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Page added on July 29, 2007

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Esso reckons 20 more years of oil left in Bass Strait

SUCCESS in life extension work by Bass Strait operator Esso has prompted the ExxonMobil subsidiary to predict that the region still has more than 20 years left of oil production and more than 30 years of gas.

A $400 million seismic data and infill drilling program, involving wells at the Kingfish, Bream, Halibut and Fortescue fields, is adding 30,000 barrels of crude oil to daily production, worth close to $1 billion a year on current prices.
But Esso’s success has implications for the planned $5 billion Monash Energy coal-to-liquids project in the Latrobe Valley, a joint venture between Shell and Anglo American.

The Monash project would turn brown coal into gas for further conversion into 60,000 barrels a year of synthetic diesel. A key element of the project is the separation of a concentrated stream of carbon dioxide for geosequestration. Without carbon capture and storage (CCS), the greenhouse gas emissions would be at unacceptable levels.

The potential for CCS in Bass Strait’s reservoirs was the subject of a Federal Government-funded study by Monash that found there was massive storage capacity in depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs or in deeper geological structures.

Sydney Morning Herald



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