Australian regulator accepts ConocoPhillips’ plan for Barossa gas export pipeline

Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has accepted ConocoPhillips’ plan for the construction and installation of a gas export pipeline on the offshore Barossa field.

Rendering of the Barossa FPSO; Source: MODEC

The plan for the pipeline construction was submitted on August 2, 2019, and was accepted on Monday, March 9, 2020.

In the plan, ConocoPhillips’ subsidiary, ConocoPhillips Australia Barossa, and its joint venture partners SK E&S Australia and Santos proposed to develop the Barossa gas field offshore Australia, some 300 kilometers northwest of Darwin.

The development includes bringing gas and condensate from subsea wells to a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility via a network of subsea flowlines and risers.

Initial processing would occur on the FPSO to separate the gas, water, and condensate. The condensate would be transferred from the FPSO to specialized tankers for export. The resulting dry gas would be sent to Darwin via a new 260-kilometer pipeline connected to the existing Bayu-Darwin pipeline.

The FPSO, to be built by MODEC, will be able to export over 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day as well as store up to 650,000 barrels of condensate for export. It has been designed to withstand a 100-year cyclone event at a water depth of 260 meters and located some 300 kilometers off north of Darwin, Australia.

It is worth noting that the Barossa area development project proposal was accepted by NOPSEMA in March 2018. This Barossa gas export pipeline environment plan is the first of a number of environment plans that will be developed under the Barossa project.

This environment plan specifically addresses the installation of the gas export pipeline, which runs north-south from the Barossa gas field to the proposed tie-in location on the existing Bayu-Undan pipeline.

Installation activities include pre and post-lay surveys, pre and post-lay span rectification, installation of the gas export pipeline and end terminals, and pipeline pre-conditioning activities.

The exact installation schedule has not been finalized, however, installation activities are expected to occur between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2024.

The total infield duration of the offshore installation activities is expected to be approximately nine months. The installation schedule is indicative only with exact timing and duration subject to several factors such as vessel availability, weather, and sea state.

In related news, ConocoPhillips awarded contracts earlier this month for the supply and installation of subsea infrastructure for the Barossa project ahead of a final investment decision for the project planned for the second quarter of 2020.

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