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Victorian Gas Program

The Victorian Gas Program, which will run from 2017 to 2020, will deliver a comprehensive program of geoscience and environmental research and related activities - including community engagement, resource planning and regulatory improvements - for onshore conventional gas, offshore gas and underground gas storage.

The program will look closely at Victoria’s gas prospectivity and the issues associated with onshore conventional gas to inform future decisions by the Victorian Government.

The Victorian Government has allocated $42.5 million over four years in the State Budget 2017/18 to deliver the Victorian Gas Program.

The Victorian Gas Program has four major components:

  • Delivering extensive scientific, technical and environmental studies on the risks, benefits and impacts of onshore conventional gas while the moratorium is in place until 30 June 2020. These studies will be overseen by the Lead Scientist and a Stakeholder Advisory Panel, made up of farmers, industry, local government and the community, with assistance from Geological Survey of Victoria. As there are no proven or probable onshore gas reserves in Victoria, the geoscience investigations for onshore conventional gas are designed to provide an evidence-based resource estimate.
  • Supporting commercial exploration for further discoveries of gas off Victoria’s coast to help increase gas supply. This work will acquire new geoscientific information to identify prospective areas in the offshore part of the Otway geological basin.
  • Investigating the opportunities for further underground gas storage in the onshore Otway geological basin to help secure more reliable gas supplies and to mitigate short term price peaks, particularly during any interruptions in the gas supply system.
  • Supporting the work programs for onshore conventional gas and offshore gas, including resource planning, regulatory improvements and a comprehensive engagement program for farmers, industry, local government and regional communities.

The studies will be undertaken by scientists from the Geological Survey of Victoria and will focus on the Otway geological basin in south west Victoria and the Gippsland geological basin in south east Victoria.

All study results will be made publicly available.

The Victorian Government has invited the Commonwealth Government to contribute additional joint  funding to expand the Victorian Gas Program, particularly to accelerate exploration and development of offshore gas.

Victoria also secured the COAG Energy Council’s agreement to amend the national Gas Supply Strategy to include investigations of onshore conventional gas resources as well as the development of offshore gas and underground gas storage.