Beach Energy has been granted permission to commence a new round of well testing at their site near Port Campbell.
Locals and tourists may see or hear some burning of gas in the area, a process known as flaring, over the coming days.
Following the discovery of gas in Victorian waters through its recent Enterprise exploration program, Beach Energy will carry out production tests to determine the size of the gas resource and the potential for future production at the site.
Flaring is a standard process and as part of the well testing activities will be undertaken under highly controlled procedures to meet strict safety and environmental procedures. Earth Resources Regulation will continue to closely monitor all activities.
In November, Beach Energy announced their exploration program had been successful and this testing helps validate those results. Demobilisation of drilling equipment has begun following the completion of the latest exploration work, which started on 1 October.
Beach Energy has been searching for offshore gas using onshore-to-offshore drilling, the same method it has safely used at the nearby Black Watch well, which is now supplying natural gas to the Otway Gas Plant.
The exploration and testing activities near Port Campbell do not relate to onshore gas fracking, which is banned in Victoria.
On-ground onshore conventional gas exploration and development will be possible from 1 July 2021, once a new best-practice regulatory framework is in place.
Gas will continue to play an important role in supporting Victoria’s transition to a cleaner energy future, in line with the Government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.
As noted by Executive Director, Earth Resources Regulation, Anthony Hurst:
“We will ensure that Beach Energy fulfils its regulatory obligations to protect people and the environment.”
“Flaring of gas is a common industry practice that helps determine what gas may be available, people in the Port Campbell area may see and hear the testing activities.”
“If the current testing is successful, Beach Energy will need to seek further regulatory approvals before production can commence.”