Beach Energy (Beach) supplies natural gas for the ongoing needs of Victorian homes, business and industry, through production at the Otway Gas Plant near Port Campbell.

The Enterprise Project is one of Beach’s activities in the Otway Offshore Basin. The Enterprise well was drilled in 2020, and Beach is now planning the final activities to connect and commission the well, subject to regulatory approvals.

The Enterprise Project includes:

  • an offshore natural gas reservoir under the seabed (see map over page)
  • a natural gas well that was successfully drilled in 2020 from an onshore wellsite to the offshore gas reservoir
  • a wellsite that includes the existing well head, transportable facility buildings and equipment for flowing the gas to Otway Gas Plant for processing
  • a recently constructed pipeline from the wellsite to the Otway Gas Plant.

Beach commenced consulting local community members and other stakeholders in early 2018. The purpose of this information sheet is to provide an update on the project and a further opportunity for consultation ahead of final activities to allow the flowing gas from the well for production, subject to regulatory approvals.

Civil works and preliminary installation activities have been carried out at the wellsite. Beach is now preparing for the final construction activities that will enable the raw gas to flow to the Otway Gas Plant where it will be produced for supply to the east coast gas market.

The Enterprise natural gas reservoir is located in the Victorian State offshore petroleum permit VIC/L00745(V) and onshore PSDA007746 (see map). The onshore wellsite is approximately 4 km west of Port Campbell and the well path reaches approximately 2.5 km from the coastline to a depth range of 2.1 to 2.7 km below Mean Sea Level.

Under existing approvals, preliminary activities at the wellsite commenced in early 2023. The remaining installation of equipment is expected to start in early 2024 and be completed by approximately mid-2024. Timings are subject to final regulatory approvals and the delivery of specialised equipment.

This will enable production of gas from the Enterprise well at the Otway Gas Plant to supply the Victorian gas market during the 2024 winter peak demand period.

Construction activities for the Enterprise Project include the installation of equipment to control the flow of the well, monitoring the well and the wellsite.

The well will be connected to the pipeline that runs underground from the Enterprise wellsite to the Otway Gas Plant (see map below) and commissioning testing carried out. The pipeline installation was substantially completed in May 2023 with some minor works remaining that couldn’t be completed due to wet weather.

Beach is preparing its final documents for approval of the remaining wellsite construction activities and for the ongoing operations at the wellsite and the offshore well underneath the seabed (see diagram below).

After all equipment is installed and the well has been connected to the pipeline, final commissioning works that involve flowing of the gas to the facilities will commence. Upon completion of commissioning, regular operations will commence.

The Enterprise wellsite will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The wellsite will be monitored and maintained from the Otway Gas Plant Central Control Room, located approximately 8 km north-east of the wellsite. Routine fortnightly inspections of the wellsite will be undertaken during daylight hours.

Ongoing monitoring and maintenance of all wellsite facilities will include:

  • routine wellsite surveillance and inspections
  • regular weed and vegetation controls
  • instrument calibration and testing
  • valve and vessel inspection and functional testing
  • wellhead servicing and testing
  • well integrity monitoring
  • pipeline maintenance and integrity management (in accordance with Pipeline Licence PL006998)

Non-routine activities such as well maintenance, if required, may occur during the operational life of the well and will be undertaken by specialist crews.

Activity area map

Click on the map below to view the activity area.

Extended reach drilling

To access the offshore natural gas reservoir from the onshore well site, ‘extended reach drilling’ was used (see diagram above). This proven technology is safe, efficient and has minimal environmental impact.

The technique involved drilling up to 2700 metres below the surface, while using directional drilling techniques to steer the well offshore. A total drilling distance of approximately 3.5 kilometres below the seabed was reached at the gas reservoir under the seabed.

The Enterprise Project utilised conventional natural gas drilling and did not involve hydraulic fracturing (or ‘fracking’).

The Enterprise Project involves:

  • an onshore wellsite,
  • a well path from the wellsite that runs under the Port Campbell National Park to an offshore reservoir, and
  • an underground pipeline from the wellsite to the Otway Gas Plant.

There are several acts and regulations that apply to the project, including:

  • Victorian Pipelines Act 2005 and associated regulations
  • Victorian Petroleum Act 1998 and associated regulations
  • Victorian Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2010
  • Victorian Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • Victorian National Parks Act 1940
  • Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993

Approvals from the various local, State and Commonwealth regulatory authorities were granted ahead of the exploration phase of the project, construction of the pipeline and preliminary wellsite activities which have all been conducted. To enable the production of gas through the existing well bore Beach has obtained a Section 40 Consent under the National Parks Act 1940. The Native Title process has been concluded between the Eastern Maar Native Title Holders, the State of Victoria and Beach.

Further approvals are required for the remaining construction and commissioning activities, and for the ongoing production of gas from the well. Beach is preparing documents for approval including:

  • Environment Plan for the flowing of gas from the offshore well path
  • Operations Plan that includes an Environment Management Plan (EMP) for the remaining construction activities at the wellsite
  • Operations Plan that includes an EMP for the final commissioning activities and the ongoing operations at the wellsite.

Whilst there are slight differences under each piece of relevant legislation, the consistent principle is that the plans must describe the proposed activity, the environment that it is to occur in, identify the potential impacts and risks associated with the activity and measures to ensure that these impacts and risks are managed to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

Under the Petroleum Regulations 2021, a Notice of Operations for each onshore petroleum activity proposed to be undertaken must be issued by the Titleholder to any person or organisation that may be affected by an activity or has interests that may be affected by an activity carried out under the operation plan. Beach issued a Notice of Operations to such persons and organisations for the wellsite construction activities in February 2022 and for wellsite production activities in February 2023.

Beach has updated the Notice of Operations for the wellsite operations to reflect updated project timings. The overall scope of activities proposed has not changed. The updated notice can be found in the 'More information' section on this webpage.

Extended reach drilling diagram

Diagram showing onshore to offshore directionally drilled Enterprise 1 well

Purpose of consultation

The Operations and Environment Plans are also required to demonstrate that there has been effective consultation with relevant persons or organisations during development of the plans.

This information has been prepared to inform relevant persons or organisations whose functions, interests or activities may be affected by the activities set out in this page.

Please contact us if you would like further information, would like to raise any concerns regarding the activities, or to consult with us about how this project may impact you.

Consultation for the Construction Environment Management Plan has been completed. Consultation for the purpose of completing the Enterprise Project Facilities Construction Environment Management Plan and Environment Plan has now finished and will be assessed by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action. Beach continues to encourage questions and feedback from anyone whose functions, interests and activities may be affected by the project activities.

After production commences, Beach will carry out ongoing consultation for the wellsite operations as set out in the Operations Plan.