Burke approves floating LNG facility
Conditional environmental approval has been given by the Federal government for a floating LNG (FLNG) facility to be stationed in the Timor Sea’s Bonaparte Basin.
Photo credit - Shutterstock
Partners GDF Suez (60%) of France and Australia’s Santos (40%) propose to deploy the FLNG to process and offload liquefied natural gas from three remote offshore fields, Petrel, Tern and Frigate.
The 2m tonnes-per-annum unit will be located over the Petrel field, 250km west of Darwin, in 85-100 metres of water. It will be serviced from Darwin.
Environment minister Tony Burke has approved the proposal by GDF SUEZ Bonaparte and their venture partner Santos Offshore, subject to conditions including management of migratory and threatened species, discharges and also protection of the marine environment.
Management plans will have to be submitted to the minister for approval throughout the development phases.
“The proponent will also need to implement procedures minimising impacts on whales and dolphins including applying a 500-metre caution zone between whales and vessels to reduce potential impacts such as vessel strike,” Mr Burke said.
And the proponent will have to address the risk of spills.
“The company will be further required to submit an Operational Scientific Monitoring Program to enable an assessment of any impacts and implement an agreed monitoring program in the event of a spill.”
Mr Burke said this was consistent with the government’s response to the 2009 Montara incident and with approval conditions imposed on other offshore petroleum projects.
Bonaparte is the second FLNG project to receive Canberra’s approval.
It is expected to enter the front-end engineering and design phase next year with a final investment decision due in 2014.
First gas for export is scheduled for 2018 and the project is expected to have a life of 25-30 years.