Santos picks Australian player for work on Darwin LNG life extension project

Australia’s energy giant Santos has handed out an assignment on the Darwin LNG life extension project to UGL, a compatriot specialist end-to-end engineering and services provider and member of the CIMIC Group.

FPSO BW Opal; Source: BW Offshore

UGL will provide brownfield construction services for the life extension project of the Darwin facility, set to undergo pipeline tie-in work to extend its life for around 20 years. As a result, the gas production is poised to move from the Bayu-Undan gas field to the Barossa field located 300 kilometers off the coast of Darwin.

According to the Australian firm, the work will start immediately and 100 jobs will be created during the project’s lifecycle. The company emphasizes its commitment to Aboriginal engagement, local employment, supplier capability, and providing value to the communities in which they work.

Doug Moss, UGL’s Managing Director, pointed out: “UGL is looking forward to supporting the broader community through providing opportunities for local employment and local businesses to support the project.” 

This deal solidifies the firm’s presence in the region, following the contract from August 2023 with the Department of Defense for strategic advice, planning, supply management, operations, and maintenance of the Australian Defense Force’s fuel network, which is present in the Northern Territory.

Juan Santamaria, CIMIC’s Executive Chairman, said: “UGL has a strong history of working with the world’s largest energy companies, as a leading provider of critical services to the energy sector, and we are pleased to support Santos on this project.”

Before Barossa came into the picture, Darwin LNG, the second LNG project in Australia and the first one in the country’s Northern Territory region, entailed the development and production of gas mainly from the Bayu-Undan field, which is located 250 km off the southern coast of East Timor and 500 km off Darwin, as well as the pipeline transport and liquefaction of that gas.

Thanks to the Barossa project, which encompasses a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, subsea production wells, supporting subsea infrastructure, and a gas export pipeline tied into the existing Bayu-Undan to Darwin LNG pipeline, the Darwin LNG project will get a new lease on life.

The FPSO BW Opal, which will be used for natural gas production from the Barossa field, is currently under construction. Despite some legal setbacks, the development of the project is moving ahead.

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