The Booming Western Australian Frontier

I saw the news in the Australian business publication, Financial Review, Emerson wins $67m boom town contract. The article highlights an order:

…to supply control valves and valve actuators to regulate gas flow at Western Australia’s massive Gorgon liquefied natural gas project.

I turned to Wikipedia and sure enough, there was an entry on the Gorgon gas project. The project is described:

Gorgon gas project

Location of some of the Greater Gorgon gas fields in relation to Barrow Island and the adjacent coastline

Using initially 18 wells, gas will be delivered via subsea gathering systems and pipelines to the north-west coast of Barrow Island, then via an underground pipeline system to gas treatment and liquefaction facilities on the island’s south-east coast. The plant will consist of 3 liquefied natural gas (LNG) trains, each capable of producing a nominal capacity of five million tonnes per annum (MTPA).[2]

Carbon dioxide (CO2), which comprises around 15% of the raw gas stream, will be stripped out then injected into formations deep below the island. LNG and condensate, initially stored in onshore tanks, will be offloaded from a 2100m jetty onto LNG carriers and oil tankers, for delivery to overseas customers. Natural gas for domestic use will be exported by a 70 km subsea pipeline to the mainland, for transmission to local customers.[2]

In the article, Emerson’s CEO David Farr noted that the order represented a strong foothold in Western Australia’s resource-rich Pilbara region. Development of this region may be impacted by:

…an impending shortage of specially skilled labour represented the biggest threat to the prosperity coming out of WA.

Developing focused education around this core competency can help build the skilled labor resources required.

Gartner’s Kristian Steenstrup highlighted the massive transformation underway in the resources sector:

“…moving from stand-alone, isolated, proprietary, electromechanical devices that control events in a machine to systems that are networked… and interconnected with each other.”

In many of our recent mining and alternative energy-related posts, we’ve highlighted how these technologies are improving efficiency, reducing unplanned downtime, and providing better information to safely and effectively develop these natural resources.

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Posted Thursday, March 15th, 2012 under Final Control Element, LNG.

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