Woodside Awards Offshore Trunkline Project to Saipem

The North West Shelf Venture announced the award of the offshore installation contract for the second gas supply trunkline linking its offshore production facilities to its onshore gas plant, near Karratha in Western Australia.

The contract was awarded to Saipem (Portugal) Comercio Maritimo, a subsidiary of the international pipeline installers Saipem. Saipem is an Italian company that has operated an office in Perth for a number of years and has overseen the company's involvement in the construction and installation of a number of major pipelines in Australia.

The installation contract will involve the use of two state-of-the-art specialist installation barges, including Saipem's 30,000 gross registered tonnage semi submersible Semac 1.

Under the contract, Saipem will:

  • Dredge a 20km offshore section of the pipeline route.
  • Collect and deliver the 11,000 12m-long weight coated pipe-section from Batam Island, Indonesia
  • Weld and lay the 134km of pipeline, with anodes attached.
  • Flood and pressure test the completed trunkline.
  • The 42-inch trunkline, which requires a special grade of steel and production techniques not available in Australia, is being manufactured in Japan and weight-coated with concrete in Indonesia before being transported to Australia.

    The installation contract is worth more than $100 million and will employ approximately 300 Australian workers offshore during the four-month installation program. The offshore program also includes specialist training of the Australian workforce in the most up-to-date welding and installation techniques to meet the technical requirements of the job.

    The installation program will run from May 2003 to August 2003, with construction of the trunkline scheduled for completion in April 2004 to coincide with completion of Train 4. First LNG production from Train 4 is scheduled for mid-2004.

    The $800m second trunkline is an integral part of current expansion of the Venture’s gas production and liquefaction facilities, which includes the construction of a fourth LNG processing train and associated infrastructure. The A$1.6 billion fourth train, which has a capacity of 4.2 million tons of LNG a year, will boost NWS LNG production to nearly 12 mtpa. The second trunkline will provide extra capacity to supply existing Japanese and Western Australian customers, as well as for prospective gas-related projects on the Burrup.

    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; Chevron Australia Pty Ltd; Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd; and Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited.