Cooper’s Sole schedule affected by bushfires in Australia

Cooper Energy expects further delays in the completion of upgrades on the Orbost gas plant in Victoria, which will process gas from its Sole gas field located offshore Australia, due to bushfires in the East Gippsland area.

Orbost gas plant; Source: Cooper

The Cooper-operated Sole gas field is located in the eastern part of the Gippsland Basin, approximately 40km offshore Victoria, Australia. The project involves the development of the Sole gas field and upgrade of the Orbost gas processing plant to supply approximately 24 PJ per annum.

The Orbost plant is located in East Gippsland, a region currently subject to bushfires. APA Group is undertaking the onshore project to upgrade the Orbost gas plant to process gas from Sole. APA was expected to conclude the plant upgrade works and begin commissioning and delivery of sales gas within the September 2019 quarter. However, the project has taken longer than expected.

According to Cooper’s update on Monday, there are no Cooper personnel in the bushfire affected areas.

“APA has advised its non-essential personnel were evacuated from the area and those remaining are safe. APA has advised the plant has not been impacted by the fires and power is available on site. The Orbost Gas Processing Plant is equipped with fire protection and fighting facilities,” Cooper said in the statement.

Cooper also said: “Cooper Energy extends its condolences to the people and communities who have experienced loss due to the fires and expresses its deepest gratitude to those who have been fighting to protect lives and property and who are continuing to do so.”

Cooper stated that APA had advised remobilization of the workforce to site and the resumption of commissioning work remained subject to assurances of safety and adequate supplies.

APA estimates the impact of the bushfires, to date, is for a delay of approximately two weeks to the schedule announced in December 2019. Namely, Cooper in December said that the introduction of gas from the Eastern Gas Pipeline (EGP) for the first phase of gas commissioning was planned to start in early January 2020 and the second phase of gas commissioning, which involves gas supply from the Sole gas field, was planned to start in late January.

Cooper concluded that the new estimate was subject to ongoing developments, including the ability to access and use roads safely.


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