Australia revisits transnational natural gas pipeline  

Posted by Big Gav in , , ,

Platts' "The Barrel" blog has an interesting post looking at the history of natural gas pipeline proposals in Asutralia, including the last plan to pipe gas from the Northern Territory to the eastern states (which face an impending shortfall now most of the coal seam gas being extracted is destined to be sent offshore in the form of LNG), which the gas potentially coming from both offshore fields and shale gas projects in the dead heart - Australia revisits transnational gas pipeline.

Australia is no stranger to the idea of transnational or even international pipelines when it comes to solving the vexed issue of getting enough gas to its eastern seaboard, home to its biggest cities.

Australia currently has two separate gas pipeline networks in the west and east of the country which supply markets of around 1 Bcf/day and 1.6 Bcf/d respectively. A much smaller, also separate, network in central Australia services the Northern Territory capital of Darwin. ...

The latest proposal for a transnational interconnection between Australia’s pipeline networks was initially aired in recent months by former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Terry Mills, as part of his efforts to secure the future of Rio Tinto’s alumina refinery at Gove. In February, just before being ousted in a party room coup, Mills secured a deal under which Gove would be supplied with gas from Eni’s Blacktip offshore field, heralding a project which would include the construction of a A$500 million pipeline to the plant. ...

That call has now been taken up by Australia’s largest pipeline operator APA Group, manager of 14,120 km of pipeline infrastructure. One of APA’s assets is the 1,600 km Amadeus Basin to Darwin gas pipeline, which was the world’s third-longest when it was completed in 1986 at a cost of just A$380 million. ...

A raft of international oil and gas industry heavyweights have taken a foothold in northern and central Australia’s nascent shale sector over the past few years. Companies including Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Statoil, Total and BG Group have secured farm-in agreements and pledged investments of more than $1.55 billion in Australian shale, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The EIA has estimated that Australia has 437 Tcf of technically recoverable shale gas reserves, ranking the country sixth highest in the world.

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