BassGas Facilities Still Undergoing Testing

In late March the BassGas Project participants advised that work on the offshore platform was essentially complete, the offshore pipeline was fully pressured and that work on the onshore facilities at Lang Lang was progressing.

It was noted that the completion of construction and rectification work at the onshore plant was experiencing delays due to issues surrounding compliance with respect to certain site procedures and administration of the Permit to Work system, and that these items remained the subject of two outstanding Improvement Notices from WorkSafe Victoria.

Since that time Origin as Operator of the project has worked with WorkSafe Victoria to ensure that all site procedures and associated administration are either fully compliant or have an action plan in place to bring them to full compliance in an acceptable timeframe, satisfying the conditions of the last two Improvement Notices. This has allowed an increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of the Permit to Work system, and this is no longer the critical path item to completion.

As part of bringing the BassGas project to a point where it is ready to process gas from the development wells all onshore systems must pass a rigorous assessment of completeness to meet the Ready For Start-Up (RFSU) milestone.

This ongoing acceptance testing program has resulted in a number of defects, and potential defects, being identified with respect to key systems in the facilities. These systems were the responsibility of Clough to design and construct. Defects in these systems will need to be rectified prior to start-up.

Rectification of these systems is likely to be the key determinant of when the plant as a whole meets the RFSU milestone, and is likely to take several weeks. The RFSU milestone is now expected to be reached in July 2005, following which commissioning of the plant will commence.

Participants in the project are Origin Energy Resources as operator with 32.5%; Origin Energy Northwest with 5%.; AWE Petroleum with 20%; CalEnergy Gas with 20% and Wandoo Petroleum with 12.5%.