Photo: Kipper Tuna Turrum; Source: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil targets Gippsland’s full potential with fresh cash injection

Oil and gas major ExxonMobil has sanctioned a project located in the Gippsland Basin off Australia, aiming to expand gas production and help secure much-needed supply for the Australian domestic market.

Esso Australia, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil and operator of the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture, has made a final investment decision to develop additional gas from the Gippsland Basin Kipper field. The company is also advancing funding decisions to optimise production from the Turrum field, it said in a statement on Thursday.

According to ExxonMobil, these estimated A$400 million (about $293 million) investments could deliver an additional 200 petajoules of gas over the next five years. About 30 petajoules will come online in 2023, and provide critical gas supplies to help avert winter supply risks forecast for Australia’s southern states in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2021 Gas Statement of Opportunities.

ExxonMobil Australia Chair, Dylan Pugh, said: “Natural gas has an increasingly important role in meeting demand for cleaner fuel, lowering GHG emissions in the power sector and supporting higher penetration of renewables by maintaining reliability, resilience and stability of the grid.”

Pugh added: “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.”

In early 2021, ExxonMobil commissioned the West Barracouta project in the Gippsland Basin, one of the largest domestic gas projects this decade. The project was sanctioned in December 2018.