Exclusives

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Australian LNG exports are projected to grow in the 2017-2018 financial year.

Chevron has decided to take its tax battle to court in Australia over a AU$1 billion dispute.

Statoil, Great Australia Bight, Australia oil and gas, exploration permit

The Norwegian oil and gas company has swapped interests in exploration permits with BP in the Great Australian Bight area.

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Who will be the next LNG and gas export superpower? A Russian energy director and an American executive took their cases to Australia for APPEA 2017.

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A legislative move designed to shore up energy supplies will be triggered only when a shortage has been identified and will apply to export operations, Matt Canavan said.

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

Origin Energy said it increased its share in the undeveloped shale gas prospect to 70%, after purchasing a 35% share from Sasol Petroleum Australia Ltd. It did not disclose a purchase price.

If successful, the deal could mark Petronas’ biggest upstream stake sale since oil prices started declining more than two years ago. Petronas is targeting lowering operating expenses, job cuts and project rollbacks to help it navigate through the low oil price environment.

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Beach Energy, Santos, Strike and Senex have been named recipients of AU$24 million in grants from the South Australian government.

In an astonishing paradox, Australia is hurtling towards chronic domestic gas shortages and power outages just as it becomes the world’s biggest LNG exporter.

The company plans to perform a three- to six-month extended production test starting in third-quarter 2017, following the completion in April of a light oil resource volume assessment, to help determine the commerciality of the discovery.

Production

Shell’s Prelude FLNG Facility Sets Sail From S. Korea For Australia

Shell’s Prelude FLNG expected to begin operations in 2018.

Gas supply has become a hot issue following blackouts and brownouts in Australia's eastern states over the past year, and as growth in LNG exports has led to soaring gas prices for manufacturers, Reuters reported.

Australia is on the cusp of becoming the world’s largest LNG exporter. At AOG 2017, the question being asked is whether that will be good for the country?

Woodside’s forecast for production to grow by 15% over the next three years, implying output of around 100 million barrels of oil equivalent by 2020, was ahead of some analysts’ forecasts for growth of around 5%. The increase will come from the Wheatstone LNG project, where operator Chevron Corp. expects production to start in mid-2017, and oil from Woodside’s Greater Enfield project.

The partners, led by ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), plan to start initial engineering and design work in late 2017 and to reach a final investment decision in late 2018 or early 2019, Santos Managing Director Kevin Gallagher told analysts at a results briefing.

Subsea Engineering

Four of the biggest oil and gas operators in Australia have joined forces in an effort to combat an issue offshore Australia that is costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars: replacing subsea equipment that fails prematurely.

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.”

Technology

The MSA will be delivered by a JV between Clough, Amec Foster Wheeler and China Petroleum Engineering.

In its fourth incarnation, Browse could supply gas to the North West Shelf LNG plant from 2025, rather than be developed as an expensive new LNG project. Browse has been reworked three times over the past decade, Reuters reported.

Project is designed to ease possible gas shortage in Queensland.

Major oil and gas producers and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association were all vehemently opposed to changes to the tax regime, Reuters reported.

Chevron said it was disappointed by the judgment in the case, which covers the five tax years from 2004 through 2008.