ARROW ENERGY GROUNDWATER MODELLING INFORMATION. October 2011

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1 ARROW ENERGY GROUNDWATER MODELLING INFORMATION October 2011

2 GROUNDWATER MODELLING PRESENTATION SUMMARY What is groundwater modelling? What did the peer review say? What were the predictions from the model? What are we doing to understand more? 2

3 3

4 Objectives What are groundwater models? What do we mean by: conceptual model water balance numerical groundwater flow model Calibration Prediction and uncertainty 4

5 First, a refresher Groundwater occurs in pores and fractures in rock and soil. Aquifers are layers that transmit groundwater, mainly horizontally. Aquitards impede the movement of groundwater. Flow in aquitards is mainly vertical. Groundwater flow is driven by differences in head, which is a measure of potential energy The rate of flow of groundwater is controlled by hydraulic conductivity, which can be different in different directions. 5

6 Aquifers, aquitards, pressure, head water table elevation piezometric head Water table Alluvium Shale (aquitard) Groundwater flows due to differences in head 6

7 What is a groundwater model? A groundwater model is a representation in computer software of a regional scale hydrogeological system: based on a complete description of the natural system (geometry, material properties, recharge etc.) including proposed changes (e.g. pumping) with which we can predict water levels, piezometric heads and flows in space and time 7

8 Purpose of modelling Modelling is the only methodology that allows us predict future behaviour Models can have different levels of detail ( complexity ) To illustrate or explain To predict potential environmental impacts To predict short-term operational response (an aquifer simulator ) 8

9 Stages in modelling 1. Conceptual model Sketch how a hydrogeological system is believed to work 2. Mathematical model Use equations to represent the physics of groundwater flow 3. Numerical model Convert to a form suitable for computers 9

10 Conceptual model The first stage in understanding a hydrogeological system is the development of a conceptual model Regional geology, including faults and shear zones Layering, and hydrostratigraphy Hydrogeological properties (S y, S 0, K h, K v ) Recharge, pumping, rivers, streams Initial heads 10

11 Water balance numerical model Consider a small volume of aquifer or aquitard: Q out Q in Q in Q out Water balance allows us to compute h(x,y,z,t) at any time Q out Q in

12 Calibration versus prediction Important distinction between simulating the past and the future Past Present Future Calibration: adjust parameters until simulated heads match historical observations Prediction: simulate future behaviour 12

13 Calibration Contour plot Time series plot 13

14 Results of Peer Review The conceptual hydrogeological model is supported by a detailed geological model Some aspects of calibration are very good Predicted impacts are of the right order of magnitude Consistent with models developed by other CSG proponents Model needs to evolve from an impact assessment model towards an aquifer simulator 14

15 Recommendations Some aspects require further testing/refinement: Representation of regional faults Representation of connections between key hydrostratigraphic units Representation of recharge and evapotranspiration 15

16 SURAT GAS PROJECT EIS GROUNDWATER MODELLING October 2011

17 ARROW ENERGY OVERVIEW Scope of groundwater impact assessment Key assumptions Projected groundwater abstractions from Walloon Coal Measures Modelled impacts of depressurisation Proposed mitigation measures and studies 17

18 ARROW ENERGY SCOPE OF GROUNDWATER IMPACT ASSESSMENT Develop a regional groundwater model based on most accurate data Calibration to the best available data Predict groundwater abstraction that simulates the operations of Arrow and other CSG proponents Area 120,000 km 2 15 layers To understand the resilience of groundwater systems and how they will recover 1.8 million cells 18

19 ARROW ENERGY KEY ASSUMPTIONS Deeper aquifers Comprise extensive thicknesses of consolidated rock Mainly sub-artesian through project study area Recharged through infiltration along Great Dividing Range Condamine Alluvium Forms a surface unconfined aquifer in some parts of the basin Recharged mainly from Condamine River seepage Groundwater movement Movement of groundwater will occur based upon the properties of the aquifers and aquitards. 19

20 ARROW ENERGY ABSTRACTION VOLUMES Groundwater abstraction from coal measures (Walloons) Arrow Surat Gas Project only Model development scenarios for proposed CSG projects Arrow only 25GL/yr Condamine 40~60 GL/yr allocated Walloons 7~13 GL/yr allocated Arrow, Origin, QGC & Santos Projects (cumulative) Aquifers influenced by multiple CSG projects. 20

21 COAL SEAM AQUIFERS (WALLOON COAL MEASURES) Peak impact in 2024 with recovery occurring as abstraction winds down With no mitigation

22 COAL SEAM AQUIFERS (WALLOON COAL MEASURES) 22 Recovery occurring as abstraction winds down With no mitigation

23 INTERMEDIATE AQUIFERS (SPRINGBOK SANDSTONE) Peak drawdown of 40 to 50 m Recovery so that drawdown is generally reduced to 20 m by 2061 With no mitigation 23

24 DEEP AQUIFERS (HUTTON SANDSTONE) Peak drawdown of 50 to 75 m Recovery to 20 to 30 m by 2061 With no mitigation 24

25 DEEP AQUIFERS (PRECIPICE SANDSTONE) Peak drawdown of 30 to 40 m in 2042 Recovery to 20 to 30 m by 2061 With no mitigation 25

26 ARROW ENERGY STUDIES TO ADDRESS POTENTIAL IMPACTS Preventative Measures Recovery Actions Replace water supply Monitor changes in groundwater vs predictions Substitute Inject Impaired capacity? Modify pump Lower pump Deepen bore New bore 26

27 SHALLOW AQUIFERS (CONDAMINE ALLUVIUM) Cumulative impact of all CSG proponents without mitigation Maximum incremental impact in 2065 of ~2.5m (potential uncertainty range of 1 to 4 m) Impact in western portion of Condamine Alluvium With no mitigation

28 CONDAMINE ALLUVIUM HIGH LEVEL STUDIES Substitution to maintain water balance Past Future? Recharge GL/yr 1 36 GL/yr 2 Landholder off-take 46.4 GL/yr 1 Recharge GL/yr 1 36 GL/yr 2 Net off-take after substitution < 46.4 GL/yr? Alluvium Alluvium CSG Leakage Average of 1.8 GL/y A cumulative volume of 90 GL by DERM 2010, central Condamine Alluvium data availability review 2. CSIRO 2008, upper Condamine groundwater model calibration report

29 CONDAMINE ALLUVIUM DETAILED STUDIES CONNECTIVITY TO THE WALLOON COAL MEASURES Monitor: Abstractions in the Condamine Responses in water levels Alluvium Underlying coal measures Geochemistry including: Naturally occurring Isotopes: Rn 222, Kr, Sr, Ar, delta O18 CFC, SF6 Anion/cation ratios Monitor abstraction from bores Measurement within Alluvium Isotope and isotope/ion ratios to assess mixing of waters The rate of exchange can be used in future model simulations Measurement at base of Alluvium and below 29

30 HIGH LEVEL STUDIES OTHER AQUIFERS Modelling expanding calibration datasets & including allocations for aquifer simulation modelling substitution & injection scenarios uncertainty analysis Analysis of model predictions to 90-95% confidence intervals assess both the rate of change and the scale of future changes via hypothesis testing 30

31 DETAILED STUDIES OTHER AQUIFERS Hydrochemistry Use of hydrochemistry and isotope hydrology to test hydraulic connectivity between aquifers and Walloon Coal Measures Connectivity studies of Walloons and intermediate and deep aquifers via hydraulic testing Deep injection - Tipton injection study scanning electron microscope results 31

32 HUTTON SANDSTONE SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE IMAGES PP = pore space K = kaolinite PP PP K K 32

33 PRECIPICE SANDSTONE SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE IMAGES PP = pore space QO = quartz QO PP 33

34 SUMMARY Initial Impact Assessment Model results completed for EIS Aquifer Simulation Model for mitigation scenarios in preparation Field studies are progressing to support mitigation development Overarching mitigation measure planning is progressing 34

35 35 Questions

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