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ConocoPhillips’ Barossa proposal open for public comment

Written by  Thursday, 13 July 2017 01:10
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Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has released ConocoPhillips’ offshore project proposal (OPP) to develop the Bonaparte basin’s Barossa field, for public comment.

Located approximately 300km north of Darwin in permit NTRL5, the Barossa area is a joint venture between ConocoPhillips (operator, 37.5%), SK E&S Australia (37.5%) and Santos (25%).

The OPP was submitted by ConocoPhillips on behalf of its partners, proposing to develop hydrocarbon resources in the Timor Sea.

The development concept includes a permanently moored floating production storage and offloading facility, subsea production system, supporting in-field subsea infrastructure in the Barossa field and a subsea gas export pipeline. 

The new pipeline will be connected to the existing Bayu-Undan to Darwin gas export pipeline which feeds the onshore Darwin liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at Wickham Point. Gas from the Barossa field would replace the existing supply from the Bayu-Undan field following its anticipated depletion in 2022.

The life of the project is expected to be approximately 20 years from first gas, which is targeted for 2023. The expected LNG and condensate production rates are approximately 3.7 MTPA and 1.5 MMbbl per year, respectively. The 2015 appraisal drilling program saw three wells drilled in the NTRL5 permit area. Following a new 3D seismic acquisition program completed in 2016, a further two appraisal wells, Barossa-5 and Barossa-6, were drilled in the permit in 2017. 

NOPSEMA CEO Stuart Smith said providing the public with opportunities for participation and consultation is an integral part of an environmental impact assessment and assists in ensuring responsible offshore petroleum environmental management. He highlighted that interested parties are encouraged to review the OPP and submit comments to NOPSEMA by 6 September.

Introduced in 2014, an OPP is a regulatory document required for all proposed offshore projects in Commonwealth waters. It covers offshore activities including production drilling, the construction, and installation of facilities and infrastructure such as pipelines, the recovery of petroleum and associated operation of facilities, through to decommissioning.

An OPP provides a mechanism for the potential environmental impacts and risks of petroleum activities conducted over the life of a proposed offshore project to be assessed. It is a requirement of the OPP process that the public is provided an opportunity to scrutinize and comment on the OPP.

If NOPSEMA determines a proponent has not evaluated and addressed public comment adequately or the final OPP does not meet all of the requirements of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009 then NOPSEMA cannot approve the OPP.

Image: Map of Barossa development area / NOPSEMA

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