Regulator gives green light for safe gas production

Victoria’s resources regulator is gearing up to support the state’s minerals boom, the high demand for quarry material and to oversee the onshore conventional gas sector.

Earth Resources Regulation has granted a gas production licence for the Beach Energy Enterprise Project in Victoria’s Otway Basin.

Beach Energy’s Enterprise Project aims to access a new offshore natural gas discovery through an onshore well located west of Port Campbell.

Beach Energy will require further approvals from Earth Resources Regulation, the Department of Land, Environment, Water and Planning (DELWP) and National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) before it can begin to produce gas discovered during its exploration of the area last year.

The Victorian Government is preparing to transition to a cleaner energy future in line with its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

Currently, more than two million Victorian households and businesses require access to a secure supply of gas, which is why there are strict regulations on the exploration and extraction of any gas resources in Victoria.

Any production of gas by the Enterprise Project will be tightly regulated to protect public safety and the environment, and does not require any further drilling.

The Enterprise Project has used extended reach drilling from an onshore site to explore for gas deep under the seabed, meaning there was no disruption to the marine environment.

The gas field is located approximately two kilometres beneath the seafloor and more than 10 kilometres from the Twelve Apostles.

The decision is consistent with the Victorian Government’s ban on fracking, enshrined in the constitution in 2021.

Quote attributable to Earth Resources Regulation Executive Director Anthony Hurst:

“Companies must meet the stringent safety standards before gas production commences and we will continue to closely monitor Beach Energy’s activity to minimise any environmental impact from the project.”