Onshore gas exploration restarts in Victoria
The onshore conventional gas explorations sector has restarted in the Australian state of Victoria from July 1. The government had lifted the moratorium on onshore gas exploration last year.
The restart follows three years of detailed scientific investigations by the Victorian Gas Programme. It found an onshore conventional gas industry would not compromise Victoria’s environment or our vital agricultural sector.
South-west Victoria and Gippsland are the main regions set to benefit, where geoscience studies have located potentially significant onshore conventional gas resources, the government said earlier this year.
Australia’s peak oil and gas body Appea said the planned and scheduled lifting on the restrictions on onshore gas development will mean Victoria may once again become an energy powerhouse.
Appea Victorian director Ashley Wells said the original ban on a proven, safe and highly regulated industry didn’t make sense and meant that Victorians have had to rely on other states to solve their gas supply issues.
“Victoria has abundant local onshore resources but for years has rather imported gas from other states. Incredibly, it has even considered importing it from overseas with the planned import terminal,” Wells said.
The Victorian government in March this year, however, banned fracking forever, enshrining the ban in its constitution. It said that fracking poses risk to the farming and tourism sectors. The ban on fracking was first imposed in 2017.