ORIGIN has signed an agreement with GB Energy to buy all natural gas produced from GB Energy’s Golden Beach field, in the offshore Gippsland Basin.
Origin has also entered into a foundation storage contract if GB Energy transitions the reservoir into an underground storage facility after production.
GB Energy has estimated the field will produce up to 50 petajoules over three years, and is expected to begin production in 2021 or 2022, with the gas to be supplied at a fixed price to Origin.
Origin energy supply executive general manager Greg Jarvis said the gas industry was working to meet customer demand by developing new gas resources which built supply capacity into the future.
“Origin is focused on strategic opportunities to grow its gas portfolio and on securing enhanced flexibility to direct more gas when needed for use as energy or as feedstock for manufacturing,” he said.
“Underpinning this development has provided an exciting opportunity to provide flexible, cost effective gas supply to support Australian business.”
GB Energy chief executive Tim Baldwin said he was delighted to put in place agreements for the supply of gas and long-term provision of gas storage services from the Golden Beach project.
“These agreements are a critical step in progressing the development of the project that is expected to become a key piece of infrastructure for the east coast gas market,” he said.
“Origin’s ability to tailor the arrangements to underpin the transition to gas storage provides a key pillar in the successful development of this important project.”
Proponents say the gas field is likely to produce about 40 to 80 terajoules of gas per day, with a production life of about three to four years before the gas is depleted.
However the ultimate goal is the ability to store natural gas after the reservoir is depleted.
Proponents say there are numerous hurdles to clear before the proposal becomes reality, but if it does, it will eventually provide a first for the Victorian east coast by allowing for a reservoir for gas storage for the market, which can be drawn down during “commercially opportune periods” which often occur at peak times in winter and summer.
The field is just three to four kilometres from the shoreline between Golden Beach and Glomar Beach, but there won’t be an offshore platform.
The main opportunity for jobs will be during the pipeline construction phase of the project, but there will also be ongoing work at the processing plant and work checking on pipelines and maintaining equipment such as compressors.
Proponents say there would also be spin-off economic benefits for accommodation and meal providers.
However, it is unclear how many jobs would be created.
The project is not part of the CarbonNet project,which is investigating the potential for establishing a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage network off Golden Beach.