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NATURAL GAS

  • Natural Gas
  • Mines Producing Natural Gas

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that has been derived from layers of buried animals and plants that have been trapped underground and exposed to very high temperatures and pressure for many thousands of years.

As the plants and animals originally obtained their energy from the sun, this energy remains trapped in the form of carbon in the natural gas. Natural gas is therefore a hydrocarbon gaseous mixture with the prominent gas being methane. Other gas in the mixture includes traces of hydrogen sulphide, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

Natural gas formed in this way has many uses, some of these being:

  • Clean electricity generation
  • Cooking and heating Engine fuel
  • Fertiliser manufacturing
  • Glass making
  • Steel mills
  • Plastics
  • Paint Fabrics

Natural gas can be found in underground rock formations or in conjunction with various hydrocarbon reservoirs such as methane clathrates, where it has become trapped within frozen water, when it can also be referred to as methane hydrate, or in coal seams, where it is known as coal seam gas, or CSG. Natural gas is also found in close association with crude oil reservoirs. Natural gas can therefore be created by two mechanisims, over long periods of time. One being thermogenic and the other biogenic:

Thermogenic gas

is found deep in the earth where buried organic material has been exposed to extremely high pressure and temperatures.

Biogenic gas

is created by what are known as methanogenic organisims in landfills, bogs, marshes and shallow sediments.

Before natural gas can become commercially useful, it must have various impurities, including water, removed so it can meet the specifications laid down for marketable natural gas. This means it has to be dehydrated and its by-products of pentrane, butane, propane and ethane separated as well as the higher molecule weight hydrocarbons such as hydrogen sulphide that often finishes up being pure sulpher. Other by-products can be carbon dioxide, water vapour, nitrogen and helium.

Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is natural methane gas that has been chilled to a temperature of minus 161 degrees Celsius. At this temperature the gas becomes a liquid which means it takes up less space for transportation and storage. LNG takes up one six-hundredth of the space that it occupies as methane in its gaseous form.

At the present time there are three projects producing LNG in Australia, with another seven being developed. The fields currently producing LNG are:

Pluto

Pluto is in Western Australia and started production in April 2012

Darwin

The Northern Territory gas field that commenced production in 2006

The North West Shelf Venture

in Western Australia, that began production in 1989

The seven LNG schemes being developed include the following:

  • Ichthys (WA)
  • Wheatstone (WA)
  • Prelude (WA)
  • Gorgon (WA)
  • Curtis LNG (QLD)
  • Gladstone LNG (QLD)
  • Australia Pacific LNG (QLD)
  • It has been estimated that there are more than 800 trillion cubic feet of gas resources in Australia. This amount of gas would be sufficient to power a city containing one million people for at least 16,000 years. Geologists remain confident that these currently known resources will be added to in the future.

The Basics and Fundamentals of LNG

Australian Mines that produce Natural Gas

Browse Flng ( WA )

Browse FLNG Project In Western Australia, operated by Woodside, enters the engineering and design stage of development.

Darwin ( NT )

Timor sea gas is transported 502 kilometres by sub-sea pipeline to be processed at the Darwin LNG plant at Wickham Point in the Northern Territory.

Kogan North ( QLD )

The first gas from the Kogan North gas field in the Surat Basin of Queensland was sold to CS Energy on January 23, 2006.

Arrow Surat Gas Project ( QLD )

The Arrow Surat Gas Project in South West Queensland has received Australian Federal Government approval to expand its existing coal seam gas operations.

Gorgon Gas Project ( WA )

The Gorgon Gas Project in WA is the largest single resource development in the history of Australia and one of the world's largest natural gas projects.

Wheatstone Lng Project ( WA )

The Wheatstone LNG Project is currently under construction in the Ashburton North Strategic Industrial area, 12 kilometres west of Onslow in W.A.

Macedon ( WA )

The Macedon domestic gas project in Onslow, Western Australia, that was officially opened in September 2013, supplies 20 percent of W.A. gas needs.

Ichthys Project ( NT )

The Ichthys Project under construction at Darwin, is one of the world's largest LNG facilities, receiving 40 years of gas from the Browse Basin off WA.

Julimar Brunello ( WA )

The development of the Julimar-Brunello gas fields in the Carnarvon Basin off the northern W.A. coast is an integral part of the Wheatstone LNG hub.

Devil Creek ( WA )

The Devil Creek gas plant, 45 kilometres from Dampier, in north west Western Australia, was the first new gas plant built in WA for almost 20 years.

Png Lng Project ( PNG )

The PNG LNG Project is being developed on schedule to produce its first liquified natural gas in mid-2014 for export to customers in China and Japan.

Hides ( PNG )

The Hides gas field in Papua New Guinea, that began life as gas to electricity (GTE) project, is to supply gas to the giant PNG LNG project from 2014.

Kapuni ( NZ )

The Kapuni onshore gas and condensate field in the North Island of New Zealand is the second largest such field in the country after the Maui gas field.

Pohokura ( NZ )

The Pohokura offshore gas condensate field in the Taranaki Basin is one of New Zealand's largest, producing 40 percent of the country's natural gas needs.

Maui ( NZ )

The Maui oil and gas field, at the top of South Island of New Zealand, was one of the largest in the world when it was first developed in the 1970's.

Kupe ( NZ )

The New Zealand Kupe gas project is important to the country's domestic gas and LPG needs as well as the condensate crude oil export market.The Kupe gas field is located in New Zealand, 30 kilometres

Prelude Flng ( WA )

The Prelude FLNG, in Western Australia, is the largest offshore facility ever built and the worlds first floating liquified natural gas platform ever constructed.

Glng Gladstone Lng Facility ( QLD )

The Gladstone LNG facility on Curtis Island, will be capable of supplying 10 million tonnes of LNG for the export market annually.

Qclng Queensland Curtis Lng ( QLD )

QCLNG (Queensland Curtis LNG) is one of the biggest capital infrastructure projects ever to be undertaken in Australia.

Onslow Power Station Gas Pipeline ( WA )

DDG Ashburton Pty Ltd have received a permit from the Shire of Ashburton to allow the Onslow Power Station Gas Pipeline to be installed

Kipper ( VIC )

The Kipper Gas Project, in the Gippsland Basin in Victoria, completed installation of its pipelines, subsea equipment, wells and offshore production facilities in 2012.

Halyard Spar ( WA )

The Halyard and Spar natural gas fields in the Carnarvon Basin off the Pilbara coast in Western Australia will supply domestic gas for 11 years.

Scarborough ( WA )

The Scarborough gas field off the north west coast of Western Australia is to be developed with the use of a FLNG (Floating Liquefied Natural Gas) facility by ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton

Ceduna Aviation Base ( SA )

The Ceduna Aviation Base will be constructed during 2015 and be available to service the BP Great Australian Bight offshore drilling program in 2016.

Charlie ( QLD )

The Charlie natural gas project in the Queensland Surat Basin has been approved for an immediate start and is due for completion in 2017.

Valhalla North 1 And Asguard 1 Wells ( WA )

Tight gas development in the Canning Basin in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, is proving to be both environmentally safe and predictable.

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