Onshore gas exploration and production to resume in Victoria

Articles Written by Peter Rose (Partner), Cloe Woodward (Associate)

On 4 June 2020, the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (Vic) was passed by the Legislative Assembly and the Bill will now go to the Legislative Council for consideration. The Bill is proposed to amend the Petroleum Act 1998 (Vic) to provide for the end of the moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration and production in Victoria from 1 July 2021. The Bill will not affect the ban on hydraulic fracking of unconventional gas or the exploration and extraction of coal seam gas.

The Bill is also proposed to amend the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2010 (Vic) to give priority to domestic gas consumption. The Bill seeks to achieve this by making petroleum production licences granted on or after 1 May 2018 subject to a condition that petroleum recovered under the licences must not be supplied to an LNG exporter unless the licensee has first taken all reasonable steps to supply the petroleum to a domestic consumer or supplier on reasonable terms and no domestic consumer or supplier is willing to buy on reasonable terms.

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