North West Shelf Venture Names New LNG Ship

The North West Shelf Venture's ninth LNG ship was named the Northwest Swan at a ceremony in South Korea today.

The Northwest Swan was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering at its dockyards near Busan, South Korea, and is due for delivery to the Venture at the end of March 2004.

The ship will make its maiden voyage in April 2004 from the NWS Venture's LNG loading facilities at Withnell Bay in Western Australia.

The new ship complements the Venture's fleet of eight identical purpose-built ships, which have been operating reliably to Japan for the past 15 years.

The Northwest Swan continues the Venture's tradition of naming its ships after birds of Australasia, all of which are either permanent inhabitants or regular visitors to Australia's North West. The other LNG ships are the Northwest Sanderling, Northwest Swift, Northwest Swallow, Northwest Snipe, Northwest Shearwater, Northwest Seaeagle, Northwest Sandpiper and Northwest Stormpetrel.

The Northwest Swan is an integral part of the Venture's LNG expansion project, which includes a fourth LNG processing train and a second offshore trunkline.

The new and existing trunklines link the Venture's offshore gas production platforms and its onshore gas processing facilities near Karratha in Western Australia. First gas was introduced to the new trunkline in February 2004, which adds significant capacity for increased gas demand from LNG and domestic gas users.

The expansion project is expected to be completed by mid-2004.

The new ship's specifications are:

  • Membrane containment system (different to existing fleet)
  • Length of 287 meters; beam of 43.4 meters; draught of 11.5 meters
  • Capacity of 138,500 cubic meters (existing fleet 125,000 cubic meters)
  • Operator is ChevronTexaco

  • The six equal participants in the North West Shelf Venture are: Woodside Energy Ltd. (operator); BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd; BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd; ChevronTexaco Australia Pty Ltd; Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd; and Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited.