The Andrews Labor Government is taking the search for future offshore gas resources to new heights by using hi-tech aircraft for aerial gravity surveying.
Minister for Resources Tim Pallas announced the initiative today during an opening address to the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne.
The surveying is part of the $42.5 million Victorian Gas Program, which will produce a clear picture of the state’s prospective onshore and offshore gas resources, as well as options for underground gas storage.
From next year, airborne gravity data will be collected using a specially-equipped aircraft that will fly as low as 80 metres above the sea surface, allowing the aircraft to collect the highest quality data.
The data will then be used by geologists to detect rock structures deep inside the earth, while a gravity meter will help detect changes in gravity and rock density.
This aerial work will provide new geoscientific data to identify areas off the Victorian coast that are prospective for offshore gas.
The Minister also announced plans to further strengthen offshore gas exploration – specifically in the Otway geological basin – by advancing plans to release offshore areas for commercial exploration next year.
Discussions with industry are imminent and the release will help promote more commercial gas exploration and development before the end of next year.
Meanwhile, the Turnbull Government continues to ignore repeated requests to partner with the Victorian Gas Program.
It has also failed to act on its report into the Offshore South East Australia Future Gas Supply Study which was due for public release in August.
Victoria calls on the Commonwealth to show leadership and partner with the state in an expanded offshore geoscience program.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Resources Tim Pallas
“The Victorian Gas Program is using the very best technology and research methods to get the clearest possible picture of the state’s gas resources.”
“Instead of attacking Victoria and threatening GST cuts – the Turnbull Government should partner with us on this important work.”
“While the Commonwealth dithers, we’re not wasting a minute getting the answers we need on gas.”