A VICTORIAN mining company has not ruled out using coal seam gas exploration in the south-west if the state government lifts a ban on the controversial practice.
Lakes Oils NL has the rights to several natural gas wells around Port Campbell it hopes will become commercially viable.
Debate around coal seam gas, also known as fracking, was thrown back into the headlines this week after the New South Wales government made a list of no-go zones for coal seam gas.
The Victorian government is yet to lift a moratorium on the practice, in which chemicals are mixed with water that are then pumped into the earth at high pressure to break up rocks.
Critics say it can contaminate water and air quality.
Lakes Oils chairman Robert Annells told The Standard the company hoped the ban would be lifted so the method could be used to extract gas in Gippsland.
He said the company had seen potential for fracking at one of its Port Campbell wells, but had since sealed it.
“If the moratorium comes off there won’t be fracking in the next five seconds,” Mr Annells said. “Nobody has ever fracked in the Otway Basin,” he said, adding that there was still potential for unconventional gas in the region that could still require the practice.
He said the state government was awaiting release of federal guidelines, while calling for public submissions.