Pipeline Drillers awarded Sole Gas Development Project

Orbost Gas Plant, Newmerella, Victoria

24 April, 2017

Pipeline Drillers has been awarded the principal contract for the Sole Gas Development Project which will bring gas from a previously undeveloped offshore resource to be processed through the existing Orbost Gas Plant at Newmerella.


This $14 million stage one construction contract comprises an ocean outfall extending a kilometre offshore from the plant. The Sole Gas Development Project will be delivered as follows, with completion expected September 2017:


Phase 1 – Bulk earthworks
Phase 2 – Fabrication
Phase 3 – Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD)
Phase 4 – Marine operations

Utilising specialist horizontal directional drilling, Pipeline Drillers' team of internationally recognised drillers, Herrenknecht HDD250 and Vermeer 330 HDD rigs, will perform two 1,000 metre plus ocean outfalls installing 305 millimetre coated steel pipe and an umbilical liner.  


At completion of phase three drilling, subcontractor Baghwan Marine with their team of divers and barge will come on board to assist in layout, pullback and final installation of the pipe at the bottom of Bass Strait.


With the project based in the Snowy River Country of East Gippsland, Victoria, significant consideration for the integrity and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage, as well as the preservation of the pristine Snowy River Estuary is required.


Consequently, Pipeline Drillers will engage the registered Aboriginal party, ecologist and zoologist, and employ numerous control measures to meet the requirements of identified stakeholders and to ensure the successful delivery of the project.  


Earlier this month Pipeline Drillers project team and sub-contractor Whelans, mobilised to Orbost to commence the bulk earthworks for the extension of the plant.


The client, Cooper Energy, became a part owner of the plant and Sole gas field in 2015 and purchased both assets in full early in 2017. Santos is operating the plant on behalf of Cooper Energy during the handover phase.   


For up to date information on the Sole Gast Development Project, visit www.cooperenergy.com.au