SANTOS has announced that the Barossa project has strengthened its position as what it believes is the leading candidate for Darwin LNG (DLNG) backfill with the award of the Subsea Production System (SPS) contract.

Following a competitive tender, Technip Oceania Pty Ltd was the successful bidder to supply the SPS. The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract represents a commitment to long-lead items in advance of a final investment decision.

The contract includes the engineering, design and fabrication of wellheads, manifolds and control system as well as installation and commissioning assistance.

“This is the first EPC contract to be awarded for Barossa and a big vote of confidence in its position as the leading project to backfill DLNG,” Santos managing director and ceo Kevin Gallagher said.

“We’re making good progress in the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase including the evaluation of bids for the gas export pipeline,” Mr Gallagher said.

“We are also looking at technical proposals for the floating production storage and offloading facility from both MODEC and the Technip/Samsung Heavy Industries consortium.

“An invitation to tender for the development drilling contract has also been released, further advancing the project to meet DLNG’s backfill timetable.

“Barossa’s successful development will more than double Santos’ Northern Australia production based on our higher equity position in the project,” Mr Gallagher said.

The Barossa gas field, 300 km north of Darwin, sits within Santos’ Northern Australia portfolio, one of the company’s five core long-life, natural gas assets.

The Barossa development entered FEED in April last year and is targeting FID in early 2020.

Santos holds a 25% interest in the Barossa Caldita joint venture along with partners ConocoPhillips (37.5% and operator) and SK E&S (37.5%). Santos is also a joint venture partner in DLNG with an 11.5% interest.