Woodside has sanctioned the pipeline segment of the Pluto-North West Shelf (NWS) Interconnector (Pluto-NWS Interconnector) in Western Australia that will connect the Pluto LNG project and the North West Shelf Project’s Karratha Gas Plant (KGP).

The final investment decision (FID) taken by the company enables it to move ahead with a 3.3km long, steel buried natural gas pipeline that will transport gas sourced from Pluto LNG to the Karratha Gas Plant. The pipeline is the first component of the infrastructure required for transporting gas between the Pluto LNG project and the Karratha Gas Plant.

Woodside has signed contractual arrangements with DDG Operations for the pipeline’s construction and its ongoing operation and maintenance.

Pluto-NWS Interconnector expected to begin operations in 2022

The Australian oil and gas company expects to commission the Pluto-NWS Interconnector in the first half of 2022. Construction and operation of the underground natural gas pipeline is subject to regulatory approvals from the Western Australian government. The pipeline will also be subject to finalisation of commercial arrangements made with the Pluto and North West Shelf Project’s joint venture participants.

The Pluto-NWS Interconnector, as per Woodside, can potentially fill short-term spare capacity at the Karratha Gas Plant, located on the Burrup Peninsula. It is also expected to speed up future developments of other offshore Pluto gas reserves, and also that of third-party resources.

Currently, the Pluto LNG project processes gas from the Pluto and Xena gas fields. Gas from the two offshore fields is piped via a 180km trunkline to a single onshore LNG-processing train.

According to Woodside CEO Peter Coleman, the Pluto-NWS Interconnector is an important component of the proposed Burrup Hub and would help in taking advantage of future excess capacity at the Karratha Gas Plant.

Coleman said: “Our vision for the Burrup Hub will unlock the future value of infrastructure which has been supplying gas to Western Australia and the world safely and reliably for more than 30 years. The Interconnector between the Pluto LNG and NWS facilities will enable us to optimise the processing of gas from our offshore fields.

“Delivering the proposed Burrup Hub will help underpin Western Australia’s economic strength for decades into the future. It will provide thousands of jobs, opportunities for local suppliers and tax and royalty revenues to Western Australia.”