Australia’s largest domestic gas project in recent years comes online


The Gippsland Basin Joint Venture’s West Barracouta project, one of the largest domestic gas projects to come along this decade, has been commissioned this week and is now delivering gas to eastern Australia.

The Gippsland Basin Joint Venture is operated by ExxonMobil subsidiary Esso Australia on behalf of a 50-50 joint venture with BHP Petroleum (Bass Strait) and Esso Australia Resources.

ExxonMobil Australia chairman Nathan Fay said the approximately A$400 million development of one of the largest remaining discovered sweet gas reservoirs in the Bass Strait offshore Victoria will help curb the potential gas shortfalls predicted for Australia’s southern and eastern states as early as 2023.

“West Barracouta will likely be the largest domestic gas project for eastern Australia that comes along this decade, building on our long and proud history of reliably supplying gas used in Australian homes and businesses for more than 50 years,” Mr Fay said.

“The Gippsland Basin remains today the largest single source of gas supply to the east coast domestic market. And West Barracouta demonstrates it still has the capacity to bring material new gas supply to the market – there is still plenty of potential left in the Bass Strait.”

Country Manager BHP Petroleum Australia, Graham Salmond, welcomed the successful commissioning of the project, saying it has unlocked a new, high quality gas resource that will help maintain Bass Strait production and  support the company’s diverse domestic customer base.

“We aim to continue developing opportunities to maximise the value of Bass Strait for the joint venture and our shareholders,” he continued.

“I commend the Esso Australia team for safely delivering this project on time and within budget, especially given the challenges of working through the pandemic over the past 12  months.”

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