Fracking in New Zealand in the country’s Taranaki Region since 1993. Australia has also been experiencing a bigger gas rush. The boom began with liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from reserves under the Indian Ocean and now there is exploration taking place in Queensland and New South Wales. Protests have taken place opposing such exports.
It has been reported that gas trapped in coal seams is the “next frontier“. The New Zealand government has stated they are evaluating the environmental impacts of fracking. New Zealand citizens are also concerned about the potential for such impacts.
Coal seam gas (abbreviated “CSG”) is formed by the geological process of heating and compressing plant matter to create coal. Over millions of years, methane forms within the coal. The methane is trapped by water in the gaps and cracks between the coal molecules. These gaps are known as cleats. Australia has been found to have many deposits, and is increasingly mining them through fracking. The process is increasingly coming under public scrutiny. Scientists in Australia have found excess greenhouse gas near fracking sites.