Discovered in 1995, Bayu-Undan is a gas-condensate field 500kms north west of the Northern Territory. It is located in the Timor Sea within the Joint Petroleum Development Area. Initial development included the construction of offshore facilities to produce and process condensate, propane and butane (LPGs). During this phase 13 wells were also drilled for production, gas injection and water disposal. Production commenced in 2004.
Subsequently, the Darwin LNG development saw the installation of a sub-sea pipeline and the LNG production facility. The 500km 26 inch pipeline supplies gas from Bayu-Undan for processing into a 3.7 Mtpa design capacity LNG facility. Located in Darwin, the LNG facility is operated by ConocoPhillips on behalf of the same co-venture partners as Bayu-Undan.
The development of Darwin LNG, supported by an effective supply chain established by local industry, demonstrated the capability of the Northern Territory to be a significant LNG industry supply and service hub.
This has encouraged other projects such as Ichthys and Prelude FLNG to choose Darwin as their base, potentially resulting in four world-class LNG trains operating out of Darwin from 2018.
Creating the remarkable
The Northern Territory provided a location closely aligned to the project’s site selection criteria. In particular it offered low sovereign risk, an excellent deep water harbour, large capable workforce and capital city infrastructure including national road, air and rail links, international airport, hospital, education and other social infrastructure.
Critical enabling infrastructure was also provided by the Northern Territory Government. Its practical support included the offer of a serviced site (road, water infrastructure and construction power) at Wickham Point.
Certainty for the project sponsors was also offered through clear processes and timelines for environmental and construction approvals, along with significant assistance for native title and heritage approvals.