Trunkline Magazine 02 Apr 2019

Hub of activity

Our Burrup Hub concept has been likened to an alignment of the stars, opening up opportunities that fuel Woodside’s growth and energise Karratha.

Woodside’s Burrup Hub concept holds out the exciting prospect of fuelling the company’s growth and securing Karratha’s future for another three decades, says Richard van Lent, senior vice president Browse.

And Richard says it’s a rare convergence of circumstances that has made the concept possible.

“It’s like an alignment of the stars – an event that happens only once in a lifetime,” he observes.


“I think it’s a fantastic strategy that unlocks the resources of both the Browse and Scarborough fields, and brings them onshore to the North West Shelf (NWS) facilities at Karratha Gas Plant (KGP) and Pluto LNG Plant respectively.

“Together they will ensure another 30 years at Karratha, which is fantastic for the community, for Woodside — in fact, for everyone.”

Chief operations officer Meg O’Neill took up the theme at the Australasian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference in Perth in March.

“The Burrup Hub will mean we are here for the long term and can continue to invest locally … energising the Pilbara and energising WA,” Meg told delegates.

“Our plans will ensure a vibrant future for the community that has, over the past 35 years, grown alongside us, with a population that has doubled since the early 1980s as enviable amenities and facilities have been added to the town.”

Meg said Woodside’s proposals for the Burrup Hub would create an estimated 5000 direct jobs in the construction phases, 2000 jobs in steady state operations, and thousands more in the supply chain.

The Burrup Hub comprises an integrated, regional LNG production centre on the Burrup Peninsula using proven LNG facilities.

Richard’s aligning “stars” include the worldwide shortage of LNG forecast for the 2020s with the Scarborough and Browse targetted ready for start-up (RFSU) dates of 2023 and 2026 respectively.

At the same time KGP will have spare capacity as our existing gas fields mature. The conditions for expanding the Pluto site, via addition of a second LNG train, are also suitable.

Another supporting factor is the strong relationships Woodside has built with the participants in the Browse, NWS and Scarborough joint ventures (JVs).

Below is a summary of the key components of the Burrup Hub concept.

Scarborough to Pluto

“Scarborough’s time is now,” says Daniel Kalms, senior vice president Scarborough.

“A combination of our expertise, infrastructure position and onshore and offshore experience means now is the time to develop this resource.

“The work we’ve successfully completed over the past 35 years on the Burrup – building offshore platforms, building trunklines, drilling subsea wells, operating floating production systems – it all gives us the ability and experience to deliver this.”

Located in the Carnarvon Basin, approximately 375 km west-northwest of the Burrup Peninsula, Scarborough contains an estimated 7.3 Tcf of dry gas (2C, 100%, Woodside share 5.5 Tcf).

The initial development proposes up to seven subsea gas wells feeding a semi-submersible floating production unit.

A pipeline roughly 430 km long would transport the dry gas to the Pluto LNG plant, where LNG Train 2, plus additional domestic gas infrastructure, would be constructed.

“The Pluto LNG processing facilities are well matched to Scarborough gas composition, which is lean, dry and contains nitrogen,” explains Daniel.

Browse to NWS

The Browse gas fields, located offshore approximately 425 km north of Broome in the Browse Basin, boast contingent resources of 13.9 Tcf of dry gas and 390 million barrels of condensate (2C, 100%, Woodside share 4.3 Tcf and 119 MMbbl).

The Browse development plan involves the condensate being exported offshore at the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facilities, while the gas will be transported by pipeline almost 1000 km long to existing NWS infrastructure in Karratha.

It would produce around 10 Mtpa of LNG/LPG and 1.4 Mtpa of domestic gas.

Burrup Hub

Senior vice president NWS and Burrup Hub Niall Myles makes the point the Burrup Hub is more ambitious than the combination of mega projects that comprise Scarborough and Browse.

“Our vision is for a truly integrated seven-train operation on the Burrup, with the an interconnector pipeline joining Pluto and NWS LNG plants, allowing gas to be processed in the plant best suited and optimised to do so,” Niall says.

Moreover, proposals to upgrade and extend the life of the Pluto and NWS facilities provide an opportunity to explore new ways to power these plants and Woodside is exploring other energy options to reduce our emissions and improve the efficiency of these facilities.

Then there’s the LNG truck loading facility to provide LNG for distribution by truck to the Pilbara, Kimberley and Gascoyne regions of Western Australia.

By making LNG available for remote power generation and as fuel for heavy transport used in mining operations, Woodside intends to create new markets.

Daniel and Richard say our focus in 2019 will be on ensuring milestone targets are met, JV participants are kept abreast of developments, the necessary regulatory approvals are pursued, and marketing discussions progressed with buyers to support the financial investment decision (FID) for both the Scarborough and Browse to NWS Project.

“The Burrup Hub will provide a longterm solution for processing gas resources to supply both domestic and export markets for decades to come,” Richard says.

“Not only are we helping meet the predicted world shortage of gas, but the

Burrup Hub will help our transition to a lower carbon future as well as provide jobs and economic benefits to the local and broader communities.

“We should be incredibly proud of this endeavour whose time has come.”

Read the full Q1 2019 issue of Trunkline here.

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