Woodside: Pluto LNG project to come on stream in April

Woodside Petroleum Ltd.’s $15 billion (Aus.) Pluto LNG project in Western Australia will come on stream in early April as gas has started to flow into the first 4.3 million tonne/year capacity LNG processing train.

Pluto natural gas field was discovered in 2005 and was originally slated to become the fastest LNG development project. However it has suffered from several development delays along with a major cost blowout (OGJ Online, June 24, 2011). The original cost estimate at final investment decision was $12 billion.

Gas is being supplied from Pluto and Xena fields in the offshore Carnarvon basin about 190 km northwest of Karratha in Western Australia. Total reserves are estimated to be 5 tcf of gas.

The Pluto platform stands in 85 m of water and is fed by five subsea production wells. There is a 180-km, 36-in. gas pipeline to shore facilities on the Burrup Peninsula.

The project is underpinned by 15-year sales agreements with Kansai Electric and Tokyo Gas, each of which became participants in the project in January 2008 by acquiring 5% interests in the development. The two Japanese companies will take their first shipments of LNG in April.

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