Underground Coal Gasification Banned

A ban on underground coal gasification (UCG) in Queensland is now the letter of the law, following the successful passage of legislation in Parliament this week.


UCG involves converting coal to a synthesized gas by burning coal underground. The syngas is processed on surface to create products such as aviation fuels and synthetic diesel.

It is a vastly different process to coal seam gas production, which is successfully managed in Queensland within the regulatory framework.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham says while creating jobs for regional Queenslanders and boosting the economy is a priority for the Government, the risks that UCG posed outweighed any potential positives.

“In 2009, the Queensland Government established a process for three companies to trial UCG operations on a small scale.”

“Issues associated with two of the three trial projects and the uncertainty about commercial scale operations, have highlighted significant risks with this industry which are just not acceptable.”

The Minister says Queensland prides itself on the stringent environmental, health and safety standards.