Release Areas W09-9, W09-10 and W09-11, Rankin Platform, Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia
Release Areas W09-9, W09-10 and W09-11 are three separate graticular blocks located along the Rankin Platform, where giant gas fields are in production for export LNG and others are scheduled for development. Release Areas W09-9, W09-10 and W09-11 are all approximately 80 km2 in area. No wells have been drilled in the three Release Areas though they are near to discovered fields and exploration wells.
Release Area W09-9 is the most northerly of the Release Areas and is located between the Echo/Yodel and Sculptor fields (southern end of the producing Rankin Trend) and Chevron's Wheatstone field which is under consideration for development. Release Area W09-9 is in shallow water depths of less than 200 m, around 150 km from the coastline and about 30 km from the pipeline network (Figure 1 [PDF, 192KB]) that supplies gas to the North West Shelf Venture export LNG trains onshore near Karratha. In total the five LNG production unit trains have an annual capacity of 16.3 million tonnes.
Release Area W09-10 is located on the western flank of the Rankin Platform and extends onto the Exmouth Plateau. The Release Area lies between the Orthrus, West Tryal Rocks and newly discovered Julimar Complex gas fields. Release Area W09-10 is located along the shelf break and slope in water depths of between 200 m and 1000 m. The giant Pluto gas field lies to the north along the same shelf break that strikes across the Release Area (Figure 1 [PDF, 192KB]). The Pluto development is well under way with first gas for LNG export expected in 2010 (Woodside, 2008). Release Area W09-10 is about 140 km from the coastline and about 40 km from the gas pipeline that links the John Brookes field to supply the local Western Australian market (Figure 1 [PDF, 192KB]).
Release Area W09-11 is the most southerly of the Release Areas and is located on the western flank of the Rankin Platform where it joins the Exmouth Plateau and the Exmouth Sub-basin. The giant Gorgon gas field is 10 km to the north of Release Area W09-11 and the producing Woollybutt and Griffin oil fields are approximately 30 km to the southwest and 40 km to the south, respectively. It is planned to produce the 40 Tcf of gas in the "greater Gorgon" area, including the supergiant Jansz field, for export LNG, by piping the gas to Barrow Island for processing (Gorgon Project, 2008). Barrow Island, to the east of the Release Area, has produced over 300 MMbbl of oil since the mid-1960s. Release Area W09-11 is in deep water on the continental slope in depths between 500 m and 800 m. It is about 125 km from the coastline and approximately 35 km from the gas pipeline that joins the East Spar field to the domestic gas network (Figure 1 [PDF, 192KB]).
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