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    Mitsui, Beach Take FID on Oz Waitsia Field


A deal was also struck with the partners at the North West Shelf LNG project on handling gas from the field.

by: Joe Murphy

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Mitsui, Beach Take FID on Oz Waitsia Field

Japan's Mitsui and Australia's Beach Energy have taken a final investment decision on second-stage development of the Waitsia gas field in Western Australia, the partners said on December 23.

Waitsia is among the largest onshore gas fields in Australia. Its second phase will raise production to 270 TJ/day from 20 TJ at present. The project involves the construction of a new gas plant and an additional six wells at a cost of A$768mn ($581mn), split equally between both partners. First gas is scheduled for the second half of 2023.

The partners at the North West Shelf (NWS) LNG project have also signed agreements with Mitsui and Beach on processing gas from Waitsia's second stage, and with Woodside for gas from the Pluto fields. The deal with Mitsui and Beach covers gas to produce 7.5mn metric tons of LNG from the field's launch until the end of 2028, while the contract with Woodside covers 3mn mt of LNG and around 24.7 PJ of gas for domestic supply between 2022 and 2025.

NWS is Australia's oldest LNG plant, brought on stream three decades ago. Its shareholders are Woodside, US Chevron, Anglo-Dutch Shell, UK BP and Australian BHP Billiton. The plant is capable of producing 12mn mt/year of LNG but Woodside's fields that supply its gas are beginning to reduce their flow, and so additional sources of supply are needed to keep output stable.

"The processing of third-party gas resources will unlock further value for the NWS project," Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said in a statement. "It will provide new revenue and LNG exports from the NWS project, add to Western Australia's domestic gas supplies from Pluto and help underpin Australia's economic recovery."

Beach and Mitsui have also signed a domestic gas commitment agreement and a project development deed with the Western Australian government, and a gas transportation deal with AGIG, the owner and operator of the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline. Beach described Waitsia's second stage as one of its " most significant growth targets over recent years."

"Waitsia is a world class, low cost, onshore gas resource and we are thrilled to be growing the Beach portfolio in Western Australia,' Beach's managing director Matt Kay said. "The Waitsia development delivers further value to our shareholders initiated from the acquisition of Lattice Energy in 2018."