Australian offshore safety regulator NOPSEMA has approved ConocoPhillips’ Barossa field Offshore Project Proposal (OPP), following 8 weeks of public consideration and comment.
The U.S. oil and gas company is proposing to develop hydrocarbon resources in the Barossa gas and condensate field Timor Sea using an FPSO unit. The company is targeting the final investment decision for 2019, with first gas expected in 2023.
The Barossa Area Development is located in Australian Commonwealth waters within the Bonaparte Basin, approximately 300 kilometers (km) north of Darwin, Northern Territory (NT).
The development concept includes a permanently moored FPSO facility, subsea production system, supporting in-field subsea infrastructure in the Barossa Field (petroleum retention lease NT/RL5) and a subsea gas export pipeline.
The FPSO facility will separate the natural gas and condensate extracted from the field with the condensate exported directly from the FPSO facility to offtake tankers in the Barossa offshore development area and the dry gas transported via a subsea gas export pipeline for onshore processing.
FID in 2019, production in 2023
According to ConocoPhillips’ plan, the company expects the production rate of LNG will be 3.7 million tonnes per year, and 1.5 million barrels of condensate per year.
While appropriate commercial arrangements are yet to be put in place, it is proposed to connect the new subsea gas export pipeline to the existing Bayu-Undan to Darwin gas export pipeline which feeds the onshore Darwin Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility at Wickham Point, NT.
This would allow transport of dry gas from the Barossa Field to Darwin for liquefaction and export. Gas from the Barossa Field would replace the existing supply from the Bayu-Undan Field following its anticipated depletion in 2022.
As the new gas export pipeline route is still subject to refinement, a corridor has been identified for the purposes of the early stage Offshore Project Proposal (OPP) to allow flexibility for placement pending further engineering and environmental investigations.
Potential future staged development in the smaller Caldita Field to the south in retention lease NT/RL6 has also been allowed for in the development concept.
The development is anticipated to produce natural gas and light condensate. The expected LNG and condensate production rates are approximately 3.7 million tonnes per annum and 1.5 million barrels per year, respectively. The life of the project is expected to be approximately 25 years from first gas, which is targeted for 2023.
Approval of an OPP does not permit an activity to start, as ConocoPhillips must also have all other required documents accepted (including an environment plan) prior to starting any activity.
ConocoPhillips will now continue through the regulatory approval process and start work on an environment plan for submission to NOPSEMA for assessment.
Offshore Energy Today Staff