Victorian Gas Program

Activity update

The latest findings of the VGP's geoscientific and environmental studies of the Otway and Gippsland geological basins - including the assessment of the risks, benefits and impacts of onshore conventional gas - are available in Progress Report 4.

For an overview of the Government’s announcement regarding onshore gas on 17 March 2020, please read the News story.

Staff reviewing data on computer screen.

The Victorian Gas Program is a comprehensive program of scientific research and related activities that assesses the potential for further discoveries of onshore conventional gas and offshore gas in Victoria.

It will help also determine whether the State’s current underground gas storage capacity can be expanded.

The program will run until 2020.

The Victorian Gas Program has three scientific components:

Onshore conventional gas

There are currently no proven and probable (ready for imminent development) onshore conventional gas reserves in Victoria.

A suite of geoscientific, technical and environmental studies will provide an evidence-based estimate of prospective gas resources and look closely at the risks, benefits and impacts associated with onshore conventional gas to inform future decisions of Government.

The onshore conventional gas studies are being overseen by Victoria’s Lead Scientist and a Stakeholder Advisory Panel made up of farmers, industry, local government and the community.

Note: A moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration is in place until 30 June 2020. Learn more about the moratorium.

Offshore gas

Victoria relies on offshore gas reserves to heat homes and to provide feedstock for a number of industrial processes. New offshore acreage to encourage commercial gas exploration in state-controlled waters has been released.

Underground gas storage

There is some underground gas storage around Port Campbell in the onshore Otway Basin. Investigations are underway to assess opportunities to expand underground storage in that area. Increased storage may help to secure more reliable gas supplies and mitigate short term price peaks, particularly during any interruptions in the gas supply system.

Note on fracking

Unconventional gas (fracking) is not included in the Victorian Gas Program as it was banned in Victoria in 2017. Read more about the restrictions on onshore gas.

The scientific work is supported by regular engagement with farmers, industry, local government and regional communities. There is also provision for land resource planning and potential regulatory reform in response to the findings.

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

All study results will be made publicly available.

Areas prospective for onshore conventional gas

As a result of the Victorian Gas Program’s geoscientific studies, new maps highlighting prospective areas for onshore conventional gas have been developed for both the Otway Basin and Gippsland Basin.  Please see below.  These new maps are discussed in Progress Report 4, which was released on 17 March 2020.

This map shows areas with some level of potential for hosting onshore conventional gas in the Otway Basin

This map shows areas with some level of potential for hosting onshore conventional gas in the Gippsland Basin

Further information


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Page last updated: 17 Mar 2020