Oil field owners join Australian offshore wind and solar project

In: Windfarms
Australia's second offshore wind farm gains a new owner and plans to integrate neighbouring oil and gas infrastructure takes a step forward.

In September Pilot Energy Limited announced that it is commencing a detailed feasibility study to pursue an offshore wind and onshore solar project in Western Australia. The company holds a five year exploration permit for the WA-481-P area, which covers 8600 km2 across 130 graticular blocks in the North Perth Basin, Western Australia.

This week Pilot revealed that it will sell a 78.75% interest in and transfer operatorship of WA-481-P to Triangle Energy, an oil producer. This follows announcement in October that Pilot would acquire Key Petroleum's 40% stake in WA-481-P to become sole owners. Pending completion of this acquisition and after the sale to Triangle, Pilot will retain a 21.25% non-operated working interest in the WA-481-P permit area.

Triangle will pay Pilot $300,000 in cash and fund Pilot through completion of the WA-481-P Permit 3 Year work program (up to a maximum of $1.22 million). Pilot will be designated the operator’s representative in connection with all matters relating to the interface with any potential offshore wind development.

Triangle and Pilot have also teamed up to form the Cliff Head Wind and Solar Project Joint Venture (Wind & Solar JV) with Pilot owning 80% and Triangle 20%. The Wind & Solar JV will assess the feasibility of the development of an offshore wind and onshore wind and solar power project integrated with the Cliff Head Offshore Oil Field production facilities, Cliff Head Alpha and the onshore Arrowsmith Separation and Processing Facilities.

WA-481-P is located immediately adjacent to, contiguous with and surrounds the offshore Cliff Head Oil Field. The field is located in the Perth Basin about 270 kilometres north of Perth and 12 kilometres off the coast of Dongara in Western Australia. Triangle is majority owner and operator of the Cliff Head Offshore Oil Field and the onshore Arrowsmith Separation and Processing Facilities.

Pilot also recently acquired a 21.25% interest in the Cliff Head Oil Field. Triangle has agreed that Pilot’s share in any oil and gas discoveries in WA-481-P will be developed and produced through the Cliff Head Oil Field facilities and that Pilot will have access to these facilities on the same basis as Triangle.

Wind & Solar JV will undertake detailed assessment of the feasibility and pursue the development of an offshore wind farm and onshore solar project whilst integrating with the existing Cliff Head Oil Field offshore and onshore facilities and operations to allow for cost savings. The Cliff Head Alpha Platform will become multitasking as it will also act as an offshore substation.

Through the shared ownership of  WA-481-P and Cliff Head Oil Field synergies can be achieved. Many of the required feasibility studies for and offshore wind project can use historical data collected for oil and gas exploration and vice versa.

The conceptual layout for the four stage 1.1 GW development includes up to 78 turbines, each with a 14 MW capacity.  The offshore wind turbines will be located at least 14 km offshore and in water depths of between 20-40 metres.

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