Australia's national investment attraction body, Invest Australia, is about to begin work with the proponents of a $1 billion gas project, which has the potential to guarantee continuity of supply to both Victoria and South Australia.
Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane announced the Otway gas project, proposed for regional Victoria, has been granted major project facilitation status.
Woodside Energy Ltd. and joint venture participants Origin Energy Resources Ltd., Benaris International NV, and CalEnergy Gas (Australia) want to invest $1 billion to develop gas reserves off the Southwest coast of Victoria.
"The proposed development will assist in ensuring continuity of supply of gas and market competition for Victoria and South Australia," said Macfarlane. "Gas demand in South East Australia is expected to grow by around 30% in the period to 2015 according to ABARE projections. The development of the Otway gas field will provide an important new source of supply necessary to meet this growing demand," said Macfarlane.
In terms of market scale, the Otway gas project plans to supply more than 10% of southeastern Australia's gas demand for more than a decade.
The development proposes to extract natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and condensate from the Thylacine and Geographe fields, 55-70 km offshore the southwest coast of Victoria.
Gas will come ashore for processing near the route of the proposed SEA Gas pipeline from Victoria to South Australia.
Major project facilitation status provides the Otway gas project with a consolidated process for obtaining the necessary Federal Government approvals.
Invest Australia will assist Woodside with any issues associated with implementing the project by working closely with appropriate federal and state agencies to help facilitate the project.