Esso Australia, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has announced it will develop a gas supply from the Gippsland Basin Kipper field through its Gippsland Basin Joint Venture.

The investment is estimated at $400 million, and could deliver 200PJ of gas over the next five years, with 30PJ expected to be available in 2023.ExxonMobil Australia Chair, Dylan Pugh, said Esso’s investment will secure a reliable energy supply through the winter months.

“Natural gas has an increasingly important role in meeting demand for cleaner fuel, lowering greenhouse gas 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.”

Queensland Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, said the investment is a significant vote of confidence in the Australian gas sector.

“The recent Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 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 200PJ of gas between 2023 and 2027 into the east coast market, contributing to our national energy security.”

Mr Pitt said that the investment signified a vote of confidence in the future of the gas industry, as the Federal Government moves to implement policies supporting a gas-led recovery.

“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,” Mr Pitt said.

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

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