The Kipper Tuna Turrum project will help secure east Australia's energy future, and holds enough energy to power a city of a million people for 35 years.
Startup of the $5.5 billion Kipper Tuna Turrum project began in 2013 with production of natural gas from the Tuna field via two new pipelines in June and first oil being produced from the Turrum field through the new Marlin B platform in October.
Production from the Kipper Tuna Turrum project will help maintain current gas production levels from Bass Strait, which have been producing for more than 40 years. Due to the composition of the natural gas in the Kipper and Turrum fields, additional processing facilities were required at the Longford Plants to bring these resources online.
Construction of the Gas Conditioning Plant began in December 2013 and the facility was completed in May 2017 and is processing gas from the Kipper and Turrum fields. Construction and fabrication of the plant generated more than 800 jobs, with 90 percent of the workforce from the region.
The Turrum field holds about one trillion cubic feet of gas and 110 million barrels of oil and gas liquids.
The new Marlin B platform, the first to be installed in Bass Strait in over a decade, is linked by a bridge to the Marlin A platform in Bass Strait. Gas associated with the production of oil from Turrum is being re-injected until the Longford Gas Conditioning Plant comes on line.
The Tuna reservoir, which has been producing oil for many years, has been further developed to produce additional gas and associated liquids from the field. This has been done by converting existing West Tuna facilities, and also using new pipelines to deliver production into the existing gas system.
The Kipper field holds about 620 billion cubic feet of recoverable gas and 30 million barrels of condensate/LPG. It will be produced through subsea wells, coolers and a manifold, via a new looped pipeline laid on the seabed to the existing West Tuna platform. Production will commence once the Longford Gas Conditioning Plant comes on line.
The Turrum and Tuna projects are part of the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture, in which Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd, as operator, and BHP Billiton Petroleum (Bass Strait) Pty Ltd each have a 50 percent interest. The Kipper venture participants are Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd (32.5 percent and operator) and subsidiaries of BHP Billiton (32.5 percent) and Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd (MEPAU A Pty Ltd) (35%).
The Kipper Tuna Turrum project had a significant impact on the Gippsland — and Victorian — economy. At construction peak 1500 people were working on the project in Australia.
The Longford Plants and associated Bass Strait oil and gas production facilities (with exception of the Kipper field and associated subsea facilities) are owned by the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture (GBJV). The GBJV comprises ExxonMobil Australia subsidiary Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd (EARPL), and BHP Billiton Petroleum (Bass Strait) Pty Ltd (BHP Billiton) in a 50:50 joint venture for the exploration, development and production of oil and gas from Bass Strait. The Kipper field and associated subsea facilities are owned by the Kipper Unit Joint Venture (KUJV) whose participants are Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd (32.5 percent and operator) and subsidiaries of BHP Billiton (32.5 percent) and Mitsui (35 percent). In 2007, the Kipper Unit Joint Venture decided to progress with the developments required for production from the Kipper gas field by utilising gas processing services of the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture.