Offshore Gas Exploration To Build Future Supply

16 May 2018

The Andrews Labor Government has today released five new oil and gas exploration blocks to help build long-term supply of gas for Victorian homes and businesses.

The blocks are all located in the offshore Otway Basin in State waters (up to 3 nautical miles off the coast) extending from Port Campbell to the South Australian border and are part of the national 2018 Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release.

The Geological Survey of Victoria believes that the offshore Otway Basin has the highest potential for new discoveries of gas in Victoria.

The areas being released are near major existing producing gas fields, established infrastructure and underground gas storage, including the Otway Gas Processing Plant.

Today’s release follows Cooper Energy’s commencement of drilling by the Ocean Monarch rig - the first well drilled to develop a new gas field offshore from Victoria since 2012, and the awarding to Cooper Energy of a new exploration permit in the Gippsland Basin.

An airborne gravity survey of the Otway Basin will also be conducted later this year, covering up to 30,000 square kilometres, with data made available to explorers to help them discover offshore gas.

It is part of the Government’s three-year Victorian Gas Program which is using the latest technology and research methods to get the clearest picture yet of the state’s potential gas resources.

While we continue to encourage offshore gas exploration, only Labor will keep the ban on fracking, which puts farmers first and protects their world-class produce and our environment.

Victoria has immense offshore resources to supply the east coast market, with only half of the gas processed in this state used by Victorian households and businesses.

The Government supports a domestic gas reserve and expects Australian domestic consumers to be given the first reasonable offer to buy any new gas that is discovered from the acreage release.

Companies can tender for the five new blocks to carry out exploration activities. The closing date for applications is February 15, 2019.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Resources Tim Pallas

“Many Victorian homes and businesses rely on gas and we support new exploration and development of our vast offshore gas resources to ensure long-term supply.”

“We’re focussed on the future and planning ahead to ensure Victoria, and the east coast market, has the gas we need to support our growing population and economy.”

“It’s time the Turnbull Government backed our call for a domestic gas reserve so Australian gas goes to Australian households and businesses.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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