Australia to Study Southern Australia Offshore Gas Basins

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Australia’s government will complete a study into offshore gas basins in Southern Australia, as part of the A$90mn ($68.5mn) investment in domestic gas security and supply, the minister for resources and Northern Australia senator Matt Canavan announced June 15.

The Offshore South East Australia Future Gas Supply Study will consider the future potential for gas production from the Gippsland, Otway, Bass and Sorell basins to supply the South East Australia domestic gas market.

The department of industry, innovation and science will oversee the study, with data being provided by the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA), with assistance from Geoscience Australia. The Victorian and Tasmanian governments will be stakeholders and consulted throughout, the Australian government said.

Amid the issue of gas shortage in the eastern Australian markets, the objectives of the study is to provide an understanding of the volumes of gas available within the basins for potential future input into the east coast domestic gas market and to identify short and long term opportunities to maximise sustainable gas recovery.

The study will provide advice on issues such as short, mid and long term opportunities – including brownfields development – to bring new gas supplies online, an estimation of potential gas volumes and the possible timing of development, technical, commercial and market impediments to further development, future pre-competitive and exploration required to identify opportunities for future supply and existing retention leases.

The study will be delivered to the Australian government by the end of August 2017. A number of states have banned hydraulic fracturing, and operators say that this is one reason for the perceived threat of gas shortages, not the export of coalbed methane-derived LNG.

 

Shardul Sharma