Earth Resources Regulation (ERR) has granted a gas production licence for the Beach Energy Enterprise Project in Victoria’s Otway Basin.
ERR is Victoria’s regulator of exploration, mining, quarrying, petroleum, recreational prospecting and other earth resource activities.
The 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 ERR, the Department of Land, Environment, Water and Planning, and National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority 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 about 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.
ERR executive director Anthony Hurst said companies must meet the stringent safety standards before gas production commences.
“We will continue to closely monitor Beach Energy’s activity to minimise any environmental impact from the project,” he said.