Western Australia: EPA approves NWS LNG backfill project

Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority has recommended Waitsia gas project stage 2 for environmental approval.

Indicative image of proposed Waitsia Gas Plant (Courtesy of Mitsui E&P Australia)
Western Australia: EPA approves NWS LNG backfill project
Indicative image of proposed Waitsia Gas Plant (Courtesy of Mitsui E&P Australia)

The approval of the project that would deliver backfill volumes to the Woodside-led North West Shelf LNG project, is subject to strict conditions on water management, flora and greenhouse gas emissions.

To remind, AWE Perth, under the Mitsui E&P Australia brand, proposes to construct and operate a conventional gas facility about 16 kilometres south-east of the Dongara-Port Denison town sites. Hydraulic fracture stimulation does not form part of this proposal, which will further develop the Waitsia gas field.

EPA chair Tom Hatton said this was the second proposal the EPA had assessed under its new greenhouse gas emissions guidance, which was released in April this year.

“AWE Perth have also committed to emissions targets that require the project to avoid, reduce or offset greenhouse emissions over time and a trajectory that delivers net zero emissions by 2050.

“The EPA notes AWE has incorporated a number of design elements and technologies along with monitoring and management programs to achieve emission reduction. AWE has also proposed to undertake a refit of the plant and equipment after 10 years of operation to adopt further greenhouse gas abatement measures if they are available to further support their endeavours”, Hatton said.

The proposal is for gas extracted from the production wells to be conveyed to gas hubs. Gas will then be directed via flowlines to the proposed Waitsia gas plant for processing, before being conveyed to the nearby Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline.

The Waitsia gas field is ranked one of the top five largest gas fields ever discovered onshore in Australia.

Waitsia Stage 2 will involve further development of the gas field, with more wells and a new production facility capable of producing 250 TJ/day.

The agreement between NWS participants and Mitsui E&P Australia and Beach Energy contemplates the tolling of gas related to the onshore Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2 from 2023.