Australia Pacific LNG seeks massive expansion of polluting gas drilling

16 April 2021

Scientists have been clear that meeting the Paris Agreement’s climate goals means no expansion of the polluting gas industry.[1] Yet one of Australia’s largest and most polluting gas export projects, Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG), is seeking approval to drill up to 7,700 new gas wells across central and south-west Queensland.[2]

Over its lifetime, APLNG’s polluting gas expansion would enable the release of 223 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 41% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.[3] These are emissions our climate simply cannot afford.

In February 2019, ANZ, NAB and Westpac together loaned a whopping US$370 million for APLNG to use over the next 7 years.

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APLNG is owned by three major climate-wrecking gas and oil companies; Origin Energy, ConocoPhillips and Sinopec.

In 2015, each of Australia’s major banks promised to support the Paris Agreement, yet they’ve continued funding projects and companies expanding the fossil fuel industry such as APLNG’s operator Origin Energy.

The creation of new gas fields on the doorstep of some of Queensland’s most beautiful natural parks would threaten local wildlife, including six already endangered ecological communities.

If approved, the up to 7,700 new gas wells would each require 1.5 hectares of clearing, plus pipelines, processing plants, and other infrastructure. Communities already suffering from years of drought would be forced to contend with a corporate giant for water access and a landscape cleared for gas wells.

Take a moment to tell your bank enough is enough—no more funding expansion of the gas industry!

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[1] Australia’s Chief Scientist is wrong on gas, say leading experts

[2] Gas consortium seeks approval to drill 7,700 wells in Queensland, including near national parks

[3] According to ‘Origin Energy Gas Supply Security Project, MNES Assessment Report (Part 2)’ (p.231), Scope 1 lifetime greenhouse gas emissions from the project are estimated to be 42 Mt CO2-e, while Scope 2 lifetime emissions are estimated at 128.1 Mt CO2-e.

Regarding emissions generated by combustion of the gas produced by the project, Market Forces estimated these as follows:

According to ‘Origin Energy Gas Supply Security Project, MNES Assessment Report (Part 1)’ (p.3): “Based on current appraisal data, production from 2P reserves and 2C resources for the Project is expected to be 453.6 PJ and 591.7 PJ respectively.”

This means the project is anticipated to produce 1045.3 petajoules (PJ) of gas, which is equivalent to 1,045,300,000 GJ of gas. According to the Australian Government’s ‘National Greenhouse Accounts Factors (October 2020)’, combusting 1 GJ of gas releases 51.53 kg CO2-e. Therefore, combusting 1045.3 PJ of gas would release 53,864,309,000 kg CO2-e or 53 Mt CO2-e.

42 + 128.1 + 53 = 223 Mt CO2-e.

Australian Government figures show the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions for the calendar year 2019 were 532.5 Mt CO2-e. The 223 Mt CO2-e that would be enabled by APLNG’s gas expansion represents 41% of this.