AJ Lucas recently announced that it had executed a contract with Chevron Australia worth approximately A$95 million for the shore crossings to connect the Gorgon Gas Project’s offshore gas field facilities to the onshore infrastructure on Barrow Island.

In all, the project comprises nine HDD landfalls: eight for gas flowline and umbilical connections and one ‘water-winning’ hole to bring ashore the water needed for drilling fluid.

The landfalls come ashore under North Whites Beach, one of the principal rookeries for the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), which has a conservation status of vulnerable.

One of the key challenges for this project is protecting this rookery and the pristine environment of the island, a declared Class A Reserve, reserved under Section 41 of the Land Administration Act (1997), Western Australia, for the conservation of flora and fauna.

So Lucas is particularly proud to have our focus on environmental solutions recognised with the award of this project. Every element of our proposal has been tailored to minimsing the environmental impact of our work.

To ensure there’s no risk of contamination, Lucas has ordered two new Herrenknecht HDD rigs specifically for the project, along with two new custom-built Brandt mud systems and five new Gardner-Denver PZ8 mudpumps. The equipment will be soundproofed and site lighting carefully designed to reduce impact on local fauna and marine life.

Engineering work has begun, with site works expected to start in May 2010.

The Gorgon Gas Project is a joint venture between the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell to develop the Greater Gorgon Gas Fields, between 130 and 200km off the north-west coast of Western Australia. The fields contain about 40 trillion cubic feet of gas, making them Australia’s largest known gas resource.

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