NOPSEMA opens comment period for Shell’s Crux project

Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has released Shell’s Crux offshore project proposal for public comment.

Crux export pipeline

NOPSEMA said on Monday that the proposal was submitted by Shell Australia and was open for comment for a period of six weeks ending on March 18, 2019.

The Crux gas field is located some 160 kilometers north-east of the Prelude field in the northern Browse Basin offshore Western Australia. It is located in Commonwealth waters 190 kilometers offshore north-west Australia and 620 kilometers north-northeast of Broome.

Shell Australia, together with joint venture partners Seven Group Holdings Energy and Osaka Gas, identified Crux as the primary source of backfill gas supply to the Prelude FLNG unit where gas production began in December 2018.

The proposed Crux project consists of a not normally manned platform in water depths of approximately 165 meters of water with five production wells, minimal processing and utility systems, tied back to the Prelude FLNG unit via a 26-inch 165-kilometer export pipeline. According to the proposal, Crux will be operated remotely from Prelude.

Front-end engineering and design for the project is expected to begin in 2019 with the financial investment decision (FID) currently scheduled to occur in 2020.

The project is anticipated to have a 20-year design life. However, subject to the future investment decisions, the project may be extended.

NOPSEMA said that there was also a potential for future subsea developments that would provide hydrocarbons to the Crux platform. These developments are expected to comprise subsea production wells, completed with subsea trees, and associated subsea tie-back to the platform.

From FID it will take approximately four to five years for the platform to be fully designed, constructed off-site and towed to location.

While the platform is being built, the subsea production wells would be drilled and suspended until the installation of the platform facilities, after which the wells would be completed, hooked-up to the platform and brought online.

The Authority added that additional gas reservoirs within the in-field development area might be tied back to the Crux platform.

It is worth reminding that Shell applied to NOPSEMA for the drilling of the Bratwurst-1 well in January. The regulator said at the time that Shell was looking to tie back the well to Prelude if significant gas/condensate volumes were discovered.

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