Video transcript: Overview of the Victorian Gas Program video

In Victoria, natural gas plays an important part in meeting our daily energy needs.

Businesses and industries use gas for heating, cooling and refrigeration.

Natural gas is also a vital component in the production of chemicals, fertilisers and pharmaceuticals.

Many Victorian homes rely on gas for heating, cooking and hot water.

Additionally, natural gas is a reliable backup energy source for electrical power generation.

Victoria has two geological basins that have produced gas: the Otway and Gippsland basins. Natural gas has been produced conventionally from these basins for decades.

Typically, gas in these basins is produced by drilling deep down into the earth and tapping into an accumulation of naturally trapped gas and transporting it onshore.

In recent decades, an extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been used to unconventionally produce gas by fracturing the surrounding rock to make the gas flow.

This practice has been banned in Victoria to protect our agricultural resources’ clean, green reputation.

On the other hand, extracting conventional gas, which does not need fracking could provide high- quality, lower emissions fuel, as we work to transition to more renewable sources of energy.

Currently, all of Victoria’s gas comes from gas fields offshore.

However, natural gas is a finite resource, and the gas fields that have been discovered to date are depleting.

So we need to know if more discoveries are possible.

In 2017, the Victorian Government embarked on an extensive scientific assessment to understand the potential for new onshore conventional gas discoveries.

It was part of a three-year study called the Victorian Gas Program.

This scientific program included the state’s largest ever airborne gravity survey, regional air and groundwater testing, as well as assessment of thousands of collected rock samples and previous geoscientific data and studies.

The data collected informed the development of new predictive geological models, highlighting the deep rock structures of both the Otway and Gippsland basins and their potential to host gas.

The Geological Survey of Victoria regularly shared its findings with regional communities and worked to understand the risks, benefits and impacts if new onshore conventional gas was explored for or developed.

As the scientific studies were completed, the findings were presented to an independent Stakeholder Advisory Panel, chaired by Victoria’s Lead Scientist.

In 2020, an assessment of the risks, benefits and impacts of onshore conventional gas was delivered to the Victorian Government.

The assessment revealed that an onshore conventional gas industry would not compromise the state’s environmental and agricultural credentials.

With the completion of the Victorian Gas Program, we now have a better evidence base for making decisions about our gas resources, taking into account the interests of the environment, communities and the economy.

Page last updated: 02 Jun 2021