For decades offshore gas has been providing affordable and reliable heating to households and our processing industries across the state.
The Sole Gas Field will soon come into production to boost overall production and provide the equivalent gas to power a city the size of Geelong annually.
Cooper Energy is now preparing for production to step up in April having gained final regulatory approval to commence production activities.
Earth Resources Regulation has worked closely with Cooper Energy and under joint authority with the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator.
Cooper were able to utilise horizontal directional drilling to reduce any impact on the coastal environment to link the field 40km from land to APA’s Orbost Gas Processing Plant.
This new production from Commonwealth Waters will be the first new producing offshore gas field in Bass Strait since 2012.
When up and running, the Sole Gas Field will produce around 7.5% of the gas processed in Victoria each year. Victoria uses around two-thirds of the gas processed in the state; the rest supplies the East Coast Market.
A number of local contract services will be ongoing following construction, in addition to direct, ongoing new jobs expected with Cooper Energy and APA, around half of which will be locally based.
The Sole Gas Field is part of the Gippsland Basin. It does not relate to fracking or coal seam gas which were banned in Victoria in 2017.
As stated by Executive Director Earth Resources Anthony Hurst:
“It’s important that gas infrastructure, which supports the heating of two million or so Victorian households, is safe and reliable.”
“In collaboration with our Commonwealth counterpart, we take our role of regulating projects like this extremely seriously and we never lose sight of our responsibilities to protect the environment and safeguard the community.”
“Locals may see more activity around the Orbost site including flaring, which is the burning of gas. Flaring is an important safety procedure and will be evident from time to time.”