Shell Australia and its joint venture partner Seven Group Holdings (SGH) Energy have approved the development of the Crux natural gas field, off the coast of Western Australia.

The development of the project is estimated to cost $2.5bn, according to Reuters.

The Crux project will involve the development of a platform, which will be remotely operated from the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility.

It will also include the initial drilling of five wells, and an export pipeline to connect the platform to the Prelude facility, located approximately 160km south-west of the Crux field.

The field is expected to supply up to 550 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMscfd) to the Prelude FLNG facility.

Shell integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions director Wael Sawan said the Crux project forms an important part of the company’s integrated gas portfolio.

Sawan added: “Natural gas from Crux will play a key role in helping Asian customers move from coal to gas as a cleaner-burning fuel. The project will help us to meet the increasing demand for LNG as the energy market transitions to a lower-carbon future.

“The project will also boost our customers’ security of supply, which is becoming an ever more significant consideration for global consumers.”

Located in commonwealth marine waters in the northern Browse basin, 620km north-east of Broome, the field is expected to start production in 2027.

Construction of the Crux project is planned to start this year.

Shell Australia chair Tony Nunan said: “Developing the Crux project reinforces our commitment to Australia, including boosting the regional economy, creating jobs, and providing training opportunities.

“The use of Prelude’s existing infrastructure enables significantly reduced development costs, making Crux competitive and commercially attractive.”

A consortium of Technip and Samsung Heavy Industries designed and developed the Prelude facility.