Crux of Shell’s project unveiled

Shell has edged closer to the long-mooted development of its Crux offshore gas project by calling for market interest in providing front end engineering and design services.

The company listed Crux on the CCI-run ICN Gateway site last week and proposes building a fixed platform at the field, about 600km north of Broome.

It will eventually be tied in to Shell’s giant Prelude floating LNG facility, which is now in commissioning about 160km away.

The concept for Crux is a ‘Not Normally Manned’ platform in 165m-deep water containing minimal processing facilities, utility systems and accommodation.

“It will be operated remotely from the Prelude FLNG facility and only require periodic maintenance visits, significantly reducing the operational safety exposure to staff.”

An initial five production wells are proposed to be drilled at Crux, which will be operated by Shell in joint venture with Seven West Holdings and Osaka Gas.

The gas and condensate (light oil) field was discovered nearly two decades ago and, after several ownership changes, Shell assumed control in 2012.

Until now, Crux has been viewed as “backfill” gas for Prelude once that project has been running for a decade or more.

But the decision to seek expressions of interest from contractors may signal an intent to develop the project sooner than expected.

The EOI process is due to close on July 6.

This story first appeared in WA Works.

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