Woodside, the operator of the Scarborough Joint Venture, has received offers for the grant of two petroleum production licences for the multi-billion dollar Scarborough offshore gas project, located off Western Australia’s north western Burrup Peninsula.
This follows an agreement reached between Woodside and joint venture partner BHP to align their participating interests across the two titles resulting in Woodside holding a 73.5% interest and BHP holding a 26.5% interest in each title.
The Scarborough project is a key part of Woodside’s $52 billion Burrup Hub vision, which aims to become a global hub for production and exports of Australian Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and was announced as a priority project for streamlined approvals in July this year.
Woodside intends to develop the Scarborough gas resource through new offshore facilities connected by an approximately 430 km pipeline to a proposed expansion of the existing Pluto LNG onshore facility.
Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said the Scarborough Joint Venture intends to accept the production licences, demonstrating the strong commitment from both joint venture participants and the State and Federal Governments to taking the project forward.
“The impacts of COVID-19 and the ensuing volatility in market and investment conditions have provided us with an opportunity to review options for the Scarborough development, allowing us to improve execution certainty and increase the value of this world-class resource,” he said.
“With Production Licences and the Offshore Project Proposal environmental approval in place, Woodside will have secured the key primary Commonwealth approvals required to support a final investment decision.”
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the production licences offered by the Offshore Petroleum Joint Authority were ‘a significant milestone’ and would generate ‘thousands of new jobs’ and supply gas for domestic use and for export.
“Developing Scarborough, through expansion of the Pluto LNG facility, is expected to create more than 3,200 jobs during the construction phase, and an average of more than 1,300 jobs a year during operations,” Mr Pitt said.
“The project will also help maintain Australia’s position as one of the world’s largest LNG producers whilst contributing to domestic gas supply and supporting our economy.
“The production licences account for 11.1 trillion cubic feet of gas resources and they support the government’s plans for a gas-fired economic recovery.
“The Scarborough field was discovered in 1979 and the production licences are consistent with the Government’s effort to accelerate the development of Australian gas resources.”
Woodside and BHP will make a final investment decision for the Scarborough project in the second half of 2021.