Australian firm Woodside Energy has announced that the Commonwealth and Western Australian Joint Authority have granted petroleum production licences to the Scarborough joint venture (JV).

Scarborough JV received grants for the offshore WA-1-R (Scarborough) and WA-62-R (North Scarborough) permits.

In February, field partners Woodside and BHP agreed to align their participating interests across the two permits, giving Woodside 73.5% and BHP 26.5% in each licence.

Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said: “The impacts of Covid-19 and the ensuing volatility in market and investment conditions have provided us with an opportunity to review options for the Scarborough development, allowing us to improve execution certainty and increase the value of this world-class resource.

“With production licences and the offshore project proposal environmental approval in place, Woodside will have secured the key primary Commonwealth approvals required to support a final investment decision.”

The JV will now advance its application for a pipeline licence and submission of the field development plan to the joint authority, with the aim of making a final investment decision in H2 2021.

Woodside noted that the Scarborough gas field contains an estimated contingent resource of about 11.1tcf.

In May, retention lease renewal applications with respect to the two production licences for the Thebe and Jupiter fields were submitted to the joint authority.

The Thebe and Jupiter fields are part of the Greater Scarborough gas resource.

In January last year, Woodside awarded four contracts regarding FEED activities to be carried out at Scarborough.

In March 2018, BHP approved Woodside’s acquisition of ExxonMobil’s 50% interest in Scarborough.