Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt has welcomed news from Esso Australia and its Gippsland Basin Joint Venture Partner that one of the largest domestic gas projects of the past decade is delivering more gas for the east coast domestic market.
The $400 million West Barracouta development is tapping into one of the largest proven undeveloped gas fields in the offshore Gippsland Basin.
“I congratulate Esso and BHP on bringing this important project to fruition and their continued investment and confidence in the potential of offshore gas in south east Australia,” Minister Pitt said.
“This project will not only help the east coast to avert a potential gas shortfall from around 2023-24, but it assists in ensuring that the Gippsland Basin continues to be a major source of gas for the east coast domestic market over the rest of this decade.
“While some of the glory days of oil and gas production from the Bass Strait may be behind us, there is still oil and gas to be discovered and developed.
“The West Barracouta project along with recent successes by companies including Beach Energy and Cooper Energy adds to an optimistic picture of gas development in the Bass Strait and the reality of the Coalition Government plans for a gas-led recovery.
“The best way to increase competition in the gas market and to bring down prices is to bring on new gas supplies close to demand centres and by using existing infrastructure. This is exactly what Esso and BHP are doing at West Barracouta.
“The Coalition Government is supporting the gas industry. If the Victorian Government is serious about ensuring long-term gas supplies for its manufacturers, they should follow the examples of Queensland and the Northern Territory by unlocking offshore and onshore gas potential in the state and remove its ban on unconventional gas exploration.
“As we continue the economic recovery from COVID-19, the gas sector is delivering energy security, jobs and business opportunities for Australia.
“The Coalition Government is leading the way in bringing on new gas supplies – states and territories need to get on board,” Minister Pitt said.