Woodside planning Pluto expansion

The Pluto LNG Plant.

The Pluto LNG Plant.

Woodside has commenced studies on a pipeline to connect Pluto LNG and the NWS Project’s Karratha Gas Plant, as well as approving a LNG truck-loading facility.

At Pluto, feasibility studies on small-scale and mid-scale (0.7 to 1.5 MMt/a) LNG trains were concluded, broadening the options for capacity enhancement at the project.

Studies on a pipeline connection between Pluto and the NWS Project have also commenced, which bring the potential to accelerate Pluto area gas reserves, leveraging existing Pluto offshore capacity and utilising emerging NWS LNG ullage.

Additional synergies between the two plants are also being considered.

The newly-approved truck loading facility at Pluto will extend existing infrastructure from the onshore processing facility to provide LNG for distribution within Western Australia.

Start-up of the facility is targeted for the second half of 2018.

Preparations have also commenced for the installation of a compressor capable of delivering 10-25 TJ/d of gas into the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline.

Western Australia has a gas reservation policy, meaning that 15 per cent of LNG production from certain gas fields must be made available to the West Australian domestic market.

Woodside started producing from Pluto LNG in 2012, but was given a five year reprieve from offering gas from the field.

With the five years now up, Woodside is obliged to offer LNG to the local market, but there is talk of a market saturated with gas.

“For now the market has significant excess of supply and capacity,” said a Woodside spokesperson.

“Woodside is proposing Pluto projects that could address this by creating new demand, for example trucked LNG, and will also study options that could supply more, as and when viable demand emerges.”

The Western Australia Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation says Woodside is obliged to offer 110 TJ/d at Pluto’s current LNG export capacity.

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