Kupe Gas Project over 85% Complete, Focus Now Onshore

The Kupe gas condensate project in south Taranaki is now over 85% complete with focus on completion of the onshore production facilities and finalization of commercial arrangements, field operator Origin Energy said in its third quarter report.

A sales gas pipeline has been installed from the clifftop production station near Hawera to the Kapuni gas treatment plant a few kilometers away where natural gas will be injected into the existing transmission network.

The 33 kilovolt power supply line and electricity substation at the new production plant were also completed during the quarter.

Other major items that have been completed include the slug catcher (water/gas separator), all eight pipe modules and all the LPG bullets.

Work is continuing on erection of structural steel, piping and electrical and instrumentation installation.

Origin Energy says progress on construction was hampered for a time by the unusually harsh winter conditions and some delays in committed delivery dates of equipment and bulk materials.

Commissioning of selected sub-systems will commence in the December quarter 2008.

Construction of two large condensate storage tanks on land recently acquired at the Omata tank farm near New Plymouth also began in September.

Origin Energy says the first commercial gas sales are targeted for the September quarter 2009.

The key offshore elements of the Kupe project are all in place with the production wells drilled, and the wellhead platform, FPSO and pipelines to shore all in place.

The Kupe JV partners are: Origin Energy 50%, Genesis Energy 31%, New Zealand Oil & Gas 15% and Mitsui E&P Australia Pty 4%.