Emperor Energy (ASX: EMP) has firmed up a deal where the country’s largest gas infrastructure operator, APA Group (ASX: APA), will design a gas processing plant and pipelines for the development of the Judith gas field in the offshore Gippsland Basin.
The two companies established a memorandum of understanding last October, but they have now entered a binding agreement to progress with the pre-front end engineering design (pre-FEED) for midstream infrastructure and services.
The gas will be produced from Emperor’s 100%-owned VIC/P47 permit.
This permit area hosts the Judith field, which contains a 2C (best estimate) continent gas resource of 150 billion cubic feet and P50 (meaning a 50% probability) unrisked prospective gas resource of 1.226 trillion cubic feet.
Four-month study to begin in July
The pre-FEED study will begin in July and is expected to take four months.
It will include: design for a gas processing plant to operate adjacent to and in parallel with APA’s existing Orbost gas processing plant; a subsea pipeline 40km long from Judith to a shoreline crossing; an export pipeline to the eastern gas pipeline located north of the Orbost plant; and refining cost estimates and project scheduling.
Judith is expected to produce gas sales across a 25-year life at 80 million standard cubic feet per day (MMcfpd).
The offshore field is located 200km east of Melbourne.
First Judith well drilled in 1989
The 202sq km permit area was renewed in 2018 for five years and is 2km north of the producing Kipper field, developed by Esso and BHP Petroleum.
Two gas discovery wells have been drilled in Emperor’s field: Judith-1 by Shell in 1989 and Moby-1 by Bass Strait Oil, now Bass Oil (ASX: BAS), in 2004.
The field lies at shallow depths, between 20m and 85m, and there has been extensive 3D seismic work.
Modelling in 2018 projected each well delivering between 20-30MMcfpd of gas.
The offshore Gippsland Basin is described by Emperor as Australia’s “premier” hydrocarbon province, with exploration beginning in 1924 and subsequently, more than 400 exploration wells have been drilled.
A network of pipelines take the gas to two onshore processing plants and the gas is delivered to customers as far afield as Tasmania, Sydney and Adelaide.