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Back in the hunt for Gippsland gas

Richard J Owen Chairman, ExxonMobil Australia

As someone who started out as a graduate engineer in Gippsland, I am proud to report that 50 years after we received Australia’s first offshore production licence, we are actively pursuing new gas development opportunities in Bass Strait.

Earlier this year, we completed the start-up of our $5.5 billion Kipper Tuna Turrum Project, the largest single investment ever into Australia’s domestic gas supply.

Now, we have a taskforce of engineers and geoscientists looking at options for new gas developments, and we are planning to drill two deep-water exploration wells in newly acquired acreage, south east of our existing fields.

This permit, VIC/P70, is the first new exploration acreage we have acquired in the Gippsland Basin in over two decades.

This is an important milestone for our company as well as for Australia’s domestic gas market, as this acquisition has the potential to find new gas supplies for homes and businesses at a time when we need it most.

Demand for our gas has never been higher and our Longford Gas Plants are operating at record levels to supply Australian homes and businesses. The reality is, however, that providing energy every day is a huge, complex technical and commercial challenge.

Unlike 50 years ago, today’s fields are more expensive to produce as they are deeper, hold less liquids and have more contaminants, meaning we need to find new ways to be competitive in selling our gas.

Our engineers and geoscientists, are at the forefront of deploying technology to extract maximum value from mature fields.

We are continuing to high-grade our facilities as we complete the transition from an oil-based operation into a highly competitive gas business. We have been making excellent progress reducing our footprint, and improving the efficiency of our business.

Our objective now is to leverage our extensive infrastructure, the wealth of knowledge and data we have collected and the highly skilled service industry accumulated in Gippsland, by identifying new gas development opportunities.

The hunt for new gas is exciting news for Gippsland, where we have a long history of strong community support.

Our Gippsland operations have fuelled tremendous economic growth across the eastern states and in the oil and gas industry in Gippsland.

Today, with new possibilities in Bass Strait, the transformation of our business and continued community support, we are focused on developing the remaining resources so that our Gippsland operations can continue to meet Australia’s energy needs.

Kipper Tuna Turrum
Photo — ExxonMobil Australia’s Gippsland operations have fuelled tremendous economic growth across the eastern states and in the oil and gas industry in Gippsland.