Australian government looks for interest in marine supply hub for offshore oil and gas developments

Source: Northern Territory Government of Australia

Darwin is a step closer to being a major supply hub for offshore gas and oil companies in the Top End and South East Asian region.

The Northern Territory Government of Australia called for expressions of interest from national and international companies to build and operate a world-class marine supply base adjacent to Darwin’s East Arm Wharf.

Chief Minister Paul Henderson said Darwin had already attracted offshore projects including ConocoPhillips’ Bayu-Undan and ENI’s Blacktip developments – all who use Darwin as a service hub.

“The offshore gas industry is expected to be the main driver of the Territory’s economy over the next 40 years,” Henderson said. “As well as existing projects, potential offshore opportunities emerging with the upcoming development by INPEX of the Ichthys field and the Prelude field by Shell – both located in the Browse Basin off the Western Australian coast.”

“With a final investment decision expected in 2011 for INPEX’s proposed US$20 billion plus gas plant in Darwin Harbor, the Territory needs world-class marine infrastructure to remain competitive and deliver direct and indirect jobs from the oil and gas industry,” he added.

Henderson said the marine supply base would be located next to Darwin’s East Arm Wharf and would complement existing operations operating from the East Arm, Winnellie and Berrimah industrial areas.

“This is a unique opportunity for an experienced marine supply operator or operator-led consortia to establish a purpose-built marine supply facility on the doorstep of Asia,” he said.

“The new marine facility will also help established Territory businesses expand services they already provide to the offshore oil and gas industry.

“The marine supply facility will deliver on the government’s commitment to establish Darwin as key gas hub as outlined in the Territory 2030 Strategic Plan, the Growing International Trade Strategy and the Port Masterplan,” Mr Henderson said.

The Territory Government will undertake a three-stage tender process to attract private sector investment with Expressions of Interest open until October 27.

The preferred bidder will be announced late next year with construction expected to start in 2012.

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