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​​Esso Australia, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has made a major joint venture investment announcement to expand gas supply from the Gippsland Basin offshore Victoria.

Esso has made a final investment decision to develop additional gas from the Gippsland Basin Kipper field to help secure supply for the Australian domestic market.

Esso Australia is also advancing funding decisions to optimise production from the Turrum field.

These estimated $400 million investments could deliver an additional 200 petajoules of gas over the next five years. 

About 30 petajoules will come online in 2023, and provide critical gas supplies to help avert winter supply risks forecast for Australia’s southern states in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2021 Gas Statement of Opportunities. 

ExxonMobil Australia Chair, Dylan Pugh, said Esso continues to invest to deliver reliable and affordable Gippsland gas to Australian homes and businesses, supporting local jobs and the Australian economy. 

“Natural gas has an increasingly important role in meeting demand for cleaner fuel, lowering GHG emissions in the power sector and supporting higher penetration of renewables by maintaining reliability, resilience and stability of the grid,” Mr Pugh said. 

“Our ongoing investment and commitment to supplying Australian customers means that the Gippsland Basin remains the largest single source of natural gas for Australia’s east coast.

“There is still plenty of gas remaining in Bass Strait and we are working hard to unlock its full value. More investment will be required for Victoria to maintain its reliable supply of natural gas, especially during winter.”

In early 2021, Esso Australia commissioned the West Barracouta project in the Gippsland Basin, one of the largest domestic gas projects this decade.

Federal Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, said the $400 million investment is a significant vote of confidence in the Australian gas sector and builds on a strong pipeline of projects at a critical time.

“The recent ACCC report highlighted the need for new projects to meet demand for gas during peak days during winter and this project in the Gippsland Basin will help to fill that need,” Mr Pitt said.

“The development will deliver an estimated 200 petajoules of gas between 2023 and 2027 into the east coast market, contributing to our national energy security.

“The investment represents a vote of confidence in the industry’s future as the Coalition Government delivers policies to support Australia’s gas-led recovery.

“Esso’s joint venture will provide the increased supply that will be welcomed by Victorian households and manufacturers dependent on gas.

“As energy security becomes a significant concern in many developed countries throughout Europe, it’s time for the Victorian Government to support the gas sector and encourage new exploration and development for the benefit of all Victorians.”

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