Sole gas field enters FEED phase (Australia)

Cooper Energy, an Australian oil and gas company, has completed the acquisition of 50% interest in the Sole gas field, located offshore Australia, and Orbost Gas Plant, with the project entering Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase. 

According to the press release, the VIC/RL3 joint venture, which comprises Cooper Energy and another Australian oil and gas company, Santos Limited, will now work to completion of FEED for a Final Investment Decision (FID) in the fourth quarter 2016.

Cooper Energy Managing Director David Maxwell said: “Together with Santos we are now working on completing the detailed analysis, design and costing necessary for the decision on developing the Sole gas field.”

“The current outlook is very encouraging, with gas prices and field development costs trending favourably for economic development of Sole. We believe that Sole, as a conventional gas field, nearby existing infrastructure, is a competitive and attractive source of gas for eastern Australia. We are working with customers to develop the gas sales agreements that will deliver the best value outcomes for our shareholders and customers,” he said.

The company has further said that gas market offtake contracts and finance for project construction will be developed in parallel with the FEED in readiness for a likely FID in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Cooper Energy has assessed the Sole gas field to contain a Contingent Resource (2C) of 211 PJ of sales gas (100% joint venture). Whilst project development and costing will be determined by the FEED process, the field is expected to provide gas supply of approximately 25 PJ per year over 8 years after starting in late 2018, the company said.

Furthermore, gas produced from Sole will be transported by pipeline to the Orbost Gas Plant onshore Victoria, from where it can be distributed to eastern Australian gas customers via the Eastern Gas Pipeline.

According to the company, the FEED phase will cost approximately $27 million, which Cooper Energy will fund 100% as part of its commitment to pay the first $50 million of project costs.

“Development of Sole will provide a cornerstone for the broader development of Gippsland gas resources via the Orbost Gas Plant,” said Maxwell.

“This includes our nearby BMG resource where we, as operator of the project, are currently finalising a business plan for development to commence gas supply from 2021.”

The Sole field is located 65 kilometres from the Orbost Gas Plant, onshore Victoria and 35 kilometres from Cooper Energy’s BMG gas and liquids resource. The Sole Gas Project is expected to comprise a single vertical subsea well and pipeline to the Orbost Gas Plant which is connected to the Eastern Gas pipeline. The Orbost Gas Plant is currently processing gas from the Longtom gas field.

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