In line with its commitments to supporting Australia’s energy transition, Woodside Energy Group Ltd. has awarded all major contracts for the decommissioning of its subsea infrastructure at the Enfield, Griffin, Stybarrow and Echo Yodel oil and gas fields offshore Western Australia, the company said in a news release.

The campaign will include the Nganhurra Riser Turret Mooring on the Enfield field, the Griffin RTM and the Stybarrow Disconnectable Turret Mooring, Woodside said. The campaign will begin in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals. The project will follow decommissioning activities that have been underway at the Enfield and Balnaves fields since the first quarter of 2022, the company said.

According to Woodside Energy Vice President for Projects Australia Michal Abdullah, the company is “partnering with a range of providers with specialist capabilities and experience to ensure safe and successful execution of one of the largest decommissioning campaigns undertaken offshore Western Australia.”

Specialist contractors engaged to undertake activities during the subsea decommissioning campaign include TechnipFMC, Heerema, McDermott, Fugro, DOF and McMahon, the release said. The contracts cover the removal and disposal of riser and disconnectable turret moorings, umbilicals, flowlines and other subsea infrastructure.

“Woodside is continuing to undertake extensive stakeholder consultation to inform the development of environment plans for the campaign. These plans are either being updated to reflect stakeholder feedback or have been lodged with the regulator, NOPSEMA, for assessment,” Abdullah said.

The company also awarded a contract for the permanent plug and abandonment of wells in the Stybarrow field to Transocean, according to the release.

Local Gas Supply Deal

Earlier, in a separate new release, Woodside confirmed it is finalizing its long-term gas sale and purchase agreement with Australian urea producer Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd., with the agreement becoming unconditional.

This follows a positive final investment decision by Perdaman on its 2.3 million metric ton per annum (mtpa) urea plant near Karratha in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Pipeline gas sold under the agreement will be used at the Perdaman plant in Pilbara, which will produce an important fertilizer feedstock in support of both domestic and international agricultural users. The agreement provides for the supply of about 130 terajoules per day of gas for 20 years, and the commissioning of the plant is expected in either 2026 or 2027, according to the news release.

Gas will be supplied from Woodside’s portfolio and sourced primarily from the Scarborough project, which is currently under development. Scarborough will add up to 225 TJ/day of new domestic gas supply for Western Australia from 2026, the company said.

Perdaman Chairman Vikas Rambal was quoted as saying in the release the project is “Australia’s largest downstream manufacturing project to date.”

The agreement becoming unconditional follows a memorandum of understanding signed between Woodside and Perdaman in April 2018, the release said.

In Woodside’s latest annual general meeting, CEO and Managing Director Meg O’Neill said the agreement is “a significant milestone” as gas for Perdaman’s proposed urea plant would be primarily sourced from Scarborough. “This agreement demonstrates the benefits that Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 can bring to Western Australia, in this case supporting new industry and jobs in the Pilbara region,” O’Neill said.

Western Australia-based Perdaman, part of multinational Perdaman Group,  specializes in the production of urea, a fertilizer widely traded across the globe.

Gas for Net Zero

In the annual general meeting, O’Neill said that Woodside is on track to meet its 2025 and 2030 emissions reduction targets of 15 percent and 30 percent respectively, with a goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. Methane emissions were around 0.1 percent of the company’s production by volume, and during 2022 Woodside became a signatory to the Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions initiative, O’Neill said.

In a speech at the National Press Club of Australia, O’Neill said that decarbonization would require the rapid scale-up of renewables and investment in ongoing gas supply. As the Australian government phases out coal projects and targets raising the share of renewables to 82 percent by 2030, O’Neill said that natural gas could fill the 18 percent energy gap, which would be a “big increase” from the current seven percent of gas-fired power in the country’s energy mix.

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