A new discovery of gas has been made in the coast off Port Campbell, Beach Energy has announced.
The Enterprise 1 gas discovery was made from an onshore location about three kilometres from Port Campbell and eight kilometres from the Otway Gas Plant.
The discovery was part of the company's $1 billion investment in offshore gas exploration off the south-west coast to help address a looming gas shortage.
Beach Energy managing director and chief executive officer Matt Kay said he was pleased to see the Otway campaign build on its early success at Black Watch 1.
"To have our first exploration well in the Victorian Otway program deliver a successful result is an excellent outcome for the business," Mr Kay said.
"The success enhances our plans to develop more supplies for the East Coast gas market."
Work on the Enterprise project created a much-needed boost for at least one local business during a pandemic-hit economy.
Warrnambool-based McKinnon Quarries and Civil, which has operated in the Western District since the 1940s, carried out earthworks at the Port Campbell drilling site.
Office manager Karolyn McKinnon said that the major contract with Beach energy has provided some much-needed certainty for her workforce in an otherwise challenging year.
"Our contract to deliver civil works for the Enterprise site has helped us to keep the business ticking over in what has been a really unpredictable year for everyone," she said.
"At its peak, we had up to 18 workers on the Enterprise site, putting in roads, establishing the camp compound as well as the required work for the drill pad.
"All out workers are local, so it has been encouraging that while a number of other jobs have been deferred this year, Beach's projects have continued allowing us to keep our workforce together."
Otway Gas Plant manager Frank Groen said that the perception was that their industry used only fly-in-fly-out workers.
"What people often don't see are the local businesses and workers that are supported as they provde us with important goods and services," he said.
Extended reach drilling was used to reach the Enterprise well which was at a depth of almost 5000 metres.
Tests will be carried out on the productivity of the well and provide data for the proposed pipeline to the Otway Gas Plant.
Detailed engineering work and the regulatory approvals process for the pipeline is already under way.
"The Enterprise result also de-risks other nearby prospects, warranting their evaluation as potential future drilling candidates," Mr Kay said.
The company's focus will now move to the upcoming offshore Victorian Otway Basin drilling campaign which is due to begin in the March 2021 quarter.
The first well drilled will be the Artisan 1 exploration well followed by development wells in the Geographe and Thylacine fields.
Black Watch was now supplying natural gas to the Otway Gas Plant - the first new supply in more than four years.
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