$400m for More Gas in Gippsland

The offshore rig at West Tuna will receive new compression units as part of the proposal.

Gippsland’s gas industry is hoping to increase its production amid an expected shortfall.

Under the proposal, the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture will be extracting and refining additional gas resources from the Bass Strait.

The announcement was made in a media release by ExxonMobil Australia, the parent company of Esso Australia, one of the Venture’s operators.

Esso Australia plans to invest up to $400 million as part of the proposal, which will go toward installing new compression units on offshore rigs to extract more gas from the Kipper field.

It is estimated that an additional 200 petajoules of gas will be delivered over the next five years, with 30 petajoules to come online in 2023.

The GBJV currently delivers approximately 230 petajoules of gas per year.

ExxonMobil Australia chair Dylan Pugh said that Esso continues to invest to deliver reliable and affordable Gippsland gas to Australian homes and businesses.

“Our ongoing investment and commitment to supplying Australian customers means that the Gippsland Basin remains the largest single source of natural gas for Australia’s east coast,” Mr Pugh said.

“There is still plenty of gas remaining in Bass Strait and we are working hard to unlock its full value.

“More investment will be required for Victoria to maintain its reliable supply of natural gas, especially during winter.”

The decision to expand operations has been made in response to a report by the Australian Energy Market Operator, released March last year.

The Gas Statement of Opportunities report identified “scarcity risks” in the short-term for Victoria, with a major gas supply source expected to be depleted by winter 2023.

The Longford Gas Plant, which refines gas as part of the GBJV, currently supplies 80 per cent of Victoria’s gas needs.