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November 2020 SPE-SA/ PESA SA-NT Joint Technical Luncheon- Late Arrivals

Event Details
Event Date 27th Nov 2020
Time 12.00pm for 12.30pm start
Duration 2 hours
Registration Details
Closing Date 27th Nov 2020
Registrations Available 0
SPE Member $45.00 ea
Students $20.00 ea
General $65.00 ea
Online registration for this event has closed

Underground Coal Gasification- What is it and how does it produce Unconventional Gas?

John Centofanti- Leigh Creek Energy

Thursday 12th November 2020

Ayers House, 288 North Terrace, Adelaide

12:00 for 12:30 hrs

Please RSVP by COB Tuesday 10th November by registering for this event online.

$45 SPE & PESA members / $65 non-members / $20 student members


This presentation will give an introduction to Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) and its application in South Australia. The process has been around for a long time, but the inexpensive cost of oil and gas, along with the abundance and low cost of mining coal seams, has not made it an attractive option until now. With the demand for gas increasing and advances in directional drilling, UCG is becoming more attractive as a way of extracting unconventional gas from coal and at the same time lowering GHG emissions and reducing environmental impact to the landscape. UCG involves converting the underground in-situ coal into gas. The process is different to CSG (Coal Seam Gas), in that the UCG process converts the coal (a solid) into a gas, rich in methane, hydrogen and CO, rather than just liberating the methane trapped within the coal seam. This results in UCG producing approximately 20 times more gas than CSG for the same area and for the same well. Most of the world’s coal is inaccessible to mining and the practice of fracking is becoming less favorable to the general public. The mining and burning of coal also generates a large amount of GHG emissions. UCG has less environmental impact on the landscape and is safer than conventional coal mining. UCG trials conducted over the last few decades have shown that the technology works and produces good quality gas. As an added bonus, UCG does not require fracking of the coal or dewatering of the coal seam. This makes UCG more environmentally appealing to landowners and environmental groups. Leigh Creek Energy have recently completed a 5 month pilot trial in South Australia, at a depth of 500 m and proved that the process works safely, with no environmental impacts to the landscape, groundwater or air. The trial showed that the composition of the gas could be customised by varying the inputs of air and water. After 15 months post-PCD trial environmental monitoring of the surrounding wells, there is no evidence that any contaminants have migrated into the surrounding rocks or groundwater.


John Centofanti is Principal Geologist for Leigh Creek Energy (LCKE), where for the past two years he has been pivotal in supporting the company’s goal of developing it’s Flagship Leigh Creek Energy Project (LCEP). John has over 33 years’ experience in exploration, mining and resource modelling including 14 years’ experience in coal exploration, mining, resource modelling and processing. He has worked for BHP in both Iron Ore (WA) and Coal (Qld) and for RGC/Iluka in Mineral Sands in WA. For several years, he acted as a Competent Person for the reporting of coal resources to the ASX for 2 of BHP’s coal mines and for the reporting of fugitive GHG emissions from mining at one of BHP’s coal mines. John has had an interest in UCG for 8 years, before joining a UCG company 2 years ago to use his coal geology experience to pursue his interest in UCG. He is currently organizing a 3D seismic survey for Leigh Creek, which will be followed up with confirmation drilling once the seismic results are obtained.

Venue Ayers House
Address 288 North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000
Email functions@spe-sa.org