Gas production starts at ExxonMobil’s Kipper-Tuna-Turrum project

Oil and gas production has begun from ExxonMobil’s $4.5 billion (Aus.) Kipper-Tuna-Turrum project in Bass Strait offshore Victoria. Gas is flowing from the Tuna field while Turrum has produced its first oil.

The Tuna oil reservoir has been on stream for a number of years, but as part of the new Kipper-Turrum development, it was decided to also produce the Tuna gas cap.

This has been done by converting the existing West Tuna facilities and using two new pipelines to deliver the gas into the existing Bass Strait gas gathering grid.

One pipeline runs from West Tuna to Marlin and another from Marlin to Snapper.

Turrum field holds about 110 million bbl of oil plus 1 tcf of gas. A new platform, Marlin B, was constructed and linked by a bridge to Marlin A. The new complex is processing the additional oil from Turrum. Turrum gas is due on stream in 2014.

The Kipper oil and gas field, which holds about 620 bcf of gas and 30 million bbl of condensate, will not be brought on stream until 2016. The gas has significant mercury content and production will wait until mercury scrubbing facilities have been completed at the onshore Longford plant.

Kipper development includes subsea wells, coolers, and a manifold. Gas and condensate will be transported to West Tuna via a third new undersea pipeline.

Turrum and Tuna fields are owned by a 50-50 joint venture of ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton. Kipper participants include operator ExxonMobil 32.5%, BHP Billiton 32.5%, and Santos 35%.

The overall project is currently the largest domestic oil and gas development on Australia’s eastern seaboard. Production from all three fields will help maintain gas production levels from the Bass Strait region, which has now been on stream for more than 40 years. The development will also help to eke out the region’s dwindling oil flow.

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