Despite Setbacks, BassGas Project Reaches Milestones

Origin Energy reports that the BassGas Project, which will commercialize gas from the Yolla field in the Bass Strait offshore Australia, is continuing through a slower-than-expected commissioning phase.

In early March, gas from the Victorian grid was introduced to the onshore gas processing plant at Lang Lang for the final stage phases gas of equipment testing, preparations, and plant dry-out. This step preceded the introduction of raw gas from offshore.

Another significant milestone for the project was the Victoria WorkSafe Authority's completion of its assessment and verification of the Safety Case for the Lang Lang Plant. The commission subsequently granted Origin Energy a three-year license to operate.

Origin adds that work offshore on the Yolla platform is continuing in parallel. The Safe Astoria Accommodation Vessel remains alongside Yolla to provide logistical support.

Remarking that "good progress" has been made, Origin nevertheless said that the commissioning phase continues to reveal a significant number of unexpected construction defects. These defects must be remedied before the plant commences production. As a result, the phase of the commissioning and start-up is taking longer than expected.

Origin now expects that first product sales will occur in May, with production ramp-up and plant testing continuing during May and into June. The project will thus make no significant contribution to Origin's financials for the remainder of the fiscsl year, which ends on June 30, said the company.

In addition to operator Origin Energy Resources (37.5 percent interest), other participants in the BassGas Project are Origin Energy Northwest (5 percent), AWE Petroleum (30 percent), CalEnergy Gas (15 percent), and Wandoo Petroleum (12.5 percent).

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