Gas report drills down into the detail

Victoria’s Lead Scientist Dr Amanda Caples views core samples with Drill Core Library Manager, Ken Sherry (far left), Earth Resources Development Executive Director, Anthony Hurst (second right) and Geologist, David Whittam (far right).

Please note: Images in this article were taken before current COVID-19 safety measures were in place.

The first update into a three-and-a-half-year study of Victoria’s gas reserves and resources is now available.

The Victorian Gas Program Progress Report outlines the science and techniques being used to identify the state’s natural gas resource potential. It also establishes the benchmark data necessary to inform future Government decisions and details achievements such as the creation of a dedicated team of staff based at Warrnambool.

The Victorian Gas Program is a $42.5 million Victorian Government geoscience and environmental research initiative to support a robust, evidence based estimate of Victoria’s gas resources.

Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples, is overseeing the onshore conventional gas study together with a stakeholder advisory panel made up of farmers, industry, local government and community members.

The initial report also details work undertaken to date including rock characterisation studies and sampling of groundwater in the Otway Basin.

The report was released at the Geological Survey of Victoria’s Drill Core Library in Werribee, where samples of rock that may hold the clues to the state’s future gas fields are stored.

Final findings are due in 2020 and will help provide certainty on the volumes of gas that may be available and a better understanding on the risks, benefits and impacts of producing from any new gas discoveries. There is currently a moratorium on conventional onshore gas developments, this will be reviewed in 2020.

Victorians typically consume about half the production of natural gas from local gas plants, the rest can be piped interstate, where Australian gas is shipped to Asia and resold on the world market.

The research does not include unconventional gas exploration (fracking and coal seam gas extraction), which is banned in Victoria.