Partnership approves second Australian North West Shelf pipeline

The six partners in Australia's North West Shelf gas project have agreed to spend $414 million on a second 130-km pipeline connecting offshore production facilities with the joint venture's LNG plant near Karratha in Western Australia state.

By the OGJ Online Staff

LONDON, Dec. 12 -- The six partners in Australia's North West Shelf gas project have agreed to spend $414 million ($800 million [Aus.]) on a second 130-km pipeline connecting offshore production facilities with the joint venture's LNG plant near Karratha in Western Australia state.

The pipeline will carry the additional gas needed for the venture's $1.6 billion (Aus.) fourth LNG production train, which will have a capacity of 4.2 million tonnes/year of LNG when completed in 2004 (OGJ Online, July 23, 2001). The pipeline will be able to carry enough gas to supply a fifth train, said Woodside Energy Ltd., the project operator.

A company spokesman said, "We're still looking at a fifth train that would probably be of a similar capacity as the fourth. The second trunk line would support train 4 and train 5. In addition, it would open up some opportunities for domestic gas here in Western Australia."

The pipeline will provide extra capacity to supply existing Japanese and other customers, the company said. Sales agreements for LNG from train 4 stand at almost 3.9 million tonnes/year.

Woodside also announced that Australia LNG, the company set up by Woodside and its partners to market North West Shelf gas, will soon submit a proposal to supply LNG to China National Offshore Oil Co. Ltd.'s gas terminal in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. Bidders have until Dec. 18 to submit their proposals to supply a share of the 3 million tonne/year of LNG sales to the terminal.

China is the fastest-growing natural gas market in northeast Asia and Australia is one of several countries, including Indonesia, Qatar, Yemen, Iran, and Russia, hoping to win part of the supply contract.

Woodside Energy Ltd. is operator of the project. Other partners are BHP Billiton Pty. Ltd., BP Developments Australia Pty. Ltd., TexacoChevron Australia Pty. Ltd., Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty. Ltd., and Shell Development (Australia) Pty. Ltd. Each partner has a 16.67% stake in the project.

Construction of the pipeline is due to be completed in April 2004, Woodside said in a statement issued to the Sydney Stock Exchange.

More in Pipelines & Transportation