BHP’s crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids production decreased by 14 per cent in the second half of 2020 compared with the previous period due to lower demand from Bass Strait and the North West Shelf (NWS).
Outlined in the company’s Operational Review for the half year, the impacts of planned tie-in and commissioning activities at Atlantis (Gulf of Mexico), as well as natural field decline across it portfolio contributed to the production decline to 22 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe).
Natural gas production also decreased by 10 per cent to 169 bfc, reflecting the planned Ruby shutdowns, a decrease in tax barrels at Trinidad and Tobago and lower domestic gas sales at Bass Strait (Victoria) and NWS (Western Australia).
However, BHP advised that the decline was partially offset by higher domestic gas sales at Macedon gas field in the Exmouth sub-Basin, Western Australia.
The Macedon field is expected to provide for about 20 per cent of Western Australia’s daily gas supply to the domestic consumers and industry until 2033.
It is operated with four offshore production wells, where the gas output is transported to shore via a 500mm diameter subsea pipeline that runs further 15km onshore to a gas treatment and compression plant.
The gas is then processed at the plant and further exported through a 67km sales gas pipeline to an injection point on the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline, for sale in the domestic market.
In addition, the company highlighted that the Bass Strait West Barracouta project is on schedule and budget, and is expected to achieve first production during the year.
In December 2020, BHP and the NWS joint venture partners executed a fully-termed gas processing agreements for processing third-party gas from Pluto and Waitsia projects through the NWS facilities.
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 in the Gippsland Basin offshore Victoria.
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.