Woodside makes progress with regulatory approval process for Browse to NWS project

Australian energy firm Woodside has made what is said to be a significant step in the regulatory approval process for its operated Browse to North West Shelf (NWS) Project in Australia.

Woodside on Thursday published the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Browse to NWS Project as directed by the Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).

On behalf of the Browse JV, Woodside is proposing to develop Brecknock, Calliance, and Torosa fields, located approximately 425km north of Broome in the offshore Browse Basin. Hydrocarbon resources contained in these fields are predominately gas, with contingent resources (2C, 100%) of 13.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of dry gas, and approximately 390 million barrels of condensate.

The NWS proposal comprises subsea infrastructure and two 1100 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfd) FPSO vessels connected to existing NWS infrastructure via a 900-kilometre trunk line, which will tie in near the existing North Rankin Complex (NRC) in Commonwealth waters.

Browse to North West Shelf Project development concept - Woodside
Browse to North West Shelf Project development concept; Source: Woodside

This final EIS includes responses to comments received during the public consultation process held over an eight-week period from December 2019 to February 2020.

Woodside said that the EIS publication is a key milestone for the project, which will be followed by the preparation of a recommendation report by the DCCEEW. Once this report is prepared, it will be provided to the country’s Minister.

As explained by the company, the proposed Browse to NWS Project would send feed gas from fields in the offshore Browse Basin to be processed at the NWS Project’s Karratha Gas Plant.

According to Woodside, the proposed Browse to NWS Project could contribute to energy security in Western Australia and in the Asia Pacific region, with a production capacity of 11.4 million tonnes per year (LNG, LPG and Domestic Gas).

Woodside CEO, Meg O’Neill, said moving into the assessment phase for the proposed project was a significant and positive step in the regulatory approval process.

“The processing of Browse gas through the Karratha Gas Plant could provide energy needed in Western Australia and overseas, while providing jobs and taxation revenue that support our host communities,” she said.

Key work activities continue in support of progress towards front-end engineering design entry.

The corresponding State Environmental Review Document Response to Submissions will also be published once accepted by the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority.