ExxonMobil to develop West Barracouta Gas Project to boost gas supply to Australian market

US multinational oil and gas company ExxonMobil is developing the West Barracouta gas field in Bass Strait, following its finalised investment decision on the project, which is expected to bring new gas supplies to the Australian domestic market. The project, located in the VIC/L1 block offshore Victoria, is part of the company’s continuing investment in the Gippsland Basin, .

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The company recently completed front-end engineering design work for the project, which is part of the Esso-BHP Gippsland Basin Joint Venture (jv), and awarded contracts to Subsea 7 and OneSubsea, a Schlumberger company. The project will be tied back to the existing Barracouta infrastructure offshore in Bass Strait, the first offshore field ever discovered in Australia.

Neil W. Duffin, President of ExxonMobil Production Company relayed the company’s objective to produce West Barracouta gas for the Australian domestic gas market by 2021.

The Gippsland Basin jv, which is operated by ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Australia Pty Ltd, on behalf of a 50/50 jv with BHP Billiton Petroleum (Bass Strait) Pty Ltd, continues to supply about 40% of east coast Australian domestic gas demand.

The new project builds on more than US$4 billion  invested by the Gippsland Basin jv in other recent projects in Victoria to supply Australian domestic gas demand, including the Kipper Tuna Turrum offshore project and the Longford Gas Conditioning Plant.

The Gippsland Basin jv has 50 years of experience in Bass Strait, according to Richard Owen, chairman ExxonMobil Australia. The first Bass Strait well has yielded four billion barrels of crude oil and eight trillion cu ft of natural gas since it was first was drilled in 1965, Owens added.