Oil and gas in Victoria
Victoria is a pioneer in oil and gas production.
In 1924, the first oil field in Australia was discovered at Lake Bunga in the Gippsland Basin.
In 1965, an Esso/BHP joint venture discovered the Barracouta gas field in the Bass Strait.
Since then, billions of dollars have been pumped into developing, producing and processing the crude oil and gas from these and other major discoveries in Bass Strait, off the Gippsland coast.
The energy from our oil and gas has been used to power industry, fuel vehicles and make a range of products in Australia and overseas.
Today, there are 23 offshore platforms and installations in Bass Strait. They include the new Marlin B platform and Kipper subsea wells which feed a network of 600km of underwater pipelines.
More than four billion barrels of crude oil and around eight trillion cubic feet of gas have been produced and the fields are predicted to supply energy for decades to come.
Developing the full potential of these remote resources continues to rely on advances in exploration; infrastructure; project development; transportation; and maintenance.
Victoria's sedimentary basins
Victoria has two major sedimentary basins for oil and gas: the Gippsland and Otway basins. No significant hydrocarbon indications have been identified to date in the Murray Basin.
The Petroleum Atlas of Victoria (2001) gives an overview of the regional geological and geophysical characteristics of the Otway and Gippsland basins.
Geoscience Australia provides information about national petroleum basins.
Between 1965 and 2014, a total of 26,089 petajoules* (PJ) of liquids and 9,120 PJ of gas were produced from the Gippsland Basin.
Visit the Oil and Gas Resources of Victoria – Gippsland Basin for individual fields, structure maps and geological cross sections.
The Otway Basin covers approximately 150,000km, from the southern margin of Victoria and South Australia to the north-west of Tasmania. Eighty per cent of the basin is offshore.
Between the 1920s and 1940s, the first wells in the Victorian part of the Otway Basin were drilled in the Anglesea and Torquay areas.
Many important gas discoveries have been found in the Otway Basin with 850 PJ of gas produced from the basin in total.
*1 petajoule = 277.78 million kWh or approximately 23,884.59 tonnes of oil equivalent.
Page last updated: 13 May 2019