Partners nearly set to push the button on Barossa development after subsea contract awards

Oil major ConocoPhillips has awarded contracts for the supply and installation of subsea infrastructure for the Barossa project, located offshore Australia, ahead of a final investment decision for the project planned for the second quarter of 2020. 

Rendering of the Barossa FPSO; Source: MODEC
Rendering of the Barossa FPSO; Source: MODEC

ConocoPhillips is the operator of the Barossa joint venture with a 37.5% interest and Santos and SK E&S are its partners with a 25% interest and 37.5% interest, respectively.

Santos said on Tuesday that the contract for the transport and installation of all the subsea umbilicals, risers, and flowlines, as well as the supply of the in-field flowlines, had been awarded to Subsea 7. Furthermore, Aker Solutions will supply the umbilicals and National Oilwell Varco Denmark will supply the flexible risers.

In a separate statement on Tuesday, Subsea 7 said it had been awarded a large contract by ConocoPhillips to deliver the SURF scope for the Barossa project. Subsea 7 defines a large contract as between $300 million and $500 million.

Subsea 7’s scope of work includes project management, engineering, procurement, fabrication, transportation, installation and pre-commissioning of 36 km of flowlines and associated client-supplied risers, umbilicals and subsea structures in water depths between 230 and 270 metres. The offshore work scope is scheduled to occur in 2022 and 2023, using Subsea 7’s reel-lay and heavy construction vessels.

Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Gallagher, said: “These are the final major facilities contracts for Barossa as we get closer to pushing the button on the project’s development in the second quarter.”

“They follow the award of the FPSO facility, subsea wells and subsea production system, and gas export pipeline tenders, with the contract for the drilling of the production wells to be awarded in the near future.”

“They represent the final stages of the front-end engineering design phase and give us greater certainty over cost and schedule for the Barossa development.”

The Barossa project area encompasses petroleum permit NT/RL5 located in Commonwealth waters, 300 kilometres north of Darwin, offshore Northern Territory.

The development concept consists of an FPSO, six subsea production wells, supporting in-field subsea infrastructure and a gas export pipeline tied into the existing Bayu-Undan to Darwin pipeline, supplying gas to Darwin LNG.

On October 14, 2019, Santos announced the acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ northern Australia and Timor-Leste portfolio including its interests in Darwin LNG, Bayu-Undan and Barossa. Completion of the transaction and planned sell-down to SK E&S will see Santos’ interests in these assets increase to 43.4%, 43.4%, and 62.5%, respectively. Santos is prepared to sell down equity in Barossa to a target ownership of 40-50% to achieve increased partner alignment.

It is also worth reminding that, at the end of October 2019, Japan’s MODEC won a contract to supply an FPSO vessel for the Barossa field. The FPSO 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.

Scheduled for delivery during 2023, the FPSO will be permanently moored by an internal turret mooring system supplied by a MODEC group company, SOFEC.

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