Applications For Gas Exploration Open Until 15 February 2019

Applications For Gas Exploration Open Until 15 February 2019

Victoria Minister for Resources Tim Pallas

Offshore Gas Exploration To Build Future Supply

Victor P Taffa

Andrews Government has today released 5 new oil and gas exploration blocks to help build long-term supply of gas for Victorian homes and businesses.

“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.” Minister for Resources Tim Pallas said.

“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.”

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.

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

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 sqkm, 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.

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

“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.

State 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 5 new blocks to carry out exploration activities. The closing date for applications is February 15, 2019.