Compressor module arrives at Pluto Train 2 construction site; Source: Woodside

Woodside’s mega gas project taking shape as largest compressor module makes it to Australia

Australian energy giant Woodside is progressing the development of its huge gas project off the coast of Western Australia with the arrival of a large compressor module at the Pluto Train 2 construction site in Karratha. This module weighs 3,460 tons.

Compressor module arrives at Pluto Train 2 construction site; Source: Woodside

The first of three refrigeration compressor modules has come to Karratha after the first three modules of 51 that are required for the Scarborough project’s Pluto Train 2 arrived. Once all modules come, they will form Pluto Train 2, the second LNG production train at the existing Pluto LNG onshore facility.

According to Woodside, the three refrigeration compressor modules will be pieced together on the site by its own and Bechtel Corporation construction teams. The giant compressor module is 60 meters long and 30 meters wide. Once the installation is complete, more than 3,600 cubic meters of concrete will be poured around the module base foundation, compressor deck, and support columns to set the module in place.

Forming part of the Scarborough energy project, the latest milestone for Pluto Train 2 signifies another step forward for the construction phase of the project. The first three modules, recently installed in Karratha, were fabricated by Bechtel Corporation in Indonesia. These modules weigh a combined total of more than 4,000 metric tonnes, equivalent to the weight of 30 houses, and were transported from Pilbara Ports Authority to the construction site using 21 specialized hydraulic transporters with 126 axles and 504 wheels.

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The Scarborough project, which targets the first LNG cargo in 2026, will contribute an estimated $19 billion in direct taxes and is anticipated to spend $90 million with local Karratha businesses. Located 375 km off the Pilbara coast of Western Australia, Scarborough is expected to provide thousands of jobs and supply reliable energy to Australia and the world.

Woodside claims that this project will support the energy transition and help neighboring Asian countries take action on emissions reduction. The Scarborough gas field in the Carnarvon Basin will be developed through new offshore facilities connected by an approximately 430 km pipeline to a second LNG train at the existing Pluto LNG onshore facility.

This project entails 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 gas field. All wells will be tied back to a semi-submersible FPU moored in 950 m of water close to the Scarborough field.

Woodside is the Pluto Train 2 joint venture operator and holds a 51% participating interest. The final investment decision for the project was made in November 2021. As a result, around 5 million tons per annum (Mtpa) of Scarborough gas will be processed through Pluto Train 2, with up to 3 Mtpa processed through the existing Pluto Train 1.

The Australian energy heavyweight recently decided to keep its participating interests in oil and gas assets off the coast of Western Australia. Before this, the company sold a 10% non-operating interest in the Scarborough Joint Venture to LJ Scarborough, a subsidiary of LNG Japan.

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Woodside is also taking steps to move forward with the development of another project. To this end, Wood was hired for a concept study related to offshore gas and condensate fields located around 450 km northwest of Darwin and 150 km south of Timor-Leste.