The Victorian Government will consider lifting the moratorium on conventional gas exploration next year, according to reports.
The Age is reporting that from next month, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will undertake a year long operation to investigate the potential of gas reserves in two onshore basins in Victoria.
The department said the study “will identify land that may be suitable for release for exploration as well as any areas that may be withheld from exploration if the moratorium is lifted post June 2020”.
The basins included are located in the west of Victoria running to the South Australian border, with the other in the east across South Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.
Escalating domestic wholesale gas prices have put pressure on customers along Australia’s east coast, particularly in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, with companies such as Remapak and Incitec Pivot struggling to stay afloat.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has consistently argued that the way to lower prices is to increase gas exploration and develop proved and probable reserves.
Wholesale gas prices reached $10 per GJ on the Victorian spot market in the December quarter.
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