State Minister for Energy and Resources, Russell Northe, has announced that the Victorian Coalition Government has granted a petroleum production licence for Origin Energy’s Halladale offshore natural gas project.

Origin Energy will produce recoverable natural gas resources in reservoirs located five kilometres off Victoria’s south western coast, approximately 30 kilometres east of Warrnambool.

“The Napthine Government is delighted to support this significant project that will deliver economic development, job creation and infrastructure upgrades for Victoria,” Mr Northe said. Origin estimates that approximately 70 jobs will be created to maintain the operation.

“This petroleum production licence is the first to be granted within Victorian state waters.”

“The Halladale project is a multi-million dollar project that will help provide natural gas for residences and businesses – essential for cleaner electricity generation and domestic gas supplies.”

The gas will be processed at the Otway Gas Plant for electricity generation and domestic gas use.

“Natural gas is also critical to the manufacture of a range of products, such as basic chemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, paints, pesticides and cosmetics.”

The Member for Polwarth, Terry Mulder, said Victoria’s strong economy and triple-A rating makes it an opportune place for investors to generate returns from resources in response to growing global and local demand.

“This project satisfies the strong regulatory regime for the petroleum industry and has been assessed as meeting the high standards for safety and environmental protection expected in Victoria,” Mr Mulder said.

Mr Northe said that since the discovery of extensive natural gas reserves in Bass Strait in 1965, Victorians have long enjoyed access to low cost gas supplies. The Halladale project has the potential to assist in maintaining the security of Victoria’s gas supply into the future.

Offshore natural gas accounted for 18 per cent of all energy used in the state in 2011-12 and Victoria is the largest residential consumer of natural gas in Australia.

The Origin project involves offshore natural gas development in Victorian state waters. It does not involve onshore gas exploration or development.

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