Cooper Energy has completed the transaction for APA Group to acquire, upgrade and operate the Orbost Gas Plant in Corringle, Victoria.

First announced in June 2017, APA has now acquired the Orbost Gas Plant, and will upgrade and operate the plant to process gas from the Sole gas field being developed by Cooper Energy.

The transaction is a key component of the Sole Gas Project, which will bring a new source of gas supply to south-east Australia from 2019.

The agreement also provides for the Orbost Gas Plant to process gas from Cooper Energy’s adjacent Manta gas field and potentially other gas fields.

The total cost of the project is expected to be $605 million, including $250 million for the onshore project being conducted by APA and $355 million for the offshore development being conducted by Cooper Energy.

Managing Director, Cooper Energy, David Maxwell, said the completion of the transaction is of “landmark significance for the south-east Australian gas market.

“The Orbost Gas Plant transaction has brought Australia’s largest gas infrastructure company to the Gippsland Basin, which has been the largest supplier of gas to the south-east Australian domestic gas market.

“We are delighted to have APA Group as a project partner. Their involvement has been pivotal to the Sole Gas Project proceeding and Cooper Energy looks forward to working with APA to bring new gas supply to south-east Australia.

“We see further opportunities for the plant beyond Sole, whereby Orbost will be a gas hub for other fields including our Manta gas resource.”

Cooper Energy and APA are working towards first phase commissioning of the project beginning in early 2019.

Mr Maxwell said that the project progress thus far was within schedule and budget.

Recent events include completion of the umbilical shore crossing; loading of 65km of subsea pipe in Brazil for transportation by sea to Australia and subsea wellhead manufacture progressing to plan.

The wellheads are expected to arrive for the project in December 2017 and January 2018, well in advance of the drilling of production wells which is anticipated to commence in March 2018. 

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