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E & P News

2017

May 2017: The 2017 Offshore Exploration Acreage Release comprises 21 areas in 8 basins off Northern and Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands. Twenty areas are available for work program and one for cash bidding in water depths of 25 to 4,200 m.

Apr 2017: ConocoPhillips (operator, 37.5%) has drilled the Barossa-5 appraisal well in the NT/RL5 permit of the Timor Sea (Bonaparte Basin) and will drill Barossa-6 to test viability for the Darwin LNG plant. Final investment decision for the Barossa-Caldita project could be made in early 2019. Partners are Santos (25%) and SK E&S (37.5%).

Mar 2017: Chevron (operator, 47.3%) announced LNG production from the 3rd train at the Gorgon Project on Barrow Island. Partners are ExxonMobil (25%), Shell (25%), Osaka Gas (1.25%), Tokyo Gas (1%) and JERA (0.417%). First production from the 3-train, 15.6 mmtpa project was in Mar 2016.  

Mar 2017: Shell will drill 161 new gas wells at its QGC (coal seam) operations in the Surat Basin in southeast Queensland by the end of 2018 to help prevent a gas shortage. Onshore drilling has been banned or restricted in Victoria.

Feb 2016: Santos said partners in the Caldita-Barossa gas fields in the Bonaparte offshore basin, operated by ConocoPhillips, aim to make an FID by 2019. Caldita-Barossa would supply the Darwin LNG plant.

Jan 2016: LNG exports are expected to reach almost 60 mm tonnes in 2017, up by 63% year-on-year according to EnergyQuest. The AP and Gorgon LNG projects are ramping up and Wheatstone and Ichthys are coming onstream. The newest LNG hub on Curtis Island allowed Queensland LNG exports to nearly triple in 2016 whilst west coast exports were down slightly.

2016

Aug 2016: Origin Energy (operator, 100%) announced that the offshore Halladale and Speculant fields in the Otway Basin have come online boosting production at the Otway Gas Plant. Drilling of the fields was conducted from a land base east of Warrnambool accessreservoirs 5 kms off the coast.

Aug 2016: AWE (operator, 50%) and Origin (50%) announced that gas sales from Stage 1A of the Waitsia gas project in production licence L1/L2 in the onshore Perth Basin have commenced. Stage 1A includes new infrastructure to connect the Waitsia-1 and Senecio-3 gas wells to the upgraded Xyris Production Facility (XPF). Full field development is expected to be completed by 2020.

Aug 2016: The 2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release has made 28 new areas available for bidding across 5 basins of the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands and Western Australia. The acreage is available through work-program rounds and a cash bid auction.

Jun 2016: Woodside (operator, 60%) and Mitsui (40%) advised that the Greater Enfield Project in the Exmouth sub-basin off Western Australia has been approved. The Laverda Canyon and Norton over Laverda (WA-59-L) and Cimatti fields (WA-28-L) will be tied-back to the Ngujima-Yin FPSO on the Vincent field with 6 subsea production and 6 water injection wells. First oil is expected in 2019.

May 2016: Santos announced that GLNG train 2 has started producing on Curtis Island using gas from Queensland’s coal seams in the Surat and Bowen Basins, piped along a 420 km pipeline. First LNG production from train 1 occurred in September 2015. Santos is operator (30%) along with Petronas (27.5%), Total (27.5%) and KOGAS (15%).

Apr 2016: Quadrant Energy (operator, 55%) and Santos (45%) have discovered gas at the Davis-1 well in the WA-214-P permit, Carnarvon basin, 12 kms from the John Brookes platform. Quadrant Energy was established in 2015 following acquisition of Apache by Brookfield and Macquarie Capital.

Mar 2016: Woodside (operator, 30.6%) advised that the Browse Joint Venture has decided not to progress with development of the Torosa, Brecknock and Calliance gas fields at this time. However, it remains committed to commercial development and to FLNG as the preferred method.

Mar 2016: Chevron (operator, 47.3%) started producing LNG and condensate at the Gorgon Project on Barrow Island. Gorgon will initially be supplied from the Gorgon and deep water Jansz-Io fields within the Greater Gorgon area up to 220 kms off the NW coast of Western Australia. Partners are ExxonMobil (25%), Shell (25%), Osaka Gas (1.25%), Tokyo Gas (1%) and Chubu Electric (0.417%).

Feb 2016: Chevron delayed LNG from its US$29 bn Wheatstone project because of late delivery of modules. First LNG is now expected to be midyear 2017. The Julimar project, which will supply gas to Wheatstone, remains on schedule. Wheatstone is a joint venture between Chevron (64.14%), Kufpec (13.4%), Woodside (13%), Kyushu (1.46%) and Tepco (8%).

Jan 2016: The L1/L2 joint venture has taken a final investment decision (FID) to develop Stage 1A of the Waitsia gas project, in the onshore Perth Basin. AWE, is operator (50%) along with Origin (50%). In Stage 1A  the  Waitsia-1 and Senecio-3 gas wells will be connected to the Xyris Production Facility (XPF) for domestic consumption.

2015

Dec 2015: Woodside, operator (16.67%) of the North West Shelf (NWS) Project, approved the US$2bn Greater Western Flank Phase 2 (GWF-2) to develop 45 bcm of gas from the Keast, Dockrell, Sculptor, Rankin, Lady Nora and Pemberton fields tied back to Goodwyn A. Start-up is planned for 2019. Partners are BHP (16.67%), BP (16.67%), Chevron (16.67%), Japan Australia MIMI (16.67%) and Shell (16.67%).

Sep 2015: Santos (operator, 30%) has started producing its first LNG on Curtis Island at the Gladstone LNG (GLNG) project (Train 1) using coal seam gas from the Surat and Bowen basins in Queensland. Train 2 will start-up at the end of 2015 with GLNG capacity reaching 7.8 mmtpa . Petronas (27.5%) and Kogas (15%) are partners.

May 2015: The 2015 Acreage Release comprises 29 areas  across 8 basins in offshore Northern Territory, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Western Australia,  South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.. Twenty three areas are available for work program bidding and 6 for cash bidding.

May 2015: Oil production has started from the Coniston oil field off Western Australia straddling blocks WA-35-L and WA-55-L in a water depth of 380m. Oil is sent 6kms north to the Van Gogh oil field FPSO. Coniston is operated by Apache (52.501%) with Inpex (47.499%).

Apr 2015: Chevron announced the Isosceles-1 exploration well discovered gas pay in the Triassic Mungaroo Sands in 968m of water. The well is located in the WA-392-P permit area in the Greater Gorgon Area. Chevron is operator with 50% along with Shell and Mobil, both with 25%.

Apr 2015: Santos announced that its Gladstone LNG (GLNG) project is 95% complete and is expected to produce first LNG at the end of 3Q this year within the US$18.5 bn budget.

Apr 2015: The Pyxis-1 exploration well in licence WA-34-L within Western Australia’s Dampier Sub-Basin has discovered gas. The well has future tie-back potential to Woodside’s (operator, 90%) nearby Pluto infrastructure. Partners are Kansai Electric Power and Tokyo Gas (both 5%).

Mar 2015: Origin, operator (42.5%) of the BassGas Joint Venture, has spudded Yolla-5 which, along with Yolla-6, will be drilled as part of Stage 2 of the BassGas Mid Life Enhancement (MLE) project. Partners are AWE (35%), Prize (11.25%) and Toyota Tsusho (11.25%).

Feb 2015: Drillsearch (50%) announced that its Wet Gas joint venture with Beach (operator, 50%) drilled the Ralgnal-1 exploration well in PRL 130 (formerly PEL 106) and discovered gas and condensate. In Drillsearch’s (40%) Wet Gas joint venture with Santos (operator, 60%) the Nulla North-1 well in PRL 133 (formerly PEL 632) has identified multiple wet gas shows.

Jan 2015: Shell and PetroChina have shelved the $US20 bn Arrow LNG project whilst Browse FLNG has been re-phased. The first phase of the Arrow project involved a liquefaction facility on Curtis Island able to produce 8mm tpa of LNG from coal bed methane in 2 trains.

2014

Nov 2014: Beach provided an update on the NTNG program in ATP 855 and PRLs 33-49. Eighteen wells have been drilled in the Stage 1 exploration phase of which 14 have been fractured and 11 flow tested with encouraging  gas flow rates from the Daralingie Formation.

Sep 2014: AWE (operator, 50%) and Origin (50%) report the Waitsia (Senecio Deep) field, drilled by Senecio 3 in the North Perth Basin in Block L1, may be the largest conventional onshore gas discovery in Western Australia since the Dongara gas field in the 1960s. Gas bearing intervals in coals and shales could provide additional unconventional potential.

Aug 2014: Santos announced a gas/condensate discovery at the Lasseter-1 well in permit WA-274-P in the Browse Basin. The water depth is 404m. Santos is operator with 30% along with Chevron (50%) and Inpex (20 %).

Aug 2014: Apache, which will  take over operatorship, and Carnarvon Petroleum along with JX Nippon and Finder have announced a significant oil discovery by the Phoenix South-1 well in WA-435-P on the North West Shelf, northeast of Dampier. The discovery has identified a new oil sub-basin. Apache will drill the Roc prospect in neighbouring WA-437-P in 2015.

Jul 2014: Karoon Gas (40%) has announced a gas discovery at the ConocoPhillips-operated (60%) Pharos-1 well in WA-398-P. Pharos-1 is the sixth and final well in the Browse Basin Phase 2 exploration drilling campaign by the Transocean Legend semisub. It is located 9 kms north east of Proteus-1  which established excellent reservoir quality and condensate bearing gas in the Montara formation.

Jul 2014: Woodside has discovered gas in the Toro-1 well in permit WA-430-P in the Exmouth Sub-Basin close to its existing Ragnar-1A discovery. Woodside is the operator with 70% equity with Mitsui (30%).

Jun 2014: GDF SUEZ (60%, operator) and Santos (40%) have announced that the Bonaparte LNG project will consider other potential development options in addition to a floating LNG concept to develop the Petrel, Tern and Frigate gas fields, 250 kms offshore west of Darwin. These options will include a pipeline connection to Darwin.

Apr 2014: The Government has announced the 2014 Offshore Acreage Release, comprising 30 areas across 4 basins of Northern Territory and Western Australia. The release comprises 4 mature areas for cash bidding and 26 areas for work program bidding in the Northern Carnarvon, Browse and Bonaparte Basins. There is also a work program area available in the Eyre sub-basin of the Bight Basin.

Mar 2014: The Chevron-operated Gorgon LNG project off Western Australia is 78% complete, with 20 of 21 Train 1 modules delivered and offshore pipelay completed. All 18 well completions are in progress before first LNG in mid-2015. The Chevron-operated Wheatstone LNG project is 30% complete and development drilling is underway with first production targeted for 2016.

Feb 2014: Warrego has signed a farmout with Dyas and Mazarine for the West Erregulla tight gas field in EP 469 of the Perth Basin. West Erregulla has been assessed to contain 5 bcm of gas in place with a  large upside. Warrego will have 20% with Dyas (30%) and Mazarine Energy (50%) A 3D seismic survey in 2014 will be followed by appraisal drilling in 2015 and, if successful, first gas in 2016.

Feb 2014: Apache expects to start production at the Balnaves oil field in the northern Carnavon Basin off northwest Australia in April using the FPSO Armada Claire, after converting it from a very large crude carrier. Balnaves has a field life of about 5 years with production expected to peak at 30,000 bbls per day. Apache is operator with 65%, along with Kufpec (35%).

2013

Dec 2013: BG has produced first gas from its Surat Basin coal seam gas fields into the Queensland Curtis LNG liquefaction terminal. It can now begin commissioning work on its 2 LNG production trains. It is the world's first coal seam gas to LNG project. Commercial LNG production is due in the second half of 2014. The total budget is US$20.4 bn.

Dec 2013: Shell reports that the hull for its Prelude FLNG facility has been floated out of dry dock at Geoje, South Korea. The FLNG project is scheduled to begin production in 2017 off Western Australia, extracting gas equivalent to 3.6 mm tonnes of LNG per year. Shell is operator with INPEX (17.5%), KOGAS (10%) and OPIC (5%).

Nov 2013: Australia has approved the Scarborough development via the world’s largest FLNG facility. The Scarborough field in the Carnarvon basin 220 kms northwest of Exmouth in 900m of water is a 50:50 joint venture between ExxonMobil and BHP. The FLNG plant will process 6-7 mm tons each year LNG in five processing trains. Start-up is expected by 2021.

Oct 2013: Exxon announced startup of the Kipper Tuna Turrum project in the Bass Strait. Gas production commenced from the Tuna field via 2 pipelines and oil from the Turrum field through a new Marlin B platform. Kipper will come on line in 2016. Exxon is operator of Turrum and Tuna with 50% along with BHP (50%). Exxon has 32.5% of Kipper with BHP (32.5%) and Santos (35%).

Oct 2013: Operator Woodside has started up the North Rankin Redevelopment Project, exporting gas to the Karratha Gas Plant. The project involved installation of a second platform, North Rankin B, to access 142 bcm of low pressure gas from the North Rankin and Perseus fields, along with refurbishment of the North Rankin A platform. Participants are Woodside, BHP, BP, Chevron, Japan Australia LNG and Shell, all with 16.67%.

Sep 2013: BHP (71.43%) along with Apache (28.57%) has opened the US$1.5 bn Macedon field domestic gas project in Onslow, Western Australia. First gas commenced in August 2013 from offshore production lease WA-42-L in the Exmouth Sub-Basin. The operation will supply 20% of the State’s gas supply from 4 wells and an onshore treatment plant at Ashburton.

Aug 2013: Woodside has recommended floatioulng liquefied natural gas (FLNG) to commercialise 3 Browse basin gas fields, Brecknock, Calliance and Torosa. The partners, including, Shell, BP, Japan Australia LNG and PetroChina, decided in April not to proceed with onshore development at James Price Point. The project may hold 450 bcm of gas and 436 mm bbls of condensate.

Jul 2013: Origin has announced the commencement of production from Otway Gas Project's Geographe field in VIC/L23 in the Bass Strait. The project consists of two offshore gas and condensate fields, Geographe and Thylacine, and an onshore processing facility. Geographe is located in Victorian coastal waters 55 kms south of Port Campbell and 15 kms north of the Thylacine platform. Origin is operator with 67.23%, with Benaris International (27.77%) and Toyota Tsusho (5.0%).

Jun 2013: PTTEP has announced that oil production has begun from the Montara field in the Timor Sea into the Montara Venture FPSO via the H2 well. Production from Montara is projected to ramp up to 21,000 bbls per day initially with the first off take from the FPSO expected in August.

Jun 2013: Australia has granted 13 new offshore permits as part of round one of the 2012 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release. The award of these permits will see an estimated US$172.2 mm in new investment in waters off Western Australia and Tasmania over the next 3 years.

Jun 2013: Santos has announced a gas and condensate discovery at the Bassett West exploration well in WA-408-P in the Browse Basin. The water depth is 368m. Santos holds 30% of WA-408-P with Total (50% and operator) and Murphy (20%). Drilling of the next well in the program, Dufresne-1, is due to begin after Bassett West-1 has been plugged and abandoned.

May 2013: Santos has announced that oil production has commenced from the Fletcher Finucane project in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia. The development consists of a 3 well subsea tie-back to the Mutineer Exeter FPSO. Fletcher Finucane is projected to have an average production rate of 15,000 bbls per day for the first 12 months of production from reserves estimated at 14 mm bbls. Santos holds 44% in the project and is operator with Kufpec and JX Nippon.

Apr 2013: Beach has started production from the Hanson oilfield in PEL 91, on the western flank of the South Australian Cooper basin. The field was producing about 700 bbls of oil per day from the McKinlay formation. Beach, the operator with 40% discovered Hanson in 2011. Drillsearch holds the remaining 60%.

Apr 2013: Chevron has announced that the Elfin-1 exploration well in the WA-268-P permit in 1,088 m of water encountered 40m of net gas pay in the upper Mungaroo sands. It is Chevron's 21st discovery offshore western Australia since mid-2009. Chevron is operator with 50%, along with Shell (25%) and Mobil (25%).

Apr 2013: ExxonMobil plans to develop the Scarborough gas field, discovered in 1979 off Western Australia, using the world's biggest FLNG plant with first production in 2021 from 12 subsea wells. Calm waters, stable politics and proximity to Asia make the country a candidate for the first FLNG vessels. The plant would produce 6.5 mm tonnes of LNG a year from a resource estimated at 280 bcm. In 2011 Shell committed to FLNG from its Prelude field in the Browse Basin. This vessel will begin producing 3.6 mm tonnes  each year from 2017 at a cost of up to US$3.5 bn for each mm tonne of production capacity.

Feb 2013: Chevron has announced its 20th discovery off Western Australia since 2009. The Kentish Knock South discovery well in the WA-365-P permit, within the Exmouth Plateau area of the Carnarvon Basin, encountered 75m of net gas pay in the upper Mungaroo Sands. The well was drilled in 1,168m of water. Chevron is the operator with 50%. Shell holds the remainder.

Jan 2013: The North Rankin B platform on Australia’s North West Shelf under the North Rankin redevelopment project, operated by Woodside, is nearing completion. It will access 142 bcm of undeveloped gas reserves. Phase 1 engineering, procurement, and fabrication for the Greater Western Flank project also continues with drilling completed. Phase 1 and subsequent phases will access about 85 bcm of gas and 100 mm bbl sof condensate from 2016.

2012

Oct 2012: Santos announced it has commenced gas production from its Moomba-191 shale well in the Cooper Basin. This is Australia’s first commercial shale well and is only 350 metres from the existing pipeline network and 8 kms from Moomba's gas processing plant. Further drilling is planned including a vertical well appraisal program and a first horizontal well planned in early 2013. Santos has 66.6% of the South Australian Cooper Basin Joint Venture with Beach (20.21%) and Origin (13.19%).

Sep 2012: Chevron has announced the Satyr-2 gas discovery in the WA-374-P permit area 120kms northwest of Barrow Island. The discovery well in the Greater Gorgon Area of the Carnarvon Basin found 39m of net gas pay and was drilled in 1,088m of water. It is Chevron's fifteenth discovery in Australia since 2009. The successes help underpin expansion opportunities at LNG projects off Western Australia. Chevron is the operator with 50% while Shell and ExxonMobil each hold 25%.

Jul 2012: Partners of the Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas (APLNG) CBM project in Gladstone, Queensland approved a 2nd train for the US$23.7 bn project taking capacity to 9 mm tpa. Sinopec increased its holding to 25%. Origin and ConocoPhillips reduced to 37.5% each. The 1st 4.5 mm tpa train was sanctioned in 2011, with exports scheduled for 2015. Exports from the 2nd train are expected in 2016. Kensai Electric will purchase 1 mm tpa to add to the 7.6 mm Sinopec has agreed.

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