Communique 2 - November 2017

The second meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel for onshore conventional gas studies was held in south-west Victoria on 9 and 10 November 2017 at Port Campbell and Camperdown and surrounding areas. This region of Victoria in the Otway geological basin is a focus of the Victorian Gas Program.

The meeting commenced on 9 November 2017 with a visit to the Otway Gas Plant and the Halladale and Speculant Well site, near Port Campbell.

The tour of Origin Energy's facility provided the Panel with a first-hand view of a gas processing plant. Origin Energy representatives explained how the facility's design and operational procedures ensure stringent health, safety and environment regulations are met.

The Panel then moved to Nirranda to see the Victorian Gas Program groundwater science team in action, sampling and recording trace chemistry at a groundwater monitoring bore as part of the environmental baseline studies of the Program. 

The Stakeholder Advisory Panel learning about the groundwater monitoring program.
The Stakeholder Advisory Panel learning about the groundwater monitoring program.

On 10 November 2017, the second day of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel's meeting was held in Camperdown.

The discussions covered progress reports on the geoscientific studies, environmental studies and community and stakeholder engagement to date.

The Panel received a briefing on the $1.62 million 3D geological models of the Otway Basin (onshore and offshore) that will be built and how they form the foundation for providing a gas resource estimate. The Panel heard that rock characterisation studies (including chemostratigraphy, porosity and permeability analysis) – key inputs into the 3D geological models – have also commenced.

The onshore environmental science project intends to sample over 100 deep groundwater bores and undertake an atmospheric methane survey to establish regional baseline conditions during 2017 and 2018. To date, 14 water bores have been sampled.

Later in 2018, the environmental program will also investigate existing exploration wells to determine more local baseline conditions.

The overview of the engagement program highlighted that over 80 individual engagements have occurred to date, covering local governments, gas explorers, gas users, regulators and environmental and community groups.  Most engagements have been one-on-one discussions and small group meetings. As the Geological Survey of Victoria Warrnambool team reaches full complement more sophisticated engagements and presentations will commence.

Five media articles about the Victorian Gas Program had been featured in newspapers in south-west and regional Victoria since the program was announced.  Additionally, while the Stakeholder Advisory Panel was in Camperdown, I gave an interview to ABC south west regional radio about the Panel's work.

The Panel's review of the projects to date is providing valuable insights and suggestions to ensure that the scientific studies are meeting the concerns and interests of the various stakeholders connected to the onshore conventional gas studies.

Page last updated: 30 May 2018