It shows how big both the local gas sector, and one of its star local performers, has become when a project the size of the North Rankin Complex comes onstream and it hardly rates a mention in the mainstream press.
With a budget of $5 billion and the capacity to extend the life of the North Rankin and Perseus gas fields out to around 2040, completion of the redevelopment of the North Rankin project is a major milestone for the local industry and Woodside.
But unlike the days when airships were flown to remote sites to bring dignitaries to project launch parties and senior politicians flew in to make the most of picture opportunities with some of Australia’s greatest resource developments, the on-time and on-budget start-up of North Rankin Redevelopment Project was low key.
It should also be noted that Woodside, as operator of the project on behalf of the North West Shelf Project venture, has successfully brought on-line a development that will enable the recovery of about 5 trillion cubic feet of low pressure reserves from the North Rankin and Perseus fields.
It will also provide a long term and critical new supply of gas into the Western Australian domestic market.
Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said that achieving start-up as planned and on budget demonstrated Woodside’s ability to execute complex projects on a global scale.
“Start-up is a major milestone given the complexities of integrating a new 65,000 tonne facility next to an existing offshore production platform,” Mr Coleman said.
“The redevelopment maximises the value of Australia’s largest operating oil and gas project by extending the resource life and supporting the North West Shelf Project’s onshore gas commitments.”
Approved in March 2008, the North Rankin Redevelopment project has involved the construction and installation of a second platform, North Rankin B, and modification and refurbishment of the existing North Rankin A platform.
Located about 135 kilometres offshore Karratha, the North Rankin B platform is 65,000 tonnes and is 274 metres tall.
The platform sits on a four-leg jacket, which is connected to the seabed by 16 piles.
The 24,000 tonne topsides were installed using the float-over method, which involved steering a barge between the substructure and gently lowering the topsides into place.
This was the largest installation of its kind ever accomplished in open water.
The new platform houses gas compression facilities, low pressure separators, Both platforms are now operate as a single integrated facility known as the North Rankin Hub.
The North Rankin Redevelopment project participants are: Woodside Energy (operator 16.67%), BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) (16.67%); BP Developments Australia (16.67%); Chevron Australia (16.67%); Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd (16.67%); and Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd (16.67%).