Esso Australia Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Australia Pty Ltd, has announced the commissioning of the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture’s West Barracouta natural gas field in the Bass Strait offshore of Victoria.
The West Barracouta gas development has involved the drilling of two gas production wells and the construction of associated subsea gas production facilities to access gas in the existing Barracouta field.
West Barracouta gas will be delivered through a five-kilometre pipeline via a new connection into the existing Barracouta pipeline so that the gas flows directly to the Longford Gas Plants.
The new pipeline was connected using a hot-tap, which means that important Barracouta gas supplies via the existing pipeline could continue uninterrupted while the new pipeline was being connected.
The project will deliver much-needed gas supplies to help curb the potential gas shortfalls predicted for Australia’s southern and eastern states as early as 2023.
“West Barracouta will likely be the largest domestic gas project for eastern Australia that comes along this decade, building on our long and proud history of reliably supplying gas used in Australian homes and businesses for more than 50 years,” said ExxonMobil Australia chairman, Nathan Fay.
“The Gippsland Basin remains today the largest single source of gas supply to the east coast domestic market. And West Barracouta demonstrates it still has the capacity to bring material new gas supply to the market – there is still plenty of potential left in the Bass Strait.”
By the end of this decade, the Gippsland Basin will continue to have the potential to supply one-third of south-east Australia’s domestic gas demand.
“We have a long history of supplying reliable and affordable energy to Australia and have invested significantly in maintaining this supply of energy that our customers, from heavy industries to families heating up their homes in winter, rely on,” Mr Fay said.
Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd (operator) and BHP each have a 50 per cent interest in the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture.
Country Manager BHP Petroleum Australia, Graham Salmond, commented: “As the largest domestic gas project in Australia in recent years, West Barracouta has unlocked a new, high-quality gas resource that will help maintain Bass Strait production and support our diverse domestic customer base.”
“We aim to continue developing opportunities to maximise the value of Bass Strait for the joint venture and our shareholders,” Mr Salmond said.
“I commend the Esso Australia team for safely delivering this project on time and within budget, especially given the challenges of working through the pandemic over the past 12 months.”