Development plans for Melbourne-based 3D Oil Ltd.’s West Seahorse oil field in Bass Strait have been approved by the Australian National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator.
NOPTA has offered 3D Oil and its joint venture partners a production licence over the field—a move that offers a degree of certainty to the project.
3D Oil has 49.9% interest with operator Carnarvon Hibiscus holding 51.1%.
Front-end engineering and design for the development began in April. The development concept centers on production via a leased mobile offshore jack up production unit feeding oil at 12,000 b/d through a 1½-km, 4-in. flexible flow line to a catenary anchor leg moored buoy. This in turn will be connected to a leased tanker serving as a floating storage and offtake facility.
The schedule calls for the field to be brought on stream in early 2015.
West Seahorse lies in 39 m of water 14 km off the Ninety Mile Beach near Loch Sport. It is estimated to hold 9 million bbl of recoverable oil.
The partners are in discussion with a number of potential debt financiers for the JV program including Australian banks, international financiers, and structured finance providers.
A final investment decision is expected in early 2014.