Woodside gets key approvals to develop Australian gas project

Australian energy giant Woodside has received key approvals for the execution of its operated Scarborough project located offshore Western Australia.

Woodside, as the operator for and on behalf of the Scarborough Joint Venture, has received key primary approvals from the Commonwealth-Western Australian Joint Authority to support the execution of the Scarborough Project. The Scarborough JV has received an offer for the pipeline licence to construct and operate the Scarborough pipeline in Commonwealth waters, Woodside informed on Wednesday.

The Scarborough field is estimated to contain 11.1 trillion cubic feet of dry gas. The development of Scarborough will include the installation of a floating production unit (FPU) with eight wells drilled in the initial phase and thirteen wells drilled over the life of the Scarborough field. The gas will be transported to Pluto LNG through a new approximately 430 km trunkline.

Scarborough FPU - Woodside
Scarborough FPU; Source: Woodside

Approval has also been granted for the Scarborough Field Development Plan (FDP), enabling Woodside to begin petroleum recovery operations from Petroleum Production Licences WA-61-L and WA-62-L.

These milestones follow final investment decisions made in November 2021 to approve the $12 billion (100 per cent, $6.9 billion Woodside share) Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 developments.

According to Woodside, Scarborough gas processed through Pluto Train 2 will be one of the lowest carbon intensity sources of LNG delivered to customers in North Asia, with the first LNG cargo targeted for 2026.

Woodside CEO, Meg O’Neill, said the pipeline licence and field development plan are among the final primary Commonwealth and Western Australian State Government approvals required to develop the Scarborough resource.

“Developing Scarborough delivers value for Woodside shareholders and significant long-term benefits locally and nationally, including thousands of jobs, taxation revenue and energy security here and abroad.

“The Scarborough reservoir contains only 0.1% carbon dioxide, and Scarborough gas processed through the efficient and expanded Pluto LNG facility supports the decarbonisation goals of our customers in Asia,” she said.

The key contractors for the project are McDermott for the FPU; Subsea Integration Alliance for subsea hardware, risers and flowlines; Valaris for drilling; Europipe for the trunkline pipe; and Saipem for the trunkline installation.

Woodside has also selected one of MMA Offshore’s vessels to support offshore field development drilling for the Scarborough project while ProSep has been hired to deliver its water treatment technology.

Another project in Australia marked a significant milestone this week. Namely, Santos and its partner in the Dorado oil project, Carnarvon Energy, accepted a production licence offer covering the field. The granting of the production licence enables the joint venture to produce petroleum from the Licence Area, as well as to continue to explore for, and appraise, any additional petroleum within this area.