Next steps for Bonaparte

Northern Territory Minister for Mines and Energy Willem Westra van Holthe.

Northern Territory Minister for Mines and Energy Willem Westra van Holthe.

In June 2014, Santos and GDF SUEZ abandoned their existing plans to develop the
Bonaparte LNG Project, with the joint venture saying it will consider other potential development options – including a pipeline connection to Darwin – in addition to a floating LNG concept to develop the Petrel, Tern and Frigate natural gas fields.

As a result of this recent announcement, the floating LNG (FLNG) concept for the project will not be taken into front-end engineering and design (FEED), with the joint venture partners commenting that FLNG development does not meet the companies’ commercial requirements.

Northern Territory Minister for Mines and Energy Willem Westra van Holthe tells Gas Today that the NT government is very supportive of an expanding oil
and gas industry (both offshore and onshore), and that it is closely engaged with the major companies to ensure it provides a supportive and stable investment environment.

“There are obvious advantages for the Territory to having onshore processing in Darwin in terms of jobs and stimulation of the local economy. However, should companies opt for FLNG, Darwin is ideally placed to act as a service hub for the floating offshore industry,” explains the Minister.

On the topic of a potential pipeline to Darwin, as raised by the Bonaparte joint venture participants, Mr van Holthe says the NT Government would encourage companies who operate in the Bonaparte Basin and in the North West Shelf to pipe gas to Darwin, as the Territory grows to become a major gas hub, particularly with the construction of INPEX’s onshore facility.

“The INPEX project is major stimulus to the NT economy, and will continue to be so after the construction phase. Additional subsea pipelines into Darwin would necessarily give rise to additional gas processing and associated infrastructure in the Darwin region.

“Such new infrastructure would see continued jobs growth and contribute further to Darwin’s already strong economic growth.”

The NT government, like investors, contractors and suppliers, as well as the broader Australian gas industry will be awaiting a decision on Bonaparte’s future, and to see how the NT prospers as a new gas hub. Mr van Holthe believes the future for gas processing in the NT is very bright.

“Our policy settings are right. Our regulatory environment is right. Darwin’s status as a well-developed capital city and our proximity to major Asian export destinations gives the NT a clear advantage for further development of the hydrocarbon industry.”

The Bonaparte LNG Project is a joint venture between GDF SUEZ (60 per cent and operator) and Santos (40 per cent), with the initial plans being to develop a
2 MMt/a floating liquefaction project 250 km off the coast of Darwin in the Bonaparte Basin, in the Timor Sea.

Enter your details to subscribe to the free fortnightly Gas Today e-newsletter

Thank you for signing up for the Gas Today Online Update.