Victoria Awards Gas Permits to Beach, Bridgeport
The government of the Australian state of Victoria has granted permits to Beach Energy and Bridgeport Energy to explore for gas in state waters near Portland and Port Campbell, the government said on July 13.
If initial exploration is successful, the government said it expects up to A$85mn (US$59mn) to flow into the economy. These offshore gas resources can be accessed from onshore without disturbing the marine environment, it added. Any gas discovered will be prioritised for domestic use, boosting the state’s energy supply and security.
“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,” the government said.
The Victorian gas programme has recently identified potentially significant onshore conventional gas resources, particularly in the Otway basin. Onshore unconventional gas including fracking is permanently banned in Victoria.
“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,” minister for resources Jaclyn Symes said. “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 government said that gas will continue to play an important role in supporting Victoria’s transition to a cleaner energy future, in line with its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.