Woodside starts Pluto LNG production, explores for more reserves

Woodside Petroleum Ltd.’s $15 billion (Aus.) Pluto facilities on the Burrup Peninsula have begun production of LNG in the lead-up to the first sales cargo, although no date for the shipment has been announced.

Foundation customers for Pluto LNG are Kansai Electric and Tokyo Gas.

Meantime, Woodside is planning further exploration wells off Western Australia to prove up gas reserves needed for the planned Pluto expansion.

The company will drill three wells this year in the Carnarvon basin and on the Exmouth Plateau.

One of these, Banambu Deep-1, will be spudded in permit WA-389-P in the next few weeks.

The Banambu Deep prospect was delineated following a comprehensive review of 3D seismic data, 1,440 sq km of which was acquired and processed in 2012 and added to existing 3D data in the permit. The structure is west of the Rankin Trend and on trend with Pluto and Chevron’s Wheatstone fields.

The well will be drilled to a total depth of 4,800 m using Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc.’s Ocean America semisubmersible rig.

BHP Billiton has farmed into WA-389-P and will take as much as a 40% stake in return for funding up to 100% of the Banambu Deep well. Woodside will reduce to a 25% interest, but retain the operatorship. The remaining 35% interest is held by Melbourne-based Cue Energy Resources Ltd.

Banambu Deep-1 will be followed by Anake-1 in WA-269-P to the northeast of Pluto field.

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