Here, The Australian Pipeliner examines the network of proposed CSG pipelines in the CSG hubs of Queensland and New South Wales.
Queensland has 98 per cent of Australia’s proven CSG and has seen a tripling of gas-fired electricity generation in the past five years.
According to the Queensland Government, a medium-sized 28 MMt/a CSG-to-LNG industry could:Article continues below…
- Generate over 18,000 jobs in Queensland, with 4,300 jobs in the Surat Basin alone;
- Increase gross state product by over $3 billion or one per cent;
- Generate private sector investment of over $45 billion; and,
- Provide royalty returns of over $850 million per annum.
The majority of gas which is planned to be transported through Queensland’s proposed CSG pipelines is destined for export to markets in Asia, including China and Japan.
QGC is developing CSG in the Surat Basin located in southern Queensland for domestic and export markets through its Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Project. The project’s first stage will comprise two LNG trains at a new LNG plant on Curtis Island, which will produce a combined 8.5 MMt/a of LNG. The site can accommodate an expansion to 12 MMt/a of LNG, subject to demand.
The 540 km, 1,067 mm diameter main pipeline for the project comprises an export pipeline and a collection header to transport 1,360 MMcf/d of gas from the fields to the plant. Construction of the pipeline has been awarded to a joint venture between McConnell Dowell and Consolidated Contracting Company (the MCJV).
At the time of writing, the right-of-way (RoW) for the 190 km gas collection header had been cleared, and pipe had been strung out along its length. Welding and weld-verification teams were working in two spreads along the route, and welded sections of pipeline were being lowered into the trench and buried.
Preparation work had also begun on the RoW for the 350 km export pipeline, which joins the collection header north of Miles before continuing on to Curtis Island. At the Gladstone end of the export pipeline, construction was progressing through wetlands along the final kilometres of the route.
First LNG delivery is expected in 2014.
A joint venture between Origin Energy (37.5 per cent), ConocoPhillips (37.5 per cent), and Sinopec (25 per cent) is developing the CSG-to-LNG Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) Project. The project will develop gas fields in the Surat and Bowen basins in southwest and central Queensland, and process up to 9 MMt/a of LNG at an LNG facility to be located on Curtis Island off the coast of Gladstone.
As part of the project, the MCJV is currently constructing a 530 km pipeline with diameters of 1,050, 900 and 750 mm, which will connect the fields to the facility, transporting 1,560 TJ/d of gas. At the time of writing, coated Japanese pipe had been received at the yard in Callide. Two temporary accommodation facilities as well as a materials laydown site near Wandoan were also under construction, with equipment being delivered to the site.
APLNG has also awarded Nacap a $100 million contract to construct 110 km of smaller gauge pipe connecting APLNG’s gas plants to the main transmission pipeline.
The project is expected to reach completion by mid-2014.
The proposed GLNG Project will initially produce 7.8 MMt/a of LNG through a two-train facility on Curtis Island, Gladstone, with a maximum potential to produce up of 10 MMt/a. Saipem Australia has been contracted to construct a 420 km, 1,067 mm diameter pipeline to connect a compression station at Santos’ Fairview and Roma CSG fields in the Surat Basin to the LNG plant.
At the time of writing, five shipments of pipe had arrived at Gladstone and Port Alma, and transportation of pipe to laydown areas along the pipe route had commenced. Construction on a temporary accommodation camp in the Arcadia Valley for the pipeline construction team had also begun, with pipelay expected to commence later this year.
First exports of gas are scheduled for 2015.
Shareholders in GLNG include Santos (30 per cent), PETRONAS (27.5 per cent), Total (27.5 per cent) and KOGAS (15 per cent).
Arrow Energy has a number of pipelines associated with its proposed Arrow LNG Project, which will supply the proposed 18 MMt/a, four-train Arrow LNG plant with gas from Arrow’s CSG reserves in the Surat and Bowen basins.
The Arrow Surat Pipeline, which includes the former Surat to Gladstone Pipeline, is a 467–545 km, 600–950 mm diameter pipeline that generally heads north from the Kogan area through the local government areas of Western Downs, Banana, North Burnett and Gladstone. The route continues to the north of Chinchilla, before heading northeast from a point east of Callide to follow the Queensland Gas Pipeline for the remaining 64 km into Gladstone. The pipeline is expected to begin construction in 2015 and reach completion in 2017.
At the time of writing, public comment was being sought for the Arrow Bowen Pipeline environmental impact statement. The project will involve construction of a 477 km, 950–1,050 mm diameter pipeline – consisting of a main pipeline and three lateral pipelines – to transport gas from the Bowen Basin to Gladstone.
Arrow also plans to build the 22 km, 1,219 mm diameter Curtis Island Pipeline. The route consists of 15 km on the Gladstone mainland, a 6 km tunnel under the harbour, and 1 km on Curtis Island.
Both the Arrow Bowen and Curtis Island pipelines are expected to commence construction in 2016 and finish in 2018, and all three Arrow pipelines are expected to tender in 2013.
The pre-front-end engineering and design study has been completed for the 21 km, 660 mm diameter Gladstone ‘Fisherman’s Landing’ Pipeline. The proposed pipeline, which is owned by LNG Ltd subsidiary Gladstone LNG Pty Ltd, will transport 520 TJ/d of gas from the Callide Infrastructure Corridor to the company’s wholly-owned 3 MMt/a LNG project at Fisherman’s Landing in the Port of Gladstone. A construction schedule is yet to be confirmed.
Design work for the proposed 825 km, 500 mm diameter Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline remains on hiatus. The pipeline will run between the Wallumbilla Gas Hub in Queensland and Newcastle in NSW, transporting 85–160 PJ/a of gas from southern Queensland CSG fields.
Finances for the pipeline fell short after a foundational agreement to transport 50 PJ/a of gas for 20 years to Chinchilla was rescinded, following QGC’s decision to cancel its 400–600 MW power station.
Public, landholder and government consultation and other activities are still moving forward, however, design work and the rest of the project program will resume when gas transportation contracts have been finalised. At this stage, the pipeline is expected to be completed in 2015.
A pipeline has been incorporated into Origin Energy’s plans for the proposed Ironbark CSG Project, however, the project is currently at the appraisal and exploration stage, and pipeline specifications have not yet been finalised. First production of sales gas from the project is targeted for 2014 at a rate of 50–60 TJ/d, with the potential to increase sales gas production to a maximum rate of 120 TJ/d.
In November 2011, Nacap Australia completed the 450 mm diameter QSN 3 Pipeline on behalf of Epic Energy. The project involved looping of the existing 937 km South West Queensland Pipeline (SWQP), increasing its capacity from 181 TJ/d to approximately 385 TJ/d.
The SWQP links Queensland’s CSG fields in Wallumbilla with the QSN Link Pipeline, which connects into the Moomba to Sydney Pipeline System and the Moomba to Adelaide Pipeline.
New South Wales
NSW is highly dependent on interstate gas imports from South Australia, Queensland and Victoria, with local supply limited to the Camden Gas Project, which is only able to supply 6 per cent of NSW’s gas needs.
The NSW Government says that without a strong CSG industry, there are likely to be significant gas shortages with rapid gas price rises and flow-on effects to NSW industry and consumers due to the lack of diversity in supply.
The proposed CSG pipelines in NSW will transport domestic gas as part of projects which are designed to improve the state’s gas supply security and help meet growing energy needs.
Design planning is currently underway on Metgasco’s 145 km Lions Way Pipeline, with construction anticipated to commence in 2016 and gas supply to begin in 2017. At the time of writing, the company was focusing on defining an appropriate route and completing the remaining environmental studies, after which the project would proceed to front-end engineering and design in 2013.
The proposed pipeline would extend from Metgasco’s CSG tenements in Casino, NSW, and Ipswich, Queensland. Metgasco said that it expects gas to be sold for LNG production and/or to replace existing gas used in Brisbane that would then be diverted to LNG plants.
Metgasco has entered into an MoU to study the feasibility of gas supply to LNG Ltd’s Gladstone ‘Fisherman’s Landing’ LNG Project. The company is also investigating other opportunities, including a pipeline from the Casino Field to an offshore floating LNG platform, with FLEX as the owner/operator of the LNG plant. This is still at the pre-feasibility stage, with construction expected a year later than that of the Lions Way Pipeline.
AGL’s proposed Gloucester CSG project includes the 95–100 km, 457 mm diameter Stratford to Hexham Pipeline, which will transport 80 TJ/d of gas from the Stratford central processing facility, to be located in PEL 285, to the existing gas supply network at Hexham. The project is still in the development stage, with construction expected to reach completion in 2016.
Macquarie Generation has proposed the 76 km, 500 mm diameter Liddell Pipeline, which will transport CSG from a number of nearby coal mines in the Hunter Valley to be used as supplementary fuel for its Liddell Power Station.
The pipeline will be constructed in two sections. The 25 km east – west section will connect the Liddell Power Station to the Mt Arthur Coal Mine while the 51 km north – south section will transport CSG from mines in the Hunter Valley to the Liddell Power Station.
The project will likely involve two separate pipelines to carry pre-mine drainage and post-mine drainage, and there will be provision for looping. Two trenchless crossings are planned for the pipeline at Wollombi Brook and the Hunter River.
The pipeline is still at the planning stage and a construction schedule has not yet been determined.
From field to market
CSG is becoming increasingly common, with previously inaccessible gas now available for commercialisation. As exploration and production companies continue in their quest to uncover Australia’s full gas resource potential, so too will pipelines continue to be in demand to deliver this precious commodity from the field to the market.