Woodside Petroleum has been granted environmental approval for the nearshore (Western Australian State waters) sector of the company’s proposed Scarborough gas field development.
Western Australian Minister for Environment, Amber-Jade Sanderson, made the announcement following assessment of the project by the state’s Environmental Protection Authority.
The assessment included stakeholder consultation and a 4-week public review of the draft dredging and spoil disposal management plan.
The ministerial statement authorizes the installation of a 32 km section of the Scarborough gas trunkline within State waters, along with associated activities necessary to construct the pipeline.
Woodside now has both Commonwealth and State primary approvals in place for the whole project.
The proposal for extraction and processing of gas from Scarborough field (which contains negligible reservoir CO2) in Commonwealth waters was assessed separately and accepted by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) in March 2020.
The proposed Scarborough project comprises development of the gas resource through new offshore facilities connected by a 430 km pipeline to an expansion of the existing Pluto LNG onshore facility on Burrup Peninsula near Dampier.
Initial focus will be on the main Scarborough field in license WA-61-L with offshore facilities to include seven development wells and a contingency eighth infill well tied back to a semisubmersible floating production unit moored in 950 m of water close to the field.
The onshore plant expansion will involve modifications to the existing Pluto Train 1, construction of a second (Pluto Train2) and additional domestic gas infrastructure.
The aim is to produce around 8 million tonnes/year (tpy) of LNG with 5 million tpy of that to go through Pluto Train 2 and the remaining 3 million tpy through Pluto Train 1 and/or the nearby North West Shelf plant.
Woodside is targeting a final investment decision for Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 by yearend. First LNG cargo is planned for 2026.
Other fields in the greater Scarborough group will be developed at a later date.
The Greater Scarborough fields, all operated by Woodside, include Scarborough (WA-61-L) and North Scarborough (WA-62-L) in both of which Woodside has 73.5% interest and BHP Petroleum 26.5%, as well as Thebe field (retention lease WA-63-R) and Jupiter field (retention lease WA-61-R) in both of which Woodside and BHP Petroleum have equal 50% interests.