The University of Western Australia (UWA) has launched a centre to research new subsea engineering technologies for offshore oil and gas production.

Chevron and Woodside Energy will partner with the Centre for Long Subsea Tiebacks to undertake research activities in order to enhance the oil and gas industry’s understanding of hostile deep-sea conditions.

The research partners will also work on developing solutions to increase the economic feasibility of remote offshore gas production.

The solutions created at the centre are expected to be incorporated in the development of offshore assets in Western Australia.

“The Centre for Long Subsea Tiebacks will be an important hub for connecting research and industry.”

UWA established the centre following collaborations with flow assurance and subsea processing technological integration on Woodside’s Greater Enfield Development in offshore Western Australia and Chevron’s Gorgon natural gas project.

UWA vice-chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said: “The Centre for Long Subsea Tiebacks will be an important hub for connecting research and industry, offering a unique collaborative environment that will equip our researchers with the expertise to address the pressing challenges of Australia’s energy security and strengthen our contribution to the global LNG market.”

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The partnership aims to maintain Western Australia’s position in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market.

LNG takes a major share of the state’s petroleum sales, accounting for two-thirds of the total sales. In 2016-2017, LNG sales volumes stood at 28.7 billion tonnes.

Woodside Energy Exploration executive vice-president Shaun Gregory said: “We expect this partnership will play a crucial role in unlocking substantial new gas resources off Western Australia’s north coast and in reinforcing Perth’s global reputation as a centre for excellence in LNG technology and skills.”

In addition to the Gorgon project, other major LNG projects located in WA include the North West Shelf joint venture, Woodside’s Pluto, Wheatstone, and Shell’s Prelude floating LNG project.