MELBOURNE, July 5 -- Eni Australia Ltd. has begun development of Blacktip natural gas field in the southern Bonaparte Gulf of Western Australia.
Plans include two initial development wells, a fixed production platform, and a 108-km subsea pipeline to an onshore treatment plant to be built at Wadeye on the Northern Territory shore.
Blacktip, 330 km southwest of Darwin, was discovered in 2001. The onshore treatment plant will have a capacity to treat 1.3 billion cu m/year of gas.
Eni did not release a cost estimate, although an earlier plan to develop the field (with Woodside Petroleum Ltd. as operator) was estimated to cost $750 million (Aus.).
Eni bought Woodside's stake last year for $40 million and now has 100% interest in the field, which has a reserve estimate of about 1.2 tcf of gas plus 150 million bbl of condensate.
Eni has signed a 25-year agreement to sell the gas to Northern Territory's Power & Water Corp.
Meanwhile, Sydney-based Australian Pipeline Trust (APT) has signed a $400 million (Aus.) gas transportation deal with Power & Water Corp. to pipe the gas from Wadeye across the Northern Territory to intersect the existing Amadeus basin (central Australia)-to-Darwin pipeline at a point about 150 km south of Darwin.
ATP said the 227-km onshore pipeline will initially be capable of delivering 30 PJ/year of gas. Capital cost of construction is about $130 million (Aus.).
First gas from the Blacktip project is expected on stream at the beginning of 2009.