The Australian oil and gas producer Santos is planning to start working on decommissioning the floating storage and offloading (FSO) facility at Bayu Undan offshore East Timor, as soon as possible.
The facility is due to be disconnected by December 2022. It could be decontaminated offshore or moved to East Timor, also known as Timor Leste, for treatment. After decontamination, it will most likely be shipped to Turkey for decommissioning.
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According to an analysis in 2021, Santos decided on decommissioning its Bayu-Undan carbon capture natural gas project due to low returns and the need for a myriad of deals with governments and partners to make it take off.
Additionally, gas production at Bayu-Undan is expected to end in about 2023 which threatens to leave an empty Darwin LNG plant and a massive $1.1 billion offshore decommissioning bill in Timor Leste.
Now the company is planning on dismantling the whole infrastructure, including the subsea pipelines. Natural gas production from the Bayu-Undan field is planned to cease as soon as the end of this year which is in line with estimates.
Santos is also concerned with finding methods of cleaning the Bayu Undan offshore carbon capture equipment, as currently, there are no facilities that handle all the waste types in Timor Leste.
However, the energy pioneer is planning to make use of the Bayu Undan reservoir. It wants to turn it into a CO2 storage site for a new field it is developing in northwestern Australia – the $3.6 billion Barossa project.
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The natural gas production there is expected to be with a high CO2 content compared to other projects in the region. It is due to start pumping gas in 2025, and the Bayu Undan storage site is anticipated to be ready by then.
The reservoir could eventually be able to store 10 million tons of CO2 annually. The initial front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for the proposed carbon capture and storage project has begun in March 2022.