Oil and Gas News

West Barracouta starts natural gas supply

Esso Australia has confirmed that one of the largest domestic gas projects of the decade is now delivering gas to eastern Australia, with the commissioning of the Gippsland Basin joint venture’s West Barracouta project.

West Barracouta was one of the largest proven undeveloped gas fields off the south-eastern Australian coast.

Following a $400 million investment it will now deliver much-needed gas supplies to help curb the potential gas shortfalls predicted for Australia’s southern and eastern states as early as 2023.

The ExxonMobil Australia subsidiary advised that the project will likely be the largest domestic gas project for eastern Australia that comes along this decade.

ExxonMobil Australia chairman Nathan Fay said West Barracouta will build on the company’s long history reliably supplying gas used in Australian homes and businesses for more than 50 years.

“The Gippsland Basin remains today the largest single source of gas supply to the east coast domestic market. And West Barracouta demonstrates it still has the capacity to bring material new gas supply to the market – there is still plenty of potential left in the Bass Strait,” Fay said.

By the end of this decade the Gippsland Basin will continue to have the potential to supply one third of south east Australia’s domestic gas demand.

“We have a long history of supplying reliable and affordable energy to Australia and have invested significantly in maintaining this supply of energy that our customers, from heavy industries to families heating up their homes in winter, rely on,” he said.

Joint venture partner BHP has welcomed the commissioning of the project, with country manager for petroleum Australia Graham Salmond sad the Gippsland Basin joint venture has played a central role in reliably meeting the energy need of Australian homes and businesses.

“As the largest domestic gas project in Australia in recent years, West Barracouta has unlocked a new, high quality gas resource that will help maintain Bass Strait production and  support our diverse domestic customer base,” Salmond said.

Salmond added that the company aims to continue developing opportunities to maximise the value of Bass Strait for the joint venture.

“I commend the Esso Australia team for safely delivering this project on time and within budget, especially given the challenges of working through the pandemic over the past 12  months,” he said.