Baron mulls floating LNG project off Timor-Leste

UK-listed Baron Oil is planning to develop a floating LNG production project based on gas resources from its Chuditch PSC located about 185 kilometers south of Timor-Leste, or East Timor.

SundaGas, a unit of Baron, is the operator of the Chuditch PSC and holds a 75 percent interest in the Chuditch PSC (TL-SO-19-16).

The Timor-Leste state oil company Timor Gap holds the remaining 25 percent interest.

The Chuditch PSC is located about 100 kilometers east of the producing Bayu-Undan field, and 50 kilometers south of the Greater Sunrise potential development in water depths of 50-100 meters, according to Baron.

Santos and its partners are supplying Bayu-Undan gas to the Darwin LNG plant in Australia, while Woodside has been working with Timor-Leste for years to agree on the development of the Greater Sunrise field.

Chuditch resources

Baron reported in a statement this week “significant increases” in its aggregate gas-in-place and recoverable gas resource estimates for the Chuditch PSC.

The firm said best case aggregate gross gas-in-place estimate reaches about 5,500 Bcf versus an equivalent estimate of 3,889 Bcf prior to 3D seismic data reprocessing.

Moreover, the firm reported best case recoverable resource estimate of 3,625 Bcf, using preliminary gas recovery factors of between 50 percent and 75 percent, versus an equivalent estimate of 2,924 Bcf prior to 3D seismic data reprocessing.

Baron said the Chuditch-1 gas discovery best case recoverable resource estimate of 1,350 Bcf “is materially larger and may independently represent a liquefied natural gas (LNG) scale resource.”

Baron mulls floating LNG project off Timor-Leste
Image: Baron Oil

“Hybrid floating and platform LNG system”

“As the preliminary subsurface interpretation is indicating an uncomplicated structural configuration for Chuditch, and subject to an ongoing revision of the Chuditch engineering concept study, a simpler field development concept is likely,” the firm said in the update.

The apparent increase in gas resources in the Chuditch-1 discovery itself suggests that a single appraisal well would suffice to determine commerciality of the project without the need for immediate follow-on exploration wells, it said.

Multiple potential export solutions for gas have been previously identified which are not dependent on any single concept or route, according to Baron.

“The fastest development and export option is expected to be to utilize a hybrid floating and platform LNG system, which does not require export pipelines or border crossings,” the firm said.

CCS plans, first production in 2028

Baron said it had started a revision of the Chuditch engineering concept study.

The firm expects that this work would illustrate and quantify a fast-track development pathway that targets first production in 2028.

Baron said its management estimates of project economics “continue to be attractive at current and long-term average gas prices in Asia.”

In addition, development strategies for handling carbon dioxide could include carbon capture and storage (CCS) at Bayu-Undan or for disposal within the Chuditch PSC.

“SundaGas aspires to achieve net zero LNG through long-term supply arrangements with buyers that have an effective Scope 3 strategy,” Baron said.

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