'Gas seeps existed naturally prior to gas industry expansion'

GAS seeping from underground has shown up on historic surveys unearthed by the University of Southern Queensland and the GasFields Commission Queensland.

USQ acting dean of engineering and surveying approached government and research groups for information on "gas seepage" in Queensland's coal-rich areas.

Professor Raine said soil surveys during 1980s and 1990s and covering the Bowen, Galilee, Surat and other basins "measured low levels of non-toxic methane gas" from 10 to 240 parts per million.

Anywhere between 50,000 and 150,000 is flammable from the ground.

"These soil gas surveys demonstrate that landscape gas seeps did exist naturally prior to the recent expansion of the onshore gas industry in Queensland."

According to the GasFields Commission, it helped release the information in the spirit of being transparent in its role as a mediator between industry, government and the community.

More information on the data is available on the GasFields Commission Queensland website.