Exclusives

Two major offshore LNG developments off the coast of Western Australia are both still on the drawing boards of their respective operators, although one looks set to fall further behind the other.

The underexplored Great Australian Bight off the coast of South Australia remains high on BP’s agenda with the supermajor taking the chance to talk up the opportunities of the frontier basin at the Appea conference and exhibition. 

With Australia on its way to becoming a LNG force, Peter Coleman said the challenge for Australian LNG was the ability to shift from a project constructor and builder to a LNG “trader, marketer and producer.”

AWE could commercialize new sources of gas in Western Australia’s Perth Basin by mid next year after discovering an estimated 149 billion cubic feet of gas at the Irwin and Synaphea structures.

The Isosceles-1 exploration discovery well encountered about 134 m (440 ft) of net gas pay in the Triassic Mungaroo Sands in 968 m (3,176 ft) of water.

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

Managing director Adam Lowry will head 3D at Depth Asia Pacific Pty Ltd.’s office in Perth, strengthening offshore oil, gas E&P market.

Lowry worked for Fugro Australia and Seabed Geosolutions.

The results confirmed initial results from the Senecio-3 discovery well, according to AWE Ltd.

Chevron Corp. is studying data from its largest-ever seismic survey of the Great Australian Bight, Bloomberg said. TGS Nopec Geophysical Co., gathered data covering about 22,000 sq km of the untapped area. 

The project also covers the recent Pyxis-1 gas discovery by Woodside.

The Queensland Government has put 11,000sqkm of exploration acreage up for grabs, with most of the available land concentrated in the prospective Cooper and Eromanga Basins.

Production

The decision to progress the project comes after Cooper Energy’s 50% acquisition in the gas field and Orbost gas plant from Santos was finalized.

Australia's Titan Energy Ltd. started commercial production on first well in multiwell program in Allen Dome area of Brazoria County, Texas.  Titan has planned a five-well program in Allen Dome.

BP Plc plans to drill Great Australian Bight, home to several endangered species, in about a year, Bloomberg said. Environmentalists say full emergency spill response plans aren’t yet disclosed. 

BP Plc expects to drill in the Great Australian Bight offshore southern Australia later than expected, Bloomberg said. Delivery of  Diamond Offshore Drilling/Hyundai Heavy Industries rig could be delayed.

Santos drilled 16 wells in the GLNG acreage during the first quarter, which included 15 development wells in Roma and one appraisal well in Fairview, while 39 wells were completed as producers.

Subsea Engineering

Australia’s Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, pledged the Australian Federal Government’s continuing support to an oil and gas industry shining as one of the country’s main success stories.

Cooper Energy and Santos have moved the Sole gas field project offshore Victoria, Australia, into the FEED phase ahead of a final investment decision next year.

A new unmanned FLNG concept - Solitude - unveiled by DNV GL at the APPEA conference in Melbourne, promises to overcome the challenges currently faced in unlocking the potential of remote offshore gas fields. 

The Apache Energy-Inpex Coniston oil field which straddles two licences offshore Western Australia has finally been brought onstream, two years later than the original schedule.

Fabricators working on the production units for Inpex’s Ichthys Field in the Browse Basin have completed the first topside module lifts.

Technology

As part of the multiyear, multimillion dollar agreement, Atlas will develop and deliver custom-made training modules and online 3-D models of the project’s onshore and offshore production facilities as well as in-depth process training for specific systems and equipment used at each asset, according to the release.

A plunge in oil has forced companies from Royal Dutch Shell Plc to Chevron Corp. to cut or delay spending on projects that supply super-cooled gas linked to the price of crude.

The company gets about 73% of its revenue from oil and gas and just over 50% of its sales are in Canada and the Americas.

The transaction is expected to close mid-year 2015 and is subject to necessary government and regulatory approvals and customary post-closing adjustments.

Woodside Petroleum and Apache Corp. closed the Australian Wheatstone LNG and Balnaves oil component transaction on April 2 for a total cost of US$2.817 billion, including a closing adjustment of US$567 million, according to a news release.