Petroleum Processing Plants, Refineries and Infrastructure
The majority of Victoria’s oil and gas is processed at Exxon Mobil’s Longford gas processing and crude oil stabilisation plant. The Longford plant currently supplies around 20 percent of Australia's crude oil requirements.
Crude oil and gas are transported via pipeline from offshore facilities in the Gippsland Basin to the Longford Crude Stabilisation Plant where they are separated into wet gas, LPG and stabilised crude oil. The stabilised crude oil is piped to Long Island Point on Westernport Bay where it is either shipped interstate, shipped internationally, or piped to the refineries in Altona or Geelong.
Santos’s Patricia Baleen Gas Processing Plant in eastern Victoria feeds gas into the Eastern Gas Pipeline. The Patricia-Baleen plant has a capacity of approximately 75 terajoules^ per day. The plant processes fluids from the Longtom field for delivery to Sydney and regional centres along the Eastern Gas Pipeline, feeding the Eastern Gas Market.
^ 1 terajoule = approximately 277,777.8 kilowatt hours
Energy Australia operates the Iona Gas Plant – a gas storage facility - in the Otway Basin. The storage facility uses the depleted gas field reservoirs of Iona, Wallaby Creek and North Paaratte to store gas during periods of low demand. The facility is connected to the Victorian market via the South West Pipeline and to the South Australian market via the South East Australian Gas Pipeline.
Refineries in Victoria
There are two oil refineries in Victoria:
- The Altona refinery (in the western suburbs of Melbourne) is operated by ExxonMobil and has maximum production capacity of 80,000 barrels of oil per day.
- The Geelong refinery (75km southwest of Melbourne) is operated by Shell Licensee Viva Energy Australia and has a maximum production capacity of 120,000 barrels of oil per day.
There is a fractionation plant and crude storage facility at Stony Point on Western Port Bay. Exxon Mobil operates the Stony Point plant where products can be loaded directly into a tanker at the adjacent jetty for export.
The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources administers a network of transmission pipelines that convey high pressure gases and liquids across the state and from offshore.
These pipelines are regulated under different legislation depending on their location onshore or offshore. Additionally, certain types of onshore pipelines are exempt, such as those below a minimum pressure or those on particular land or for particular purposes.
Information about gaining approval to construct or operate a pipeline is found in Licensing and Approvals.
Third Party Access to Gas Pipelines
Reforms in the gas market have led to the establishment of a national gas access regime, which provides an open and transparent process for third party access to natural gas pipelines Third party access to covered natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines is regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator under the National Gas Law and National Gas Rules.
There is no third party access regime for pipelines or facilities offshore. Access to pipelines delivering petroleum from offshore fields to processing facilities is by agreement between companies.
Victoria has several ports that can accommodate seismic vessels and perform repairs or maintenance:
- Port Melbourne
- Port of Geelong and Portland (Otway Basin)
- Exxon Mobil’s Barry Beach terminal (Gippsland Basin)