PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Victorian government has awarded two new gas exploration permits off the state’s south-west coast, allowing Beach Energy and Bridgeport Energy to explore for gas.
Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes on Monday said that if initial exploration is successful, up to A$85-million could flow into the economy, contributing to further investment in the region and new local jobs.
The benefits will be magnified if the new exploration leads to additional gas supply.
“We’re encouraging safe and sensible gas exploration that brings jobs and investment to our regions as well as additional supply for homes and businesses to keep the lights on and their houses warm,” said Symes.
“This industry interest backs the extensive geoscience of the Victorian gas programme, showing there’s a good chance of boosting local gas supply while maintaining protection of our precious natural environment.”
The offshore gas resources can be accessed from onshore without any disturbance of the marine environment.
Beach Energy and Bridgeport Energy are also required to work closely with the commercial fishing industry, local communities and government bodies along the south-west coast as they conduct their exploration programmes.
The new permits are on the doorstep of an existing offshore gas industry including Beach Energy’s existing Halladale-Speculant facility and their highly promising Enterprise exploration project. The area also hosts Lochard Energy’s Iona gas plant, which is integral to ensure consistent and reliable supply during the colder months, said Symes.
The new exploration permits are further good news for local jobs and investment in the south-west following the recent confirmation of the restart of the onshore conventional gas industry in 2021.
Any new gas found will be prioritised for domestic use, boosting the state’s energy supply and security.