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Browse could double North West Shelf life

Written by  Friday, 05 May 2017 03:46

Australia's Woodside Energy says the Browse resources could double the life of the North West Shelf by tying into existing facilities, the firm's CEO said today. 

Woodside CEO Peter Coleman also said that, by coming on stream in the mid-2020s, the development could also take advantage of an expected supply shortfall in the 2020s.

Coleman's comment signal yet another change in tack for the Browse fields monetization. The Browse project would commercialize the Brecknock, Calliance and Torosa fields, 425km offshore north of Broome in 300-700m water depth. 

Last month, Woodside said it prefered a concept using existing LNG process infrastructure on the Burrup Peninsula, which would be subject to reaching acceptable terms with the Burrup infrastructure owners. 

Woodside, which has been assessing options for Browse for a number of years, had previously been mulling a floating LNG development, based on Shell's FLNG technology.

Now, the firm wants to use its own North West Shelf infrastructure and is targeting concept select in 2H this year. 

"Conditions are aligning for us to look closely at an opportunity to basically double the life of the North West Shelf by bringing the Browse resources into it," says Coleman. "Utilizing the existing facilities has the dual advantage of ensuring the most efficient use of capital while minimizing risk by relying on proven technologies.

"As operator of both Browse and the North West Shelf, Woodside is well-placed to make this

happen and we are talking to joint venture participants in both assets. It’s still early days but we think this is a compelling option and could be achieved at a competitive price and in a reasonable timeframe."

Coleman refered to global conditions that may accelerate a tightening in LNG supplies, i.e. demand growth from new markets and the current challenging conditions for new large-scale developments. 

"These factors point to a supply shortfall in the 2020s, adding to the case for developing Browse," says Coleman. "We anticipate that first gas from Browse could enter the North West Shelf plant from the mid-2020s, coinciding with the forecast supply crunch."

The Browse fields are expected to contain gross (100%) contingent resources (2C) of 15.4 Tcf of dry gas and 453 MMbbl of condensate. The Torosa field, the first of the fields discovered, was found in 1971. Brecknock followed in 1979, and Calliance came later in 2000.

Image: Browse, an earlier vision.
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