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.
Development of Australia's natural gas resources provides significant environmental benefits. Natural gas is cleaner-burning and, when used to generate electricity, can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 60 percent.
Startup of the $4.5 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. Kipper production is expected to come on line in
2016, following the installation of mercury removal facilities at Longford.
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 in 2016.
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.
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).
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 Australian content of the project has been assessed to be $2.8 billion.
Kipper Mercury Removal
The gas reservoirs that Esso/BHP Billiton Petroleum has been producing from in the Bass Strait for more than 40 years have extremely low levels of impurities such as mercury.
Historically, mercury-related safety, environment and product specification requirements have been met without the need for mercury removal equipment.
Wells drilled into the Kipper gas field in 2010 found trace levels of mercury in the Kipper reservoir, which need to be removed to meet sales gas specifications. Proven industry technology is being used in the design of the mercury removal facilities for the Kipper field. Studies undertaken have determined that the best solution is to remove the mercury in the Longford Plants.
The Kipper Mercury Removal Project is installing mercury removal and capture facilities within the existing plants at Longford to remove mercury from various hydrocarbon and water streams. Also, a separate project – the Gas Conditioning Plant – includes within its scope some mercury removal facilities for the Kipper gas, prior to it being processed in the plant.
The mercury removal facilities at Longford are being designed to ensure that natural gas and LPG products meet product specifications and air emissions, and water discharges arising from the production process continue to meet environmental licence limits for Longford Plants as well as regulatory limits contained in State Environment Protection Policies.
Adsorbent material in the mercury removal vessels will capture and extract the mercury as it moves through the various processing streams. The adsorbent material will then be removed offsite for specialist mercury recovery recycling and waste management by EPA approved contractors.
The Kipper Mercury Removal Project is also making some modifications to the Long Island Point facility in Hastings to ensure continued appropriate management of production streams at that facility.
Key approvals have been obtained to enable installation activities to progress.
Safety is a core value for ExxonMobil. Ensuring the ongoing safety and health of our workforce when operating facilities, is as important as having the right design for mercury removal facilities. We are working to identify any activities where our workforce could possibly encounter mercury during their normal activities. Where this possibility exists, we will develop detailed strategies, procedures and training to ensure that we continue to provide a safe workplace. We will also draw on ExxonMobil’s extensive experience of managing mercury in facilities elsewhere around the world, to incorporate these into our local strategies, procedures and training.
The offshore production facilities for the Kipper field have been completed and first production will commence once the mercury removal facilities have been installed. We expect this to be in 2016.
Esso has assessed the Kipper Mercury Removal Project’s interactions with the environment. This handout summarises the results of those assessments.
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 EARPL (32.5%), BHP Billiton (32.5%) and Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd (MEPAU A Pty Ltd). In 2007, the Kipper Unit Joint Venture decided to progress with the developments required for production from the Kipper gas field by utilizing gas processing services of the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture.