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Australia Scarborough (Pilbara) LNG to tie in Pluto LNG?

A good option for ExxonMobil/BHP and Woodside 

ExxonMobil‘s affiliate Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd is the operator of the Scarborough gas field, a 50/50 joint venture with BHP Billiton.

The Scarborough field is one of the most remote of the Carnarvon Basin gas resources and the development remains challenging due to location in 900 metres of water, 300km offshore of Western Australia (WA) in the Carnarvon Basin, operating environment and resource characteristics.

As operator, ExxonMobil is committed to find a commercial development of Scarborough as soon as possible and working on a joint evaluation with BHP Billiton to optimise development using all technical and commercial means.

After first costs evaluations fluctuating between $15 and $20 billion, BHP targets the development of Scarborough as Pilbara LNG project to cost more than $10 billion, because of the field’s location far from the coast.

Options include building a new LNG terminal on the coastline by themselves, or processing the gas through separate terminals being built by Chevron and Woodside Petroleum.

On their side Woodside is hoping to tie up a third-party gas supply deal by mid-year to support an expansion of its Pluto LNG project, while Chevron has said external gas could support an expansion of its Wheatstone LNG development from 8.9 million t/y of LNG to as much as 25 million t/y.

ExxonMobil and BHP have not ruled out a standalone plant, but development through expansions of Woodside’s Pluto LNG plant being built at the Burrup Peninsula and Chevron‘s Wheatstone LNG project at Ashburton North are seen as more likely if longstanding talks between the companies bear fruit. BHP has said a decision on Scarborough will be made this year.

Woodside Pluto LNG site is laid out to receive 5 LNG Trains from which 2 are reserved for third party LNG Trains.

Mustang, JP Kenny and Floatec completed the pre-FEED

Mustang Engineering, JP Kenny and Floatec have completed the pre-FEED for the offshore part of the project, while onshore is still on going.

Mustang has been working on the topside design, JP Kenny on the sub-sea equipment and Floatec on the hull.

For the offshore feasibility study all scenarios have been considered from all sub-sea solution to a floating LNG but the most likely design would include a large fixed offshore platform in shallow water operating a set of deep water sub-sea wells connected to the onshore LNG Trains.

The Call for Tender for the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) is now expected this year.

ExxonMobil and BHP expects a production of 1.2 billion cf/d of gas to start up after completion in 2015.

 

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