ORIGIN Energy is upgrading the road network in the Borthwicks Road area of Nirranda South in preparation for the drilling of its Halladale and Speculant wells.
The two wells are part of an innovative natural gas project that will use a long-range drilling technique to bore from onshore to receive gas from offshore gas fields.
The method is being used to minimise any disturbance to the marine environment.
Origin intends to drill a development well into the Halladale gas reserve and an exploration well into the Speculant gas field.
It is also seeking regulatory approval for the nearby Black Watch development well.
The offshore gas reservoirs are located about five kilometres offshore from Nirranda, about 30 kilometres east of Warrnambool.
An Origin spokesman said there would be no direct interference with the Bay of Islands Coastal Park near Nirranda and there would be no offshore activities.
The spokesman said road surfaces leading to the proposed gas well site were being upgraded to ensure the project had a minimal impact on the local area. The spokesman said the work was expected to take a further three months to complete and would, in some instances, improve road conditions.
“Further work on the project will be subject to a final investment decision by Origin’s board,” the spokesman said.
The project will also involve the construction of a temporary drilling support camp accommodating about 80 workers.
When the wells are completed a small low-profile onshore well head facility will control the flow of gas for transport through pipelines to the existing Heytesbury gas gathering facility near Port Campbell, then on to Origin’s Otway gas plant.
The plant currently processes gas from the Thylacine field, located in waters about 70 kilometres south of Port Campbell, and the Geographe field 15 kilometres north of the Thylacine boundary.
The gas from the Halladale and the proposed Black Watch gas wells will add to Origin’s gas supplies for electricity generation and domestic gas consumption.