Oil and Gas News

Victoria faces gas production barriers

Otway offshore

Offshore Victorian gas output is set to decline rapidly from around 2023 due to southern Australia edging closer to its production supply cliff.

Outlined in EnergyQuest’s December quarterly report, production offshore Victoria, which supplies not only Victoria but also Tasmania and a substantial share of New South Wales and South Australian demand, is forecast to decline from around 2023.

“It might be later, like 2024, but it might also be earlier like 2022. It depends on when one of the two remaining Gippsland legacy fields waters out. Otway Basin production is already declining,” the report stated.

“Moreover, Cooper Basin production, which is also important for NSW and South Australia, is expected to start declining around 2026.”

EnergyQuest expects that additional gas supplies are urgently needed for the southern states, particularly Victoria, where gas is predominantly used for manufacturing and commercial purposes.

A public inquiry into AGL’s proposed Crib Point project commenced in September and is due to continue until December 17.

The project has drawn a record number of objections, notwithstanding the dire outlook for gas supply in the southern states. The inquiry is due to report to the Victorian planning minister within 30 days of the final day of hearings, by February 24, after which the minister has 20 days to make a decision.

Inquiry Chairman Kathy Mitchell previously said, “it is not the number of times we hear the same issue but the veracity and impact of that issue”.

Crib Point is one of two proposed LNG import projects in Victoria. Viva Energy continues to accelerate work on its LNG gas terminal project at Geelong.

In addition, Australia’s plans for a world-scale green hydrogen export industry received a flood of support over the past quarter from global investors, Japanese energy heavyweights and federal and state governments.

The most startling development was a switch by the proponents of the Asian renewable energy hub in the Pilbara from a 15 GW renewable power project to a 23 GW green hydrogen and ammonia export project and 3 GW domestic electricity project.

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