Beach Energy has celebrated two milestone events on consesutive days, one in the Mid West of Western Australia and the other near New Plymouth on the west coast of New Zealand.
On October 14, New Zealand’s gas supply received a much-needed boost when Beach Energy switched on a new compressor, increasing gas production at the Kupe Gas Processing Facility near New Plymouth. The following day Beach Energy and its JV partner, Mitsui E&P Australia, celebrated the Groundbreaking ceremony for the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2, with WA Premier Mark McGowan in attendance.
Beach Energy said delivery of the $72 million Kupe Compression Project safely and within budget means the Kupe Gas Plant, which had seen declining production in recent years, could ramp back up to its full capacity of 77 TJs per day – the equivalent of supplying 15% of New Zealand’s natural gas demand. The compressor increases production by reducing the back pressure on the wells, extending the production plateau.
While some delays were experienced due to COVID-19 supply chain issues, the project was delivered within budget and with no lost time injuries from the 170,000 person hours onsite.
Beach Energy Managing Director Matt Kay said that it is vital that New Zealand has a stable supply of natural gas to support its everyday needs.
“The successful delivery of this project is good news as it keeps more natural gas flowing into New Zealand homes and businesses for many years to come,” Mr Kay said. “I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the Beach Energy staff and contractors who supported this project – you’ve done yourselves proud, particularly through your commitment to safety on the job.”
Beach said that preparation work for a potential Kupe East development well within the Kupe field was expected to commence during FY22, which could lead to the drilling of a potential development well in FY23 — subject to joint venture and regulatory approvals.
Within hours of the sun setting in the Land of the Great White Cloud, the first soil was turned at the site of the Waitsia Gas Plant where one of the beneficiaries was a local Mid West Indigenous business, Garla Barna Civil & Mining, who have been awarded a contract for bulk earthworks scope.
Beach said that Waitsia Stage 2 would create 200 jobs during construction and incur an expected expenditure in the local area of $15 million per year during the operations phase. Production from Waitsia Stage 2 is expected to commence in the second half of 2023.
“Natural gas from Stage 2 will add to the domestic supplies already flowing to Perth and the South West from Waitsia Stage 1. Along with supplying gas to the domestic market, Stage 2 will also provide energy supplies to the world by exporting natural gas through the North West Shelf LNG facility,” Beach added.
MEPAU has also recently announced agreements with the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and with Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers Limited (WesCEF) as part of the company’s approach to rapid decarbonisation. These agreements will support studies into carbon storage and low carbon ammonia production.
Ken Yamamura, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mitsui E&P Australia, said MEPAU was committed to a long-term partnership with the people and businesses of the Mid West region.
“Waitsia Stage 2 has and will continue to unlock significant economic opportunities for the Mid West region and Western Australia,” he said.
Beach Energy Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Matt Kay, added: “The construction of the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2 is great news for local jobs, the local economy and for the domestic supply of natural gas to Western Australia.
“Beach Energy is proud to be a partner in this project, and we look forward to the commissioning of the new gas plant in 2023.”