Pluto LNG platform, wells on schedule

Construction of the Pluto LNG project off northwest Australia is 83% complete, according to operator Woodside Petroleum.

Offshore staff

PERTH, Australia -- Construction of the Pluto LNG project off northwest Australia is 83% complete, according to operator Woodside Petroleum. First gas remains on schedule for end-2010, followed by first LNG early in 2011.

In mid-October, the platform jacket was launched into its offshore location around 180 km (112 mi) northwest of Karratha, and secured to the seabed by driven piles. The upper and lower deck topsides modules were installed in late November, with the 90-m (295-ft) flare boom fitted in mid-December.

The program’s second drilling campaign also has concluded, with four Pluto production wells completed and tested. Timing of the fifth and final well has yet to be determined. As for the onshore LNG plant, over 90% of the 264 modules have been delivered from Thailand.

Following a review of the project’s cost and schedule, Woodside estimates that the final cost of the foundation project will likely be 6-10% over the budgeted figure of $11.2 billion.

Also in November, the company awarded dual FEED contracts for Pluto trains 2 and 3 to the Foster Wheeler/WorleyParsons joint venture and to KBR. These studies should be finished by mid-year. Final investment decisions for the two trains are targeted by end-2010 and end-2011, and will depend on securing sufficient gas to provide required volumes.

To this end, Woodside started a 20-plus exploration well program in the Pluto area in October. Its first well, on the Eris prospect, was successful, but the Pelion prospect proved to be dry.

Among the company’s other Australian programs, the FSO Okha is being converted at the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore for the North West Shelf Oil Redevelopment Project. Installation of processing equipment is under way. Refurbishment of existing subsea infrastructure should start late this year, with the Okha due to deliver first oil in the first quarter of 2011.

As for the North Rankin Redevelopment Project, detailed design for North Rankin B (NRB) is complete. Substructure fabrication in Indonesia is ahead of schedule, likewise topsides fabrication in Korea. At North Rankin A, modifications continue to facilitate process tie-ins and the bridge link to NRB.

01/22/2010

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