THE south-west is tipped to become the primary region for onshore conventional gas drilling in the state.
Waters off the coast of Port Campbell in south-west Victoria, a stone's throw from the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road, have been identified as the area with the most potential in Victoria to have onshore conventional gas.
Existing gas drilling infrastructure in and around Port Campbell is likely to attract companies in search of new gas in the Otway basin.
New draft regulations for the re-start of onshore gas drilling have been released this week, proposing companies provide greater transparency and community engagement on projects.
The new regulations are expected to be adopted in October and intend to "encourage onshore conventional gas exploration and development in Victoria" according to the documents.
In Victoria, regulations sunset every ten years.
While there is a ban on fracking in the Victorian Constitution, in 2020 the Victorian Government passed legislation allowing onshore gas exploration and development from July this year.
Historically, most gas in Victoria has come from offshore fields in the Gippsland basin but these fields are declining, with industry turning to the Otway basin along the Great Ocean Road.
Offshore gas is also produced in south-west Victoria from the Otway basin.
The south-west will be the focus of onshore conventional gas development in the state based on findings from the Victorian Gas Program, a three year study into gas exploration in Victoria.
It's set the path for the restart of onshore conventional gas exploration and development on July 1, 2021.
The program found onshore gas exploration will not compromise the state's environmental and agricultural credentials and would have a "negligible" impact on Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions.
However, other studies have questioned whether those findings take into account the actual burning of the gas extracted from below the ocean's surface.
In July this year two gas exploration permits were granted to Beach Energy and Bridgeport Energy for six years.
Marine national parks are excluded from any gas exploration or development.
The Victorian Gas Program had a Stakeholder Advisory Panel which included representatives of the regional community, farmers, an environmental group, industry and local government.
The panel formally met on twelve occasions over the three years.
Victoria's Lead Scientist Dr Amanda Caples lead the program.
On Thursday August 12 at 7pm there will be an information session for the community to learn about the new regulations and have their say.
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