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Early work begins on $16B gas project

Woodside workers
Woodside workers

A partnership between a multinational mining company and an oil and gas producer has started feasibility work on a new $16 billion gas development off the shore of Western Australia.

A joint venture between BHP and Woodside Petroleum has confirmed a feasibility study is underway for its Scarborough Gas Field in the Carnarvon Basin, about 375km northwest of the Burrup Peninsula.

BHP, which owns a 25 per cent stake in the project, revealed the study is in its third and final stage after which a proposal will be prepared for a final investment decision some time in mid-2020. If all goes to plan first liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be produced in the year 2024, according to the company’s latest quarterly report.

3800 jobs

The project is expected to create 3200 jobs during the construction phase plus a further 600 jobs throughout its operational life. None of the positions are advertised yet.

“Scarborough is consistent with our petroleum strategy to invest in advantaged gas, offering options to unlock future upside through adjacent resources,” BHP Petroleum Australia country manager Graham Salmond said according to the Australian Associated Press.

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The joint venture partners previously signed non-binding heads of agreement to proceed with the Scarborough gas development, including a mutually agreed tariff for processing gas at the existing Pluto LNG Facility. If combined with the Browse LNG Project, the two will produce 40 trillion cubic feet of gas resources each year. The deal is expected to be final at the end of March.

“Our vision for an integrated LNG processing hub on the Burrup Peninsula is taking shape as momentum builds towards final investment decisions amidst progress on approvals, engineering work and commercial alignment,” Woodside said in its annual earnings report.

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