by Steven Randall
We have probably all heard about the fabulous riches found by the boy who discovered the mythical Aladdin's cave, with it's huge treasure trove of gold and jewels; and he did eventually live happily ever after.
Well, in compiling the research and data for our new Asia Pacific LNG map, I came to realize that many people may have NO IDEA about the riches that we are sitting on here in WA - at least one part of the giant Aladdin's Cave sitting off our northern coast. So I thought I would put together an article so we could have a brief look at some of our "..crown jewels.." and, while not specifically gold and jewels, this treasure will have a much greater effect on our lives in time to come.
The " Cave " starts north of Exmouth Gulf (ignoring the great fishing right there), with several large projects that are drawing oil and natural gas from the seabed..
Among the " jewels " in this area is the Pyrenees oilfields being operated by BHP Billeton, and the large Macedon natural gas fields bringing gas ashore for the state's industry and domestic use, along with the Enfield project also contributing to the same ends. Out in deep water at nearly 1000 metres deep, and 230 km north of Exmouth is the planned Scarborough FLNG project of BHP Billiton and Exxon Mobil. Holding over 8 trillion cubic feet of gas makes the Scarborough /Thebes fields immensely valuable, but it will take $15 - $25 billion to develop.
Then we run further north east, and encounter the Jansz and Io fields, together with central Gorgon; Wheatstone and others, all now purposed to feed the giant Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects around Onslow and Barrow island. And as of this day's date, The Gorgon facility is officially producing LNG, and will load it's first cargo within a month.
Further north again, Woodside Energy's huge North West Shelf and Pluto plants on the Burrup Peninsula at Karratha continue to produce large amounts of LNG to support the enormous need of energy in our Asian neighbours. In late 2014, Woodside Energy, through North West Shelf Shipping Services..
dispatched it's 4000 th cargo to market - an amazing achievement.
Then we move to an area several hundred kilometers north of Broome, where the giant Browse gas fields sit awaiting the planned multi-billion dollar developments of Shell and Woodside..
Prelude FLNG - the largest floating vehicle ever built, is being constructed for Shell in South Korea, and will be situated over the Prelude and Concerto fields for some 25 years, producing over 5 million tons of LNG and oil for Asian and global markets.
Woodside are planning a similar venture of similar size using an FLNG vessel to tap the giant Calliance / Brecknock and Torosa fields within the Browse Basin.
Just a few kilometers east, the Japanese group Inpex are in the midst of constructing another giant - the ICHTHYS LNG project. Sub-surface and surface platforms will extract natural gas and oil condensates from the huge Ichthys field, and pump the natural gas over 900 kilometers to a processing plant in Darwin.
These are just some of the jewels in the " crown " of West Australia's enormous natural gas reserves, and a glimpse of the huge projects built or planned, to tap this great resource. This gas will supply cleaner energy to hundreds of millions of people around the world (particularly Asia) and provide WA and Australia generally with major income for many years to come.
And we believe that's some good news worth sharing. Enjoy the day.
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