ADELAIDE, Australia – Cooper Energy, AWE, and Mitsui E&P Australia have agreed to acquire BHP’s 90% interest in the Minerva gas plant in Victoria, which receives and processes gas from the offshore Minerva field in the Otway basin.
Assuming regulatory approvals, the transfer of the plant and associated land will go through after the cessation of operations processing gas from the Minerva field.
On completion of the transaction, Cooper Energy will hold a 50% interest in the plant and AWE and Mitsui 25% each.
Ownership of the Minerva gas field and offshore gas pipeline is unaffected by the transaction, with BHP retaining a 90% operated stake and Cooper 10%.
The plant, 5 km (3.1 mi) northwest of Port Campbell, was commissioned in January 2005 and has gas processing capacity of around 150 terajoules/day and hydrocarbon liquids processing facilities.
It is connected directly to the SEAGas Port Campbell to Adelaide pipeline and to the South West Pipeline, owned by APA Group.
Cooper Energy managing director David Maxwell said: “The Minerva gas plant is one of three…located onshore Victoria that are currently processing gas from the offshore Otway basin.
“Our analysis indicates the plant can offer a highly competitive processing option for gas from Casino Henry and other gas fields in the region…
“We foresee acquisition…dovetailing with our exploration and development plans for the offshore Otway basin. These plans include lifting production through the drilling of a development well on the Henry field and drilling for new gas reserves.”
The Casino Henry joint venture has progressed preliminary engineering design for processing gas at the plant, which will require construction of a 0.25-km (0.155-mi) pipeline tie-in and modification of well control systems to connect the Casino Henry fields, gas from which will continue to be sent to the Iona gas processing and storage facility until December.
Potential benefits of Minerva, Cooper added, include production rates enabled by lower plant inlet pressure and reduced processing costs.