The West Seahorse oil project, in the offshore Gippsland Basin, Victoria, Australia, has been granted access to Federal Government Major Project Facilitation (MPF) services, recognising the project’s national strategic significance.
Warren Truss Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development said Carnarvon Hibiscus will now have access to MPF services to help advance the project.
“Carnarvon Hibiscus’ $140 million plan is to drill two production wells in Commonwealth waters and produce the wells through a Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU), creating 100 new construction jobs off the Gippsland coast,” Truss said.
“This is the type of private sector investment we are encouraging to boost Australia’s economy, and we are playing our part by coordinating and facilitating the various Commonwealth approvals needed.
“Carnarvon Hibiscus proposes to transport oil through a subsea flowline to a floating storage and offloading vessel, before shipping the oil to refineries.
“Administered by my Department, the MPF service helps companies cut through red and green tape by providing early advice and support on approval processes and coordinating those processes across Commonwealth, state and territory governments to reduce delays and costs.”
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the Australian Government would work closely with Carnarvon Hibiscus to get the project delivered as smoothly as possible.
“A major project like West Seahorse will help boost the Gippsland economy,” Chester said.
“In an operational phase expected to last four to six years, Carnarvon Hibiscus will create 30 full time jobs to help extract up to 12,000 barrels of oil a day. The project is also expected to create a further 20 indirect jobs associated with offshore support activities.
“The benefits of jobs and economic activity will flow on to businesses in the region, reinvigorating the local economy and playing a part in boosting Australia’s productivity.”
To ensure the approval process is coordinated and achieved as quickly as possible, Truss has written to Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and relevant Commonwealth agencies seeking their active cooperation and assistance.
The VIC/P57 joint venture comprises Hibiscus Petroleum‘s subsidiary, Carnarvon Hibiscus Pty Ltd (50.1%) which is Operator for the VIC/P57 permit and ASX-listed 3D Oil Limited (49.9%).
The development of the field will consist of production via a leased Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU) in to a leased tanker serving as a Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) Vessel which will enable crude oil sales both locally and internationally.
The field life is anticipated to be 4 to 5 years, dependent on a number of factors including operating costs and oil price. Initial production rates are expected to be as high as 12,000 barrels of oil per day.