The final report from this inquiry will follow a very similar inquiry undertaken by the former Victorian Government, which failed to yield any impact despite recommending the development of unconventional gas in the state.
The 2013 report from the Gas Market Taskforce, led by former Howard Government minister Peter Reith, looked at issues surrounding the eastern Australian gas market, criticising scare campaigns surrounding hydraulic fracturing.
“The government is blocking a new industry being brought into existence with all the investment and jobs that go with it,” Mr Reith said in an interview with Gas Today.
NEW PROJECT HOPE
Meanwhile, there is a glimmer of hope for Victoria for new onshore gas projects, with Origin Energy proposing an onshore drilling program that will extract gas from offshore gas reservoirs to explore the Speculant prospect in Bass Strait’s Otway Basin.
The project will involve drilling two to four wells, subject to regulatory approvals, with drilling from a land base into offshore reservoirs using deviated/drilling technology, as well as the construction of two short sections
of pipeline which will be connected to an existing pipeline, allowing gas to be transported to an existing gas processing plant.
Elsewhere in Victoria, ExxonMobil subsidiary Esso Australia’s multi-billion dollar Kipper Tuna Turrum Project in Bass Strait is one of the largest domestic gas developments on the eastern seaboard.
The project, which began in 2013, completed its Turrum gas field drilling program in August 2015, drilling four gas wells and one oil well.