Coexistence

Arrow considers coexistence to mean allowing Australia to enjoy the full benefits from both agricultural and resource industries.  

For our part, we will ensure:

  • minimised overlap on intensively farmed land 
  • no permanent damage to productivity of either the land or the Great Artesian Basin
  • landholders are fairly compensated for possible impacts from our activities.

We will demonstrate coexistence, in collaboration with our landholders, in three ways:

  1. pre-development design work to minimise our footprint
  2. best practice construction management to minimise our impact on soil during the drilling phase
  3. best practice operational management to minimise our impact on farm productivity.

Because we're listening, we've introduced 12 commitments to coexistence on intensively farmed land in the Surat Basin.

What is intensively farmed land?

Intensively farmed land is a subset of the Queensland Government's Strategic Cropping Land. It is premium cropping land that is being actively used for broad acre cropping with either dry land or irrigated farming practices, and having been altered to suit those cropping purposes (e.g. laser levelled, irrigation channels and existing dams).

  • Arrow has made 12 commitments to coexistence on intensively farmed land (IFL) in the Surat Basin:

    1. No permanent alienation

    2. Minimised operational footprint – less than 2% of total IFL area

    3. Flexibility on CSG well locations, but all wells located by edge of farm paddocks

    4. Pad drilling (up to 8 wells from a single pad) used where coal depth and geology allows

    5. Spacing between wells maximised (between 800m – 1.5km)

    6. Pitless drilling only

    7. No major infrastructure facilities on IFL (dams, compression stations, gas gathering stations, water treatment)

    8. Treated CSG water used to substitute existing users' allocations on IFL

    9. No brine/salt treatment or disposal on IFL

    10. Flexibility on power supply option – above or below ground

    11. Fair compensation – including elements of ‘added value’

    12. Continued proactive engagements with community and transparency on coexistence field activities

    Download Arrow Energy in the community fact sheet.

    *Commitment 8 refers to the area of greatest predicted drawdown on the Condamine Alluvium resulting from CSG extraction by Arrow Energy.

  • No permanent alienation

  • Minimised operational footprint – less than 2% of total IFL area

    • flexibility on CSG well locations, but all wells located by edge of farm paddocks
    • pad drilling used where coal depth and geology allows
    • spacing between wells maximised (between 800m - 1500m)
    • simplified flowline system
    • less than 2% footprint on an average intensively farmed land property
  • Flexibility on CSG well locations, but all wells located by edge of farm paddocks

    Reduced_Footprint

    On the left is an example of past grid patterns of wells, that are not always suitable for IFL.

    Arrow’s new layout (right) includes two multiple well pads, one single well pad and all infrastructure on the edges of paddocks.

    The new layouts use drilling innovations and flexibility in well placement.

    Through a commitment to pitless drilling, pad drilling and no major infrastructure on IFL, Arrow has reduced its footprint to less than 2% on IFL.
  • Pad drilling (up to eight wells from a single pad) used where coal depth and geology allows

    Surat Tek Park is part of Arrow's Theten property, northwest of Dalby.

    Surat Tek Park is our test site for new technologies. We use it to find the most effective and low impact operating methods, including drilling.

    In 2012 we tested the viability of pad drilling. Pad drilling involves drilling multiple, deviated wells from one surface location.

    The benefits are:

    • concentrates up to eight wells on one pad (190m x 70m), instead of eight separate wells each 100m x 100m
    • greater distance between pads (up to 1.5km)
    • our presence (infrastructure and access by staff) concentrated within a smaller area
    • better fit with farming practices.

    Latest trials in 2013 are achieving up to nine wells on each pad.

    Pad drilling reduces the well and gathering systems footprint by 50%.

    drilling 

  • Spacing between wells maximised (between 800m - 1.5km)

    Reduced_Footprint

     

    On the left is an example of past grid patterns of wells, that are not always suitable for IFL.

    Arrow’s new layout (right) includes two multiple well pads, one single well pad and all infrastructure on the edges of paddocks.

    The new layouts use drilling innovations and flexibility in well placement.

    Through a commitment to pitless drilling, pad drilling and no major infrastructure on IFL, Arrow has reduced its footprint to less than 2% on IFL.
  • Pitless drilling only

    In the Surat Basin, we have successfully trialled six pitless drilling operations, including on black soil.

    Pitless drilling involves drilling without the need for an open pit.

    Instead, Arrow is moving to pitless drilling as a standard use, which means storing waste in portable, temporary tanks, rather than conventional pits.


     
    Old – traditional drilling

     
    New – pitless drilling

    Our six test wells have shown proven technology means better outcomes for the landholder and the environment:

    • no drilling waste is left behind 
    • drilling waste (mud and cuttings) can be used for compost 
    • less water is used during drilling
    • up to 75% of water used during drilling is recycled.


    In our trials, we added potassium sulphate to the drilling fluid, rather than the traditional potassium chloride. Potassium sulphate is commonly used in fertilisers, so the drilling mud can be reused as a soil enhancer.

    Arrow is exploring beneficial reuse of cuttings in site rehabilitation works and erosion and sediment control.

    Currently there is potential to use cuttings in commercial composting operations as a soil enhancer and reducing farmers' need for synthetic fertilisers.

    We are also testing ways to reduce soil compaction on farmland – important in preparing drilling sites. We’re looking at using heavy industrial matting, instead of geotextile topped with gravel.

    We will shortly showcase the latest pitless drilling demonstration on IFL at Arrow’s operating field at Tipton near Dalby.

    Arrow will make pitless drilling our standard method on IFL over the coming year.
  • No major infrastructure facilities on IFL (dams, compression stations, gas gathering stations, water treatment) 

  • Treated CSG water used to substitute existing users' allocations on IFL

    Beneficial use – substitution of allocation

    Arrow is committed to ensuring there is no impact to the viability of the Great Artesian Basin (GAB).

    There will be no produced water treatment facilities or brine disposal on IFL.

    In agreement with farmers, Arrow plans to use treated water to substitute farmers’ existing licensed bore water allocations, therefore reducing agriculture take from the Condamine Alluvium.

    Water balance

    Arrow does not take water from the Condamine Alluvium.

    Water is extracted from the Walloon Coal Measures as part of recovering the gas.

    This water will be treated and provided back to the farmers to allow them to reduce their use of Condamine Alluvium volumes.

    Arrow remains committed to ‘make good’ any impacts on individual water wells.

    Water loss from the Condamine Alluvium back to the Walloon coals due to interconnectivity of the aquifers is expected to be much less than the treated volumes provided to the Condamine Alluvium users.

    Hundreds of new water monitoring bores will be drilled over the coming years to ensure water balance is being maintained.

    *This commitment refers to the area of greatest predicted drawdown on the Condamine Alluvium resulting from CSG extraction by Arrow Energy.

  • No brine/salt treatment or disposal on IFL

    Coal seam water is slightly salty, containing about one-sixth the salt concentration of sea water.

    An estimated 3.5M tonnes of dry salt will be produced over 30 years (120,000 tonnes/year) in the Surat Basin.

    Arrow's commitment is to remove all the salt produced by its CSG operations.

    The EIS process identified a variety of possible salt disposal solutions. Arrow will not transport salt to Swanbank.

    Our preference is to refine it for beneficial use – such as table salt for the home, soda ash for industry and brine for chemical processes.

    Arrow is working with other CSG companies towards an industry solution to develop commercial markets for salt products.

  • Flexibility on power supply option – above or below ground

    • electrical power will be sourced from substation at compression facilities
    • no compression facilities on IFL
    • for underground power supply – use of the same corridor and common trenching with gas gathering pipelines
    • trench depth between 900mm and 1.2mm
    • committed to working with individual landholders on their individual needs
  • Fair compensation – including elements of 'added value'

    Arrow aims to build long-term positive working relationships with all landholders. We understand these relationships take time to develop and we are increasing our capacity to better meet landholder needs now and in the future.

    There has been some misconception over the magnitude of compensation. Indicatively, for a 600ha farm with a range of operational overlap of less than 2%, compensation over 20 years is as much as $1-1.5 million, however the figure depends on finalised layout/infrastructure.

     

  • Continued proactive engagements with community and transparency on coexistence field activities

    Arrow is committed to keeping the community informed about our existing and proposed coal seam gas activities.

    Since late 2009, our project teams have met with more than 2,600 stakeholders across 75 sessions throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

    In 2012, we significantly increased our efforts for local stakeholders to be involved in our projects, through creating Community Committees. We now have the Arrow Surat Community Reference Group and the Arrow Intensively Farmed Land Committee who help us understand and address landholder concerns.

    We have an ongoing commitment to engage with the community in the areas where we already produce gas as well as those areas where we have planned or current exploration activities. Frequently, our preference for community information sessions feature a formal presentation to provide an update on our developments, a question and answer session, and one-on-one time for community members with our senior staff.

Page last updated: 9 July 2014