Perth-based Buru Energy has completed a restart plan for the Ungani oil field in the onshore Canning basin south of Broome in Western Australia.
Production from the field will be trucked to Wyndham, stored in an 80,000 bbl tank and exported via ship to Southeast Asian or local markets.
Previous oil export from Wyndham was through a smaller 30,000 bbl tank, and the larger 80,000 bbl tank to be used for the restart brings significant economies of scale and commercial benefits through access to larger ships on spot charter, rather than the previously used smaller time charter ships, Buru said.
Planned modifications to the larger tank will also help streamline the storage system and reduce operating costs. The timing of the restart is dependent on returning the tank from diesel service and the required minor modifications being completed, with a midyear target start date.
A tender process for the contract for transporting the crude from the Ungani oil field to Wyndham is currently in progress, together with a detailed review of the safety systems for the trucking operation.
Some minor modifications to the field will also be undertaken prior to start-up with the field initially produced on natural flow at a target rate of 1,200 bbl/d with artificial lift planned to be installed later in 2017 to maintain and potentially increase production rates.
The restart is subject to final joint venture and regulatory approvals and award of the various necessary contracts. Ungani is a 50:50 partnership between Buru and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp.
Eric Streitberg, Buru’s executive chairman said, “We are delighted to at last be able to get back onto production in a period of reasonable and stable oil prices after one of the biggest wet seasons in the Kimberley for many years. The resumption of export through Wyndham using the larger tank was made possible by the co-operation of the tank owner and the construction contractor and has given us a pathway to profitable oil production at a minimal capital cost.
“The plan to commence export through Wyndham commencing in mid-2017 takes advantage of existing infrastructure that was not previously available, with its improved margins and early utilization. The Broome option will continue to be explored, but given the necessity to construct additional tankage and a dedicated oil export pipeline at the port, this option is not available in the short term," he concluded.