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February 7, 2020

2020 upstream developments in Oceania, key FIDs and project starts

By GlobalData Energy

Of the four countries in the Oceania region, Australia is the only one expected to add upstream production in 2020 compared to the previous year. The country comprises all FIDs for the year ahead and 71% of the project starts. With over half the FIDs in 2020 relating to LNG projects, the country looks set to retain its position as the top exporter of LNG; 2019 was the first year the country’s sustained annual exports of liquefied gas surpassed Qatar’s.

Of particular note regarding the upcoming LNG FIDs are Scarborough and Barossa, which together are expected to recover around ten trillion cubic feet of gas. However, there are smaller scale projects also looking to capitalise on the country’s LNG situation. Equus would be the second FLNG project in the country, looking to capitalise on stranded gas assets in the area.

In Oceania, some of the key project starts for 2020 include Blackwatch, Haselgrove and Sole, all in Australia, and Maui Redevelopment and Supplejack in New Zealand.

In the Sole project, first gas was pushed back in Q4 2019 after delays in completing the Orbost gas plant in Victoria, and again after bushfires threatened the plant. Recoverable reserves are an estimated 232 bcf. Development involves a single vertical offshore well connected via pipelines to the Orbost Gas Plant.

Meanwhile, key projects that are targeting FIDs in 2020 in Oceania include Scarborough, Barossa, Equus and Crux, all in Australia.

In the Scarborough project, contingent resources were increased 52% in November 2019 following completion of integrated subsurface studies. The midstream component of the project involves doubling the Pluto LNG facility by adding an additional train to process Scarborough’s gas. Woodside, as operator, is looking to farm down its share in the project.

For the Equus project, Western Gas has been looking to farm down from the integrated two million tonnes per annum LNG project since September 2019. Equus would be the second FLNG project in Australia and will have competition from existing nearby onshore LNG facilities. Three production wells will be connected to the FLNG vessel via an FPSO.

The Crux field will be the first tieback to Shell’s flagship Prelude FLNG vessel and may offer further tieback opportunities via its platform. Utilising five production wells and a 165km pipeline alongside a not normally manned fixed platform, Shell will be targeting four reservoir units in the Montara, Plover, and Nome formation. Original plans for the field included a greenfield FLNG facility and subsea tieback.

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