OMV reveals plans to develop Bass Strait fields

OMV Australia Ltd., a subsidiary of Austrian oil and gas group OMV AG, has outlined its plans to develop the Patricia and Baleen gas fields, located about 23 km from shore in the eastern portion of Bass Strait. Water depth at the fields is 55 m.


MELBOURNE�OMV Australia Ltd., a subsidiary of Austrian oil and gas group OMV AG, has outlined its plans to develop the Patricia and Baleen gas fields, located about 23 km from shore in the eastern portion of Bass Strait. Water depth at the fields is 55 m.

The plan is to develop the two fields, originally found by the Hudbay group in the 1980s, as an independent energy supply to rival the domination of Esso Australia Ltd.'s and BHP Petroleum Pty. Ltd.�s gas network fed by fields further south and west.

OMV says that offshore processing will not be required. Gas will free-flow to an onshore plant close to the coastal town of Orbost in east Gippsland, where it will be compressed and treated. It will then be sold into the nearly completed Eastern Gas Pipeline system to Sydney for consumers in eastern Victoria and New South Wales.

The company estimates a Patricia-Baleen field life of around 7 years. However, the surrounding acreage is relatively unexplored and may contain more finds. The facilities will be designed for an operational life of 10-20 years.

The plan is for gas to be brought on stream in mid-2001 via up to four subsea or minitower-supported wellheads and a 25-km, 250-mm diameter pipeline to shore.

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