The Western Australian Government has executed agreements with Woodside to accelerate Pluto gas production at the North West Shelf (NWS) liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in the Pilbara.
Woodside is building a new onshore pipeline to connect the NWS and Pluto LNG facilities, with the interconnector optimising LNG and domestic gas production across the two sites.
The company advised that it may produce up to three million tonnes of LNG at the NWS site over four years with gas from the Pluto field.
Production is expected to commence in 2022, with the construction of the interconnector also supporting up to 320 construction jobs in the region.
Woodside outlined that the pipeline will transport gas from Pluto LNG to the NWS project’s Karratha gas plant (KGP).
“Transporting gas through the interconnector would provide opportunities to take advantage of future excess capacity at KGP. It will also provide potential to accelerate future developments of other offshore Pluto gas reserves, as well as third-party resources,” Woodside explained.
In addition to the WA Domestic Gas Policy, Woodside has stated its committed to make gas equivalent of 15 per cent of its LNG exports available to the domestic market.
The company has also agreed to make a further 45.6 petajoules of gas available to local consumers for supply from 2025 from its share of NWS gas.
The WA Government stated that it will treat gas supplied under this additional commitment against Woodside’s existing Pluto domestic gas commitment, which was struck with the Carpenter Government in 2006.
However, to provide certainty for LNG industry investors and the local gas market, third parties seeking to process gas at the Pluto site will need an agreement in place that is consistent with the WA Domestic Gas Policy before the gas can be processed into LNG.
Premier Mark McGowan said the Pluto acceleration project helps to keep the NWS LNG trains full and clears the way for new LNG export industry development.
“These agreements with Woodside reinforce our domestic gas policy and provide certainty for LNG industry investors and domestic gas consumers,” McGowan said.