The western dome of the Barracouta gas field - also known as West Barracouta - in the Bass Strait off the coast of Victoria is now set for development with joint venture partners ExxonMobil and BHP making the final investment decision for the project.
BHP will be investing approximately $200 million towards this project.
“The West Barracouta project is an important investment, underpinned by strong economics and rates of return, that will unlock a high quality, new gas resource and help offset Bass Strait production decline at a vital time for the east coast market,” BHP Petroleum Australia General Manager Graham Salmond said.
Through this project, the joint venture will be developing one of the largest remaining Bass Strait gas reservoirs. This development is going to be achieved with a two well brownfield tieback with the existing Gippsland Basin Joint Venture operations.
“The Gippsland Basin Joint Venture has played a central role in reliably meeting the needs of the Eastern Australia domestic gas market for 50 years.
“We are also assessing other potential development opportunities in the Bass Strait to bring new supply to the domestic market,” Mr Salmond said.
Front-end engineering design works have been recently completed for the project - which is located in the VIC/L1 block - as part of the ExxonMobil-BHP Gippsland Basin Joint Venture. The joint venture has also awarded contracts for works on the project to Subsea 7 and OneSubsea.
“We continue to use advanced technology, along with our extensive, decades-long understanding of the Gippsland Basin, to ensure full potential of the resource can be realised.
“Our objective is to produce West Barracouta gas for the Australian domestic gas market by 2021,” ExxonMobil Australia Chairman Richard Owen said.
The Gippsland Basin Joint Venture is a 50-50 joint venture between BHP Billiton Petroleum (Bass Strait) Pty Ltd and Esso Australia Pty Ltd - a subsidiary of ExxonMobil.
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