AGL has conducted fugitive emissions testing in Gloucester to establish baseline methane levels prior to the upcoming hydraulic fracturing and flow testing of the Waukivory Pilot.
In response to community and Gloucester Shire Council requests for fugitive methane emissions monitoring, in July last year AGL undertook a four-week study to assess baseline emissions in the Gloucester area using laboratory-grade equipment that can detect airborne methane and identify the source.
Methane is a naturally occurring, non-toxic, odourless gas and is a by-product of activities including agriculture, landfill, coal mining and sewage treatment.
The methane emissions testing was conducted along 13 routes covering 200 kilometres around Gloucester.
AGL’s Head of Environment, Jenny MacMahon, said further testing to compare to the baseline results would be conducted as part of the upcoming Waukivory Pilot activities, which AGL was given approval for last month.
“We undertook similar testing using the same sensitive equipment over a 12-week period last year at locations within and outside our Camden Gas Project area. The testing found that methane levels where natural coal seam gas is produced were in line with averages for urban areas without coal seam gas production,” Ms MacMahon said.
“The baseline study in Gloucester has so far observed relatively low concentrations of methane with livestock, landfill and sewage treatment found to be the primary sources.
”These low concentrations were in the range of 1.7 to 3.9 parts per million (ppm). By comparison, urban methane concentrations typically range between 1.8 ppm and 3.0 ppm, while in domestic environments around gas water heaters and stoves, concentrations of approximately 10 ppm are commonly found.
“We’ve listened to the community’s concerns about fugitive emissions and once we have further results to compare to the baseline, we will make the information publicly available.”
AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.