Earth Resources Regulation has granted an authority to Lattice Energy to progress its new Enterprise Project involving drilling from onshore to explore for more gas off the south west coast, near Port Campbell.
Drilling from land to access offshore gas is tried and tested, it has proved successful at Lattice’s nearby Halladale–Speculant site, which has produced gas since 2016. Lattice is a subsidiary of Australian company Beach Energy.
Drilling from land to explore for offshore gas involves drilling deep under the ocean floor using a technique called extended reach drilling, which avoids any impact on the marine environment.
Lattice Energy has identified a suitable land area for its work after entering an agreement with a local landholder. The company will need to submit detailed operational plans before final approval to start drilling at the Enterprise site is granted.
Lattice’s Enterprise Project is expected to bring a minimum $50 million investment and in the event of a successful well the expenditure would increase significantly. Throughout the life of the drilling project, it is expected there will be up to 90 workers on site.
Earth Resources Regulation will ensure that safety and environmental safeguards are in place and will monitor the project’s progress into the future.
This regulatory approval is consistent with the Victorian Government’s policy to encourage further exploration and development of offshore gas to meet the needs of Victorian households and businesses, and support jobs.
Earth Resources Regulation is also assessing tenders to explore for gas in five offshore areas in state waters. The explorers’ technical and financial capability, along with past performance in Australia and overseas will be assessed.
The Victorian Gas Program is working to deliver a better picture of the state’s potential gas resources, with findings to help inform future decisions about potential onshore conventional gas exploration, currently under a moratorium until 30 June 2020.
As noted by Executive Director, Earth Resources Regulation, Anthony Hurst:
“This approval is part of the regulatory process towards Lattice Energy drilling from land to access offshore gas, using a method that does not impact the marine environment.”
“Lattice Energy can now proceed to seek final approvals and continue to engage closely with the local community to keep them updated with onsite activities.”
“We will ensure that Lattice Energy fulfils its regulatory obligations to protect people and the environment.”