Climate Council launches interactive gas map

The Climate Council's interactive gas map
Screenshot of the Climate Council's interactive gas map

With 28 per cent of Australia’s landmass either in the process of having gas extracted or is being eyed up for future exploration, the Climate Council has launched an interactive gas map that allows Australians to see which gas projects are existing, underway or planned in their area.

“Increasing gas exploration and extraction does not stack up from an environmental perspective, from a health perspective nor an economic perspective,” said Climate Council spokeswoman Dr Madeline Taylor.

She told news.com.au it was “shocking” just how much of Australia was in sight of gas companies.

Related article: APPEA, industry decry NSW gas development call

“Gas is a polluting fossil fuel that is bad news on many fronts: it’s driving climate change, worsening asthma in children, driving up power bills and is increasingly unnecessary as Australia transitions to cleaner, cheaper sources of power.”

This is strongly disputed by oil and gas industry body APPEA, with a spokesperson saying “none of the health claims stand up”, and the Climate Council’s claims were “fearmongering rubbish from activists who continue to operate in a fact-free zone”.

Th Climate Council’s interactive gas map pulls together information from each Australian state and territory to identify which parts of the country have been handed over to gas companies for exploration.

The areas on this map are called ‘tenements’—locations that governments have provided or are considering providing to gas companies to look for and produce gas. You can identify the three different tenements on this map using the key and the colours.

There are three broad categories of tenements shown on this interactive gas map:

  • Exploration permits (pink): These are areas where gas companies have been given a fixed period of time to search for gas and drill exploratory wells.
  • Retention leases (red): These are areas that gas companies have reserved the right to develop in the future but are not currently being searched for gas.
  • Production licences (blue): These are areas where gas companies have permission to actively produce gas for sale. In most cases, production licences last for decades, enabling them to operate until they run out of gas.

There are also two other areas shown on this map:

  • Applications (purple): These are areas that gas companies have asked the government for the rights to explore or produce gas. A government will either reject or approve these applications.
  • Release areas (green): These are areas the government is offering to gas companies to bid for the rights to explore for gas. This process is called an ‘acreage release’. 

Related article: Japan’s revised energy targets leaves our gas industry hanging

This interactive gas map focuses on gas exploration and does not include all gas infrastructure. This includes pipelines, power stations and liquified gas export and import facilities, whether planned or existing.

You can search this map by typing in your suburb, town or postcode in the search box in the top right hand corner. As you zoom into the map, you will be able to see the tenement name and the names of the companies that are searching for gas.

The interactive gas map was developed by Martin von Wyss of vW Maps Pty Ltd.