Victoria will need substantially more gas to provide a secure long-term electricity supply for the state, EnergyQuest has warned.
In its recently released EnergyQuarterly report, EnergyQuest said new data reveals that the natural gas reserves of the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture (GBJV) have fallen by nearly 20 per cent in the past three years.
The figure is a warning shot, as the GBJV supplied nearly 80 per cent of Victoria’s total gas production in the last quarter.
“This is a significant fall in supply from the state’s major gas producer,” EnergyQuest CEO Dr Graeme Bethune said.
“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% 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,” he said.
The new estimates are derived from BHP Billiton’s Petroleum Briefing in October, the first for three years.
The EnergyQuest report also revealed South Australia reached its 50 per cent renewables target nine years early.