The Sole field is in the eastern part of the Gippsland basin, 40 km (25 mi) offshore Victoria.
Subsea 7’s scope comprises the subsea tieback of the Sole well to the existing Orbost Gas Plant, which involves fabrication and installation of 64 km (40 mi) of pipeline, associated spool and manifold, laying of a 64-km umbilical and subsequent commissioning.
The company has started project management and engineering in Perth and will begin offshore operations in 2018, subject to a final investment decision next month.
Following a recent transaction Cooper now has 100% equity in the field, which it aims to bring onstream by March 2019, and the company is currently arranging finance for the project. Development will involve drilling two horizontal wells.
The company has signed gas sales agreements with Alinta Energy, EnergyAustralia, and AGL Energy, and has agreed with APA to upgrade the Orbost facility to handle Sole’s production.
Cooper also believes it could profitably develop the nearby offshoreManta gas/condensate field in permits VIC/RL 13, VIC/RL 14, and VIC/RL 15.
This would entail drilling the Manta-3 appraisal well, followed by subsea installations and construction of a pipeline to transport produced gas and liquids to Orbost for separation and processing.
In addition, the well would investigate the potential for further gas above and below known gas-bearing reservoirs.
Commercialization of Manta in coordination with Sole gas would offer project synergies and development planning is taking this into account.
Manta’s development would likely form a second-phase Gippsland gas project, commencing with drilling of the appraisal well coordinated with the rig program for the Sole development well in 2018.
Work on Manta development would probably start soon after Sole commences production, with first gas following around two years later.