This year we concentrated our tent on AGL customers. Our customers visiting the tent were offered discounts for their electricity and gas accounts and had their bill explained.

We also launched our local community offer, a discount of 25% off electricity usage charges and 14% off gas usage charges for locals in the Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly Local Council Areas. If you’re a local, get in touch with Alex (AGLCommunity@agl.com.au) to find out how you can access the deal.

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580 bottles and counting

We’ve kicked off a new recycling program at the Camden Gas Project to support the local community.

Led by Environment Business Partner Aaron Clifton, the program encourages AGL people on site to collect cans and bottles for recycling. These are taken to the local reverse vending machine in Camden, with all proceeds going to charity.

Since November 2017 the team has already collected and recycled more than 580 cans and bottles, donating over $100 to Clean Up Australia.

“It’s great to see the team so proactive and engaged. It’s not only a great story for Camden Gas Project, but also for the environment and the local community,” said Aaron Clifton, Environment Business Partner.

Seven people from the project also recently participated in Clean Up Australia’s ‘Business Clean Up Day’.

The team cleaned up roads spanning 2km over a period of four hours, filling three AGL utes with about 3m3 of waste for disposal or recycling.

“The day was a great opportunity for team building, while doing the right thing for the environment and giving back to the Macarthur community,” said Aaron.

For more information about the Return and Earn program, visit the http://returnandearn.org.au/ website or contact Aaron Clifton at Camden Gas Project.

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Kelly Franke, Muhammad Fahad and Dean Papierski utilising the return and earn bins.

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Chris Covington, Health and Safety Business Partner, using the reverse vending machine to return cans and bottles.

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Return and earn bin

August 2017

AGL continues to support Disability Macarthur this year as Platinum Sponsors of their annual Christmas in July lunch.

The Christmas in July lunch fundraiser supports the continued operation of Disability Macarthur’s Sunflower Cottage, a respite homecare facility. Sunflower Cottage provides a home environment for children with high support and medical needs, allowing parents and caregivers a break whilst their children are in a happy, safe and stimulating environment.

AGL are proud to have a long history supporting Disability Macarthur and the Sunflower Cottage. In 2015, we worked with the Disability Macarthur team to develop a tailored solar energy package to save the organisation up to $38,000 over the next 25 years.

You can see more of the great work Disability Macarthur does here.

Disability Macarthur's van

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July 2017

AGL are proud to have been Quartz Sponsors for the 2017 Youth Solutions Annual Charity Event, at The Cube, Campbelltown Catholic Club on Saturday 22 July.

The event was attended by over 400 guests, and raised an incredible $40,000 for Youth Solutions.

The funds raised from this event will greatly help Youth Solutions to continue, expand and enhance its youth drug and alcohol prevention and health promotion work with young people across Macarthur and Wingecarribee.

Dianne Knott and Alex Fitzpatrick from the Community Relations team at AGL explain why AGL supports the great work of Youth Solutions here. More information about Youth Solutions can be found on their website.

The AGL table at the 2017 Youth Solutions Annual Charity Event
The AGL table at the 2017 Youth Solutions Annual Charity Event

The 2017 Youth Solutions Annual Charity Event sponsors with their certificates

The 2017 Youth Solutions Annual Charity Event sponsors with their certificates
April 2017

Over Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April AGL’s Community Relations Team attended the Camden Show as Grand Champion Sponsors of the Beed Cattle and Woodchop Arenas.

This event was a great opportunity for the local community to meet our team and ask questions about our Camden Gas Project and broader AGL activities. Our continued involvement with the show and other community activities in the Macarthur region is part of AGL’s ongoing commitment to the Macarthur community.

If your organisation would like to chat with our Community Relations team regarding an upcoming event, please contact us on 1300 799 716 or AGLCommunity@agl.com.au.

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Community Consultative Committee (CCC) meetings

AGL works with an independently chaired Community Consultative Committee.

The Committee provides a forum of open discussion between AGL and the community on site operations. It acts as a channel to help AGL understand the community’s issues of interest and improve our communication, education and notification with the Macarthur community.

It comprises 13 members including four community representatives, two environment representatives, representatives from each of the councils, a representative from the EPA and three members from AGL’s project team.

You’ll find a complete record of these documents in the document tab.

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Local community investment program - applications now closed

The Camden Gas Project Local Community Investment Program invests funds back into the community by supporting their initiatives, projects and events. Applications for 2018 are currently closed and will re-open in January 2019. 

The Program aims to:

  • Deliver community wide benefits
  • Encourage innovation in and support for issues of community significance
  • Support the work of community organisations.

The Local Community Investment Program is run annually and awards funding for community initiatives within the Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly Local Government Areas, of up to $5,000. Applications for funding will be assessed by members of AGL's Camden Gas Project Community Consultative Committee.


For more information, email AGL Community Relations at AGLCommunity@agl.com.au.

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Spring Farm 05: Pressure Safety Valve Incident Report - September 2014

On 31 August 2014, at approximately 7.05pm a pressure safety valve on the gas/water separator at SF05 activated and natural gas was released to the atmosphere from the pressure safety valve vent line.

The coal seam gas wells within the Camden Gas Project had been shut off (that is, not producing natural gas), to allow the Rosalind Park Gas Plant to undergo maintenance on Friday August 29. Over the weekend the coal seam gas wells were brought back online which allowed the gas to flow again. Pressure at the Spring Farm well built up and the pressure safety valve activated, as it was designed to, as a precautionary measure to relieve the pressure. As pressure was released, this created a loud hissing noise and released a quantity of natural gas into the air.

Fire and Rescue NSW, Jemena and AGL attended the site and fire crews’ inspections showed no detectable gas levels on monitoring equipment, or any need to evacuate residents.

AGL has cooperated with NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), the Department of Planning & Environment and the Office of Coal Seam Gas in relation to this event. AGL was requested by the EPA to provide investigation report and this has been completed.

A briefing was provided to the Camden Community Consultative Committee on 24 September to provide information on this incident to the community.

For more information please view the Spring Farm 05: Pressure Safety Valve Incident Report.

Update: 1 December 2014
The following actions have been completed and have been shared with the EPA:

  • Installation of new alarms in the Rosalind Park Gas Plant control room to provide an early warning of high pressure events at well sites;
  • Revision and implementation of an updated pre-start checklist procedure for production wells;
  • Review and update of the Rosalind Park Gas Plant standard operating procedures and maintenance plans.

Update: 6 March 2015
The EPA has concluded its investigation of the 31 August 2014 event at Spring Farm and issued AGL with a penalty infringement notice in the amount of $15,000 for a breach of a licence condition which requires all plant and equipment be maintained in a proper and efficient condition.

AGL accepts the results of the investigation and has taken corrective actions to prevent similar occurrences, including the installation of new alarms and the review, update and implementation of operating procedures and maintenance plans. AGL also notes that the incident itself did not cause any harm to human health or the environment.

AGL Fugitive Methane Emissions Monitoring Program

You can view reports associated with AGL's Fugitive Monitoring Program in the document tab above.

Environmental Health Impact Assessment

You can view reports associated with the Environment Health Impact Assessment from 2013 in the Camden document tab above.

Subsidence

As part of the Stage 2 expansion proposal, AGL commissioned Mine Subsidence Engineering Consultants Pty Ltd (MSEC), to investigate the potential for the proposed coal seam gas extraction to result in surface subsidence.

The AGL Camden Subsidence Report concluded that "the proposed extraction of coal seam methane at Camden will not create large voids in the strata, nor leave remnant pillars. The strata within the coal measures are not unconsolidated and in fact are hard and well consolidated rocks. The conditions for significant subsidence to occur are not therefore present and it is concluded that the potential for subsidence to occur as the gas is extracted is almost negligible."

How we operate

AGL is currently in production and decommissioning and rehabilitation at the Camden Gas Project. No new wells have been drilled as part of the Project since September 2012. As AGL progressively decommissions and rehabilitates wells toward ceasing production in 2023, we will not drill new wells.

Our typical operations include:

  • Production: When producing gas, our well surface locations are typically around six by four metres, or roughly the size of a four wheel drive. They have been designed and landscaped to fit in with the surrounding community and environment and be as unobtrusive as possible.
  • Maintenance: Inspections are routinely undertaken, but major maintenance is usually needed less than once a year.
  • Decommissioning and rehabilitation: When the gas has been drained the equipment is removed and the site decommissioned and rehabilitated.
What is an Environmental Assessment?

An Environmental Assessment is a formal submission to the Department of Planning. It is the Government's way of assessing the project to ensure it meets strict NSW Government standards and that it will not have significant environmental impacts.

An Environmental Assessment is made up of:

  • A formal description of the project.
  • An assessment of the likely effects of the project on the physical, social and economic environment.
  • Identification of measures to be implemented to mitigate impacts.
  • An evaluation of alternatives and justification for the project.
  • An assessment of the cumulative impacts of the project.
  • Specialist studies have been undertaken to address a range of environmental issues associated with the proposed works, including an assessment of noise, hazard and risk.

View AGL's Environmental Assessment files in the document tab.

Environment Protection Licence

AGL’s Environment Protection Licence, Incident Notification Protocol and Community Notification Protocol are located in the document library.

AGL has completed a comprehensive review of its Environmental Management System (EMS) for the Camden Gas Project to streamline and simplify the environmental management measures across the Project.

The EMS is a series of documents designed to provide an environmental management framework for the Camden Gas Project. It begins with the Environmental Management Plan which describes the EMS, setting out what we are required to do, how we will do it and the monitoring we use to ensure compliance and improve our operations.

View AGL’s environmental approval, licences and documents in the document tab.

Environmental reporting

Continuous monitoring of nitrogen oxcides, temperature, flow rate, moisture and oxygen is a requirement of AGL's Environmental Protection Licence and planning consent.

Our Rosalind Park Gas Plant Annual Environmental Performance Reports state that continuous monitoring of NOx, temperature, flow rate, moisture and oxygen was successfully undertaken. In all reports, this statement is erroneous. While monitoring was carried out during this time, that monitoring was not "continuous" due to equipment limitations and breakdowns experienced during these years. AGL is working with the EPA to rectify this non-compliance.

The EP Licence Annual Returns have identified this non-compliance.

As also stated in these reports, monitoring of NOx, temperature, flow rate, moisture and oxygen was undertaken quarterly. The full results of the quarterly monitoring are available in Appendices of each of years’ Annual Environmental Performance Report for the year covered. Quarterly monitoring has demonstrated the Gas Plant's compliance with the annual load allowance and discharge limit for NOx.

Annual Environmental Performance Reports (AEPRs) and Independent Audits are part of the NSW Government's requirements under the various approvals, leases and licences for the Camden Gas Project. Copies of the AEPRs and Independent Audits are available for download in the document tab. Please note that these reports are provided for information purposes only.

Independent Environmental Audit

As required by AGL’s development conditions, an independent environmental audit was conducted for the Camden Gas Project for the period commencing 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2014.

The audit assessed the environmental performance of the Project against six Development Consents, and its effects on the surrounding environment. It found no incidents during the audit period were considered to have, or likely to have, resulted in actual or potential environmental harm.

The Report stated that ‘AGL has demonstrated substantial compliance with the relevant standards, performance measures and statutory requirements that apply to the development.’

AGL has responded to the Audit’s Recommendations in the Corrective Actions Register.

The Report and AGL’s Corrective Actions Register can be accessed below:

Air emissions testing

Quarterly and monthly air monitoring data can be viewed on the Monitoring Data page, and are also filed in the document tab.

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Rehabilitation

After a review of business activities, AGL announced in February 2016 that at Camden, it will extract gas from its existing wells enabling closure of the facility in 2023. The Camden site and wells will be progressively decommissioned and the sites rehabilitated.

AGL has released the Stage One schedule for the decommissioning and rehabilitation of coal seam gas wells at the Camden Gas Project.

The Camden Gas Project has been safely supplying gas to Sydney homes and businesses since 2001. A total of 144 wells have been drilled, with 92 currently producing. Six wells were completed in 2016 and a further 17 are undergoing rehabilitation which commenced in early 2017, this process is expected to take approximately two years.

At the conclusion of Stage One of this program, 41 of the original 144 gas wells will have been rehabilitated.

This work is undertaken with a high level of regulatory oversight by the NSW Government’s Division of Resources and Energy and the NSW EPA as lead regulator, and to standards set in the NSW Government’s Code of Practice for Coal Seam Gas.

The Stage One well rehabilitation program in 2017-18 will include the following sites:


well name well number
Elizabeth Macarthur 16, 34
Glen Lee 16
Joe Stanley 01, 03, 04
Lipscome 01
Menangle Park 01, 05
Mount Taurus 09, 10
Rosalind Park 02, 06, 10, 12
Sugar Loaf 09
Wandinong 06

 

AGL will keep the community informed on the well rehabilitation program and determine the next stage of wells to be decommissioned based on operational requirements.

AGL maintains a strong commitment to the safe operation of the Camden Gas Project as well as working and investing to reduce any potential harm to the community or environmental health.

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Water management

Protecting and understanding local water resources is a critical part of the sustainable development of AGL's coal seam gas operations. You can view all groundwater monitoring reports and water studies in our document library.

Groundwater investigation and monitoring program

The Camden Gas Project groundwater investigation and monitoring program was developed by AGL and environmental specialists, Parsons Brinckerhoff, to help the community understand what impacts, if any, there might be on groundwater resources as a result of exploration for and production of natural gas.

The monitoring program involves dedicated monitoring bores that monitor the groundwater in the shallow aquifers within the Camden Gas Project and at a control site away from the Project.

The completed and planned work investigates connectivity between the shallow groundwater aquifers and water bearing zones in the coal seams. Two key findings of the work to date indicate negligible or no connectivity: the shallow groundwater is chemically different from the deeper coal seam groundwater, and flow within the groundwater systems appears to be mostly lateral, rather than vertical.

Only very small volumes of water are released from the coal seams and in the 2013/14 financial year it was less than 3.6 megalitres for the entire Camden Gas Project (which is about one and a half Olympic swimming pools). This small volume of produced water provides further evidence that there is no or negligible connectivity between the coal seams and other groundwater systems – that is, the water removed by AGL's activities is from the coal seams and not beneficial aquifers.

Access and download previous results from the groundwater monitoring program, from the document tab above.

Groundwater Management Plan

The Camden Gas Project Groundwater Management Plan provides a framework for early assessment of any changes in the groundwater systems beneath the Camden Gas Project area, particularly to the shallow beneficial aquifers. Monitoring and early identification enables us to prevent and/or mitigate any adverse impacts. This plan outlines the monitoring program and reporting requirements to regulators.

Hydrogeological studies

Read the hydrogeological summary of groundwater systems in the region, which includes a review of data collected from the Camden Gas Project.

A desktop hydrogeological study has been completed for the Camden North area that identifies the different groundwater systems across the region.

Produced water monitoring

Produced water is natural groundwater that is removed from the coal seams (which are approximately 700 metres below the ground) in order to allow the natural gas to flow. AGL analyses produced water quality from a selection of operating gas wells each quarter, as described in the Groundwater Management Plan. The monitoring results are available in the document library and on the Monitoring Data page.

In 2011 and 2012, AGL’s water quality monitoring program found the produced water from some gas wells had significantly lower levels of salt than expected (at a level similar to rainwater or river water) and also a different ratio of the type of salts than is typical for coal seam gas wells at the Camden Gas Project. AGL wanted to understand why.

After conducting internal investigations, AGL engaged Parsons Brinckerhoff to investigate the lower salinity of produced water coming from some gas wells and to provide reasons why this was happening. Following expert chemical and isotope analysis, Parsons Brinckerhoff found that the low salinity water does come from the coal seam but it has been physically and chemically changed due to changes in pressure and temperature. The results from this investigation are very important in continuing to build on our comprehensive understanding of groundwater, produced water and coal seam gas operations for the Camden Gas Project. Download the 2013 Parsons Brinckerhoff report and summary.

Natural hydrocarbons in groundwater

As part of its coal seam gas exploration and production programs in NSW and QLD, AGL Upstream Gas commissioned a desktop study on the occurrence of naturally occurring hydrocarbons in groundwater from Permian coal measures and associated sedimentary rocks. The report, prepared by CSIRO, Earth Science and Resource Engineering - Petroleum and Geothermal Research Portfolio Group, concluded that most of the detected total petroleum hydrocarbons, PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes) compounds appear to be naturally occurring.

What is a groundwater monitoring bore?

Similar to a drinking straw, a monitoring bore lets us find out what is happening with groundwater. We drill a hole into the ground and install a sealed pipe that has tiny holes at the bottom to let groundwater enter the pipe. The groundwater rises up the pipe to a water level that reflects the water pressure in that aquifer where the bore is installed.

We often put several monitoring bores next to each other, installed to various depths, to monitor groundwater in different aquifers or groundwater systems. We can then measure the water level and water quality in each of the bores to see how they relate to each other and how they change over time.

Media Releases

Other environmental assessment and reports

Environmental Reports

Northern Expansion

Northern Expansion Environmental Assessment

Main Report


Version 2


Version 3

Northern Expansion Submissions Report

Main Report

Appendix B, C, D Groundwater

Appendix E Flora and Fauna

Appendix F Noise

Appendix G Aboriginal Report

Appendix H Historic Report

Figures

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