Esso Australia said that its new multi-billion gas plant in East Victoria will boost production for the domestic energy market.
The $5.5 billion gas fields and conditioning plant in Victoria will process a whopping 1.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas for the Eastern seaboard.
To put that into context, it will mean enough power for a city of a million people for 35 years.
The project, by Esso Australia and its joint partners BHP Billiton and Japanese company Mitsui, is the largest domestic gas development on Australia’s east coast.
Exxon Mobil keen to drill for gas in Bass Strait
Exxon Mobil chairman Richard Owen said the investment marked a new phase of production in Australia. “We are hopeful that this will allow us to then look at another phase of drilling and development in Bass Strait over the coming years.”
He said future offshore development would involve more complex and costly extraction methods.
“That is the issue we have in Bass Strait now. The fields we are now looking at are much smaller, they have increased geological and chemical complexity,” Mr Owen said.
There are three other plants at Esso’s Longford facility, which supply 75 per cent of gas in Victoria. The new conditioning plant removes CO2 and mercury before it is distributed to the market.
Government welcomes gas investment
Federal Resources Minister, Senator Matthew Canavan said gas prices were at record highs and the investment by Esso and its joint venture partners was welcomed.
He said while the Federal Government’s export licensing scheme aimed to ensure sufficient gas supply in Australia, restricting exports was not the long-term solution to the country’s energy security problems.
“We’ve got a problem in this country and the Government is focused on delivering solutions to Australians who are facing higher household costs who work in industries who are facing shortages of gas, that’s our objective that’s what I am dead set focused on delivering.”
More than 3,000 people were involved in the construction of the Kipper Tuna Turrum project.
There are 23 offshore platforms and underwater installations in Bass Strait that feed a network of 600 kilometres of pipelines carrying oil and gas.
Last month the Federal Government announced it will impose export restrictions on gas that could force producers to boost supply for domestic users before they are allowed to send it offshore.
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