It has long been understood that there are vast coal reserves in the Murray Darling Basin, (at least as far out as Mildura).
Thing is, those coal reserves have never been regarded as "viable" for mining.
Now someone is floating the idea of developing a 2nd generation Methane exploration system, based upon techniques seemingly proven in the USA.
This is NOT good news for these regions (if anything like the disruption which has occurred in QLD and northern NSW is any guide).
Be prepared to read into the fuller report (linked), to find out what it might mean for you - South Australia, Victoria (Gippsland, Otway as well as Murray Regions) and southern NSW.
'Second Generation' methane exploration - based on biologically-generated gas in relatively shallow, low-rank coals, and prompted by the phenomenal production from the Powder River Basin of the USA - is barely a year old in Australia. Within this timeframe, however, such exploration is already showing encouraging signs for commercial success, and ACM is at the forefront of this work following recent discoveries in NSW.
Tertiary coals of southeastern Australia, especially in the populous states of New South Wales and Victoria, constitute particularly attractive, shallow gas targets. Hosting enormous coal resources, these areas are only just beginning to receive attention.
Outside of the Gippsland Basin, the greatest potential for onshore early Tertiary coal in Australia probably lies in the Murray Basin of NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The Murray is a very large basin of about 300,000 km2 (compared with some 74,000 km2 for the Powder River Basin), comprising Tertiary and Cainozoic sediments. The eastern Murray Basin of NSW and northern Victoria with its extensive Tertiary coal development constitutes an important but until recently untested Powder River Basin analogue. Early work by ACM and an associated company has already defined a large area of gas-charged early Tertiary sediments in this basin, where the companies have more than 50,000 km2 of contiguous tenure.
Demonstrating that biogenic gas is not confined to younger coals, ACM has also discovered substantial volumes of biogenic methane from shallow Permian coal seam aquifers in its Gunnedah Basin tenure of northern NSW.
Coincidentally, Somerton Energy has claimed various leases along the Victorian "Otway" coast and offshore regions, and in South Australia.
Can hardly say "cheers" can I?