Barossa approval lines up backfill gas for Darwin LNG

With the Australian offshore petroleum regulator accepting the Barossa-Caldita project proposal, Darwin LNG plant is set to receive backfill gas when Bayu Undan production stops. 

Commenting on the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) approval of the offshore project proposal, Australian LNG player and a partner in the Barossa-Caldita joint venture, Santos, said it paves the way for the submission of activity-specific environment plans.

Santos added that this is the time NOPSEMA has accepted an OPP, a process which began with submission of the proposal in 2016 and included an eight week public consultation period.

The approval also confirms Barossa as the leading candidate to supply backfill gas to Darwin LNG plant, and the only gas supply source on track to deliver gas when Bayu Undan production ends in the early 2020s.

Santos managing director and chief executive officer, Kevin Gallagher, said the OPP approval moves the JV closer to entering the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase in the very near future.

“This is one of the major regulatory steps leading to offshore project development and petroleum production, and it reinforces Barossa’s position as the only gas supply source capable of meeting Darwin LNG’s timetable,” he said.

The Barossa gas field, 300 kilometers north of Darwin, sits within Santos’ Northern Australia portfolio.

Santos holds a 25 percent interest in the Barossa-Caldita joint venture along with partners ConocoPhillips (37.5 percent and operator) and SK E&S (37.5 percent).

Santos is also a joint venture partner in Darwin LNG with an 11.5 percent interest.