Gas plant upgrade causes further delays for Cooper’s Sole field

Cooper Energy still has not been able to sell gas from its Sole field development located offshore Australia due to delays in the completion of upgrades on the Orbost gas plant in Victoria. 

Orbost gas plant; Source: Cooper

The Cooper-operated Sole gas field is located in the eastern part of the Gippsland Basin, approximately 40km offshore Victoria, Australia. The project involves the development of the Sole gas field and upgrade of the Orbost gas plant to supply approximately 24 PJ per annum.

Cooper Energy completed the construction of the offshore development of the Sole gas field last March. However, the company did encounter some issues during the offshore part of the project after finding that the Sole subsea pipeline had been damaged. The repairs were completed in June 2019.

APA Group is undertaking the onshore project to upgrade the Orbost gas plant to process gas from Sole. APA was expected to conclude the plant upgrade works and begin commissioning and delivery of sales gas within the September 2019 quarter. However, the project has taken longer than expected.

In an update on Tuesday, Cooper reminded it was ready to produce gas on completion of the Orbost gas plant upgrade and commissioning.

APA Group, the plant owner, has advised the responsibility for the management of the Orbost site was transferred from the construction contractor Downer Limited, to APA on December 10, 2019. This allows APA to continue with the next phase of commissioning activities, including the onsite power generation.

According to Cooper, the introduction of gas from the Eastern Gas Pipeline (EGP) for the first phase of gas commissioning is planned to start in early January 2020.

APA has advised the second phase of gas commissioning, which involves gas supply from the Sole gas field, is now planned to start in late January. On this basis, the first supply of Sole sales gas to the EGP should begin in February 2020. This was previously expected in December 2019 quarter.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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