PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Victorian government has released five new oil and gas exploration blocks in the offshore Otway basin, to assist in developing long-term natural gas supply.
The areas being released are near major existing producing gasfields, established infrastructure and underground gas storage, including the Otway Gas Processing Plant.
“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,” said Resources Minister Tim Pallas.
Companies can tender for the five new blocks before February 2019.
Pallas noted that the Geological Survey of Victoria believed that the offshore Otway basin has the highest potential for new discoveries of gas in Victoria.
An airborne gravity survey of the Otway basin will be conducted later this year, covering up to 30 000 km2, with data made available to explorers to help them discover offshore gas.
It is part of the government’s three-year Victorian Gas Programme which is using the latest technology and research methods to get the clearest picture yet of the state’s potential gas resources, 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.”
He noted that while the state government continued to encourage offshore gas exploration, the ban on fracking would remain in place.