MEInetwork19 Seminar: Unconventional Natural Gas

Singapore Theatre,
Melbourne School of Design
University of Melbourne,
Parkville VICĀ 3052


More Information

Ruby Brown

T: +61 3 9035 3641

Australia is well-endowed with natural energy resources. In spite of this, the security and reliability of Australia’s energy resources has increasingly been submitted to public scrutiny in recent years. Issues including cost of supply (including electricity pricing), the need for emission reductions and environmental concerns such as fracture stimulation (‘fraccing’) and groundwater contamination have been at the forefront of the national energy debate.

The first part of this seminar will provide an introduction to unconventional oil and gas in Australia including how they are defined, how extensive some of these are and where they are located, and briefly discuss some aspects regarding the challenges associated with developing them.

The second part of this seminar will review the production process for coal seam gas and how this relates to the developing area of shale gas production in Australia.

Coal seam gas accounts for one-third of Australian gas production and two-thirds of east coast gas production with Australia now being the world’s largest coal seam gas producer. Coal seams have a number of unique characteristics as gas reservoirs with gas storage through adsorption being a key aspect. They are also naturally fractured with dual porosity which sensitive to changes in the effective stress.


Karen Higgins has 20 years’ experience working for Geoscience Australia as a petroleum geologist since graduating from the Australian National University. During this time she has worked on all of Australia’s offshore basins, and quite a few onshore, planned and conducted marine surveys and worked on defining Australia’s conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon potential.

Following graduation from the University of Otago, Bridgette Lewis has worked at Geoscience Australia for eleven years in a diverse range of specialties including petroleum, geothermal, groundwater, and international engagement. Currently she is the Energy Advice team leader, and has recently had a special focus on evaluating unconventional petroleum plays.

Luke Connell is a Group Leader in the Onshore Gas program within CSIRO Energy based in Melbourne, Australia. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Queensland. Before joining CSIRO in 2003 he was Senior Lecturer in Hydrogeology with the Department of Geological Sciences, University College London. Since joining CSIRO he has worked on a wide variety of unconventional reservoir engineering projects related to gas production, gas safety during coal mining, fugitive emissions during coal mining and geological storage of CO2.

About MEInetwork19 Seminar Series

Six seminars running from May to September will take participants through the natural gas supply chain. Specialists from industry and the University of Melbourne will present on the current state and future of Australian natural gas supply, transport, use and export. Attendance is open to MEInetwork19 partner organisations and graduate students. Following the seminars, participants and speakers will have the opportunity for further discussion and networking over food and drinks.

Process to Register

Participation is open to employees of our partner organisations and University of Melbourne graduate students. Register here.

If your organisation would like to partner with MEInetwork19, please contact Ruby Brown via

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