A new report has warned Victoria will need access to more gas to meet the state’s long-term electricity needs.
EnergyQuest’s new EnergyQuarterly report said Victoria has less than ten years to find a reliable source of gas, a prospect it says is hindered by the recent decision to limit new onshore gas exploration.
The report found that the natural gas reserves of the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture (GBJV) has fallen by nearly 20 per cent in the past three years.
In the first quarter of 2016-17 financial year GBJV supplied nearly 80 per cent of Victoria’s total gas production.
EnergyQuest CEO, Dr Graeme Bethune, said, “This is a significant fall in supply from the state’s major gas producer.
“Victoria will need substantially more gas to meets its secure electricity needs at a time coal generation in the state is being shut down amid the charge to increase renewable energy sources to 40 per cent of Victoria’s power generation in less than 10 years.
“The need in Victoria for gas to back up renewables is patently clear from recent events in South Australia. However, rather than encouraging gas exploration, the Victorian Government has outlawed exploration for unconventional gas onshore and placed a moratorium on other onshore exploration to 2020.”
Dr Bethune said the volumes from the GBJV would “not last forever”.
“At current production rates, there are only sufficient GBJV reserves for 10.5 years and without exploration, these reserves cannot be replenished,” Dr Bethune said.