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BHP backs West Barracouta for 2021 start

BHP is confident that the West Barracouta joint venture project in the Bass Strait will be online in 2021 following further progress during the September quarter.

The company reported that the West Barracoutta project was on schedule and budget for first production next year despite delays in component delivery and equipment fabrication due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The development of West Barracouta involves drilling two gas production wells and constructing associated subsea gas production facilities to access gas in the existing Barracouta field offshore Victoria in the Gippsland Basin.

West Barracouta is being developed by the Esso-BHP Gippsland Basin joint venture, a 50-50 partnership between ExxonMobil’s subsidiary Esso Australia and BHP.

Outlined in BHP’s September quarter report, the company completed a multi-client 3D seismic survey in the Gippsland Basin during the period and is now evaluating data from the process.

The company recorded a 9 per cent decrease in its natural gas production to 91 bcf during the quarter, with lower domestic gas sales at Bass Strait and North West Shelf playing a part in the fall.

BHP is expecting production in December 2020 to reflect tie-in activity for the Trinidad and Tobago Ruby project and impacts from Hurricane Delta in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company’s total petroleum production guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 95 and 102 million barrels of oil equivalent.

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