Pipeline expansion boosts Australian CSG market

THE connection between Queensland’s CSG fields and Australian markets has been enhanced thanks to an expansion project by Epic Energy – dubbed the QSN3 Expansion Project – that has increased the capacity of the existing South West Queensland Pipeline (SWQP) and the Queensland-South Australia-New South Wales (QSN) Link pipeline.
According to Epic, an upgrade of the existing SWQP and QSN Link pipeline systems was necessary for a number of reasons: the need for alternative feed sources into expanding markets due to increased CSG reserves in Queensland; a growing need for flexibility during both ramp-up periods and normal operations; the decline of mature basin reserves; and increasing demand for gas-fired power generation.
Construction of QSN3 began in mid-2010 and was completed on schedule in early 2012. The new pipeline runs adjacent to the established SWQP and QSN Link pipelines, with intersections at 200km intervals. The expanded pipelines will function as a transporter of greater quantities of gas: in total, QSN3 will boost the existing pipelines’ capacity to more than 380 terajoules per day. Existing facilities Construction of the SWQP was completed in 1996, and its 756km of high-pressure gas transmission piping runs between Ballera and
Wallumbilla in South West Queensland. The pipeline was originally designed to operate at a capacity of 181TJ/d, and incorporated a mid-line compression station near Cooladdi and a compression facility at the Wallumbilla Gas Hub.

The SWQP provides a link between gas producers in the Bowen and Surat Basins in south-eastern Queensland and customers in Mt Isa through its connection to the Carpentaria Gas Pipeline. It also provides a connection for south-eastern Australia’s gas markets through to the Moomba to Adelaide Pipeline System and the Moomba to Sydney Pipeline. At Wallumbilla, the SWQP connects with separate pipelines to Gladstone and Brisbane. The pipeline is configured to receive gas at the Wallumbilla Gas Hub from a number of different gas fi elds in south-eastern Queensland, and to deliver that gas into pipelines to supply Gladstone and Brisbane or to fl ow the gas in a westerly direction to Ballera or Moomba.
The SWQP also delivers gas to various locations along the pipeline, including the Roma and Barcaldine power stations.
In 2008, the SWQP was extended when Epic completed construction of the QSN Link, running from Ballera to the town of Moomba in north-eastern South Australia. At a total cost of $155 million, the 180km of 400mm diameter pipe increased the existing system’s capacity to 250TJ/d of gas when fully compressed at a maximum operating pressure of 15.3 megapascals. First commercial gas flows were achieved through the QSN Link in January 2009, with the combined pipelines delivering gas into five separate markets: Brisbane, Gladstone, Mt Isa, Adelaide and Sydney.
Epic’s development of the QSN Link was underpinned by a long-term foundation shipper agreement it signed with AGL in July 2007.

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