Exclusives

Australian energy industry captains said the new U.S. administration is good news for the global petroleum business, but are bracing for increasingly competitive markets.

Australia, Bight, Caduna, basin, gas, oil, Karoon, BP, permit

Karoon Gas Australia is the latest company to be granted an exploration permit for Australia’s Bight Basin.

Woodside, Peter Coleman, Greater Enfield, Australia, offshore, oil, LNG, Mitsui E&P

The development offshore Western Australia will be tied back to the Ngujima-Yin FPSO facility. First oil is expected in mid-2019.

Wheatstone, LNG, Australia, Asia, gas

Even though oil prices remain in the low US $30 range, Australasian countries continue the push for natural gas resources.

MacArthur Basin, Australia, Aubrey McClendon, AEP Energy

Some industry observers have likened the basin to the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana, where production peaked at 100 billion cubic feet per day.

Deepwater International

Santos has been awarded two exploration permits close to its existing acreage in the vicinity of the giant ongoing Ichthys LNG development in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia.

The giant Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG Project has hit a couple of significant milestones, with the start of deepwater pipelay work on the 889-km gas export pipeline and the start of the development drilling program.

Browse FLNG development operator Woodside has pushed back its schedule for the large project to focus further on reducing costs, according to CEO Peter Coleman.

Plans for a newbuild semisubmersible production facility off North Western Australia look to be back on the development path. 

A production test is to get underway on an oil discovery offshore Brazil that is expanding nicely in terms of its size and scope as operator Karoon Gas Australia continues to firm up more reserves.

Exploration

Earlier treaties that established a joint petroleum development area with revenue split 90% to East Timor and 10% to Australia, which govern production from the Bayu-Undan Field run by ConocoPhillips, will remain in place, Reuters reported.

Woodside’s best estimate contingent resources (2C) has now increased by 462 million barrels of oil equivalent, or 2,632 Bcf of dry gas.

Central Petroleum produces gas from conventional fields onshore in the Northern Territory, and sees itself as well-positioned to meet a shortfall of gas in the eastern Australian market, or to supply LNG to plants that chill the gas for exports.

Woodside, Australia's biggest independent oil and gas producer, has announced two deals over the past four months together worth up to $830 million.

BP will acquire 80% equity, become operator of WA-409-P and fund 100% of the work program required under the permit for the first three years of the license renewal, according to a news release.

Production

Australia’s LNG exports surged by 37.7% to 36.8 mtpa in 2016 as the plethora of new projects in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and coastal Queensland triggered a flood of new shipments to global markets.

BP said the project off Australia's south coast, in which it is partnered by Norway's Statoil, would not be able to compete for capital investment with other opportunities in its global portfolio for the foreseeable future.

Mubadala Petroleum, operator of the Manora oil development joint venture in the northern Gulf of Thailand, said Sept. 15 that drilling of the MNA-17 well is now completed, according to Tap Oil Ltd. 

The five wells will be drilled back-to-back in the program, which will probably last about two and a half months, Bengal said. 

The circle of condensate suppliers is small, though; and Australia has the inside track on selling to Asia, especially with some Middle East producers building their own splitters, Reuters said.

Subsea Engineering

The successful installation of the complex network of subsea infrastructure and equipment to safely and efficiently extract gas and condensate from the Ichthys Field for the Ichthys LNG Project has been completed, INPEX said Jan. 13.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has agreed Sept. 5 to buy half of BHP Billiton Ltd.’s stake in the Scarborough area gas fields off Western Australia for $400 million, in a move that could help speed a decision to develop the long delayed project.

In a sign that the tide is starting to turn for the offshore oil and gas sector, Woodside Energy Ltd. and partner Mitsui E&P Australia have agreed to spend $1.9 billion to develop the Greater Enfield reserves offshore Western Australia.

TGS has begun its Northwest Shelf Renaissance 2-D seismic survey offshore Northwest Australia, aiming to provide “enhanced imaging through to the deeper stratigraphic section of the Dampier, Beagle and Bedout sub-basins and Exmouth Plateau.”

Woodside has decided to put its Browse FLNG project off Australia on ice after completing FEED work on the scheme.

Technology

Inpex holds 72.8% of the project, France's Total 24%, with the rest spread over Japanese utilities Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas and Toho Gas, Reuters reported.

 The Ichthys LNG Project completed installation of its complex network of subsea infrastructure. 

The proposed IPO will not require Origin shareholder approval and is set to list next year, the company said, according to Reuters.

The resource-rich Territory's newly elected center-left Labor government banned fracking in September pending an investigation into whether the unconventional drilling technique harms farm land or Aboriginal sites.

The audit office questioned the eligibility of deductions claimed for the cost of debt and equity funded capital and the excise paid on crude and condensate, Reuters reported.