Woodside group plans TLPs for Browse

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Feb. 22 -- The Woodside Petroleum-led Browse LNG project joint venture plans to develop the Browse basin fields off northwestern Western Australia using tension leg platforms (TLPs).

The development is to begin with Calliance and Brecknock fields followed by the option of a Torosa field TLP and Calliance subsea developments, according to Don Voelte, Woodside managing director. These units will send gas via subsea pipelines to a central processing facility consisting of two bridge-linked fixed-leg platforms in shallower water (about 100 m) closer to the coast.

Speaking at the release of Woodside’s full-year results, Voelte said Calliance and Brecknock will provide enough gas for 12 million tonnes/year of LNG production. This foundation development will take the form of three 4 million tpy LNG trains. There will be room to expand to a total of 25 million tpy and more work will be done at Torosa and other nearby prospects to increase overall gas reserves in the region.

Voelte added that the JV has approved spending of $770 million (Aus.) to progress the project this year and remains on track to make a final investment decision by mid-2012.

Dual front-end engineering and design (FEED) contracts have been awarded to competing firms KBR, Leighton Contractors, and John Holland along with Chiyoda partnered by Saipem and CB&I. This covers the LNG trains, associated infrastructure, accommodation, and marine facilities at the proposed plant at James Price Point north of Broome.

FEED for the offshore TLP work will be done separately by Aker Solutions and Modec, while Fluor Australia and subcontractor McDermott have the FEED work for the central processing facility.

Work has also begun by the Western Australian government to prepare the James Price Point site for construction of a 43-km sealed-access road for construction and operations work. The first section of road will comprise the upgrading of a 25-km section of existing road to a sealed all-season access plus a new 18-km precinct road from there to the proposed site.

Separately, Voelte said Woodside was considering a final investment decision this year on its Cimatti oil discovery made in 2010 as a subsea tie-back to the existing Enfield development in the offshore Carnarvon basin. Cimatti would come on stream in mid-2013. The company is also likely to drill exploration wells on two nearby prospects called Cagiva and Mineralli.

Meanwhile, Phase 1 of the Pluto LNG development will come on stream in August, according to Woodside. The company is still hoping to expand the project into five trains and expects to make a final investment decision on this by yearend.

Woodside’s exploration program to find gas for Pluto has made seven discoveries out of 13 wells so far. Seven wells remain to be drilled in the program including Martin-1 (currently drilling in WA-404-P) and Xeres-1 in WA-34-L.

The company also continues to negotiate with other companies in the Carnarvon basin for the supply of third-party gas to Pluto.

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