Earth Resources Regulation has issued nine improvement notices to a Gippsland licence holder, requiring it to improve maintenance and security at its onshore gas wells and sites.
Victoria’s resources regulator is taking action to ensure the safety of gas wells and infrastructure with the restarting of the onshore conventional gas sector, which lifted at the start of the month.
The nine notices requires Petro Tech to install secure fencing and gates on the properties, conduct service work on well heads, clean the sites of rubbish and weeds, and to remove equipment not associated with onshore conventional gas operations.
The nine wells were inspected by the regulator using specialist gas leak detection equipment. None of the wells were found to be leaking, with the licence holder having until September 10, 2021 to resolve the issues.
Earth Resources Regulation will work with the licence holder to ensure that all matters are addressed.
Should the company fail to resolve the matters in the notices it could face penalties of up to $392,000 and the possibility of further action.
Since the 2020 announcement of the lifting of the onshore conventional gas moratorium, the regulator has inspected all licenced sites and more than 70 wells to ensure compliance with existing safeguards and assist authority holders to prepare for new industry regulations.
Earth Resources Regulation executive director Anthony Hurst said it will step in to ensure companies meet the stringent safety standards for onshore gas equipment and infrastructure.
“We need onshore gas operators to be accountable and meet their responsibilities, this will underpin the onshore conventional gas sector as it progressively restarts,” he said.
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