The Gorgon gas plant produces 15.6 Million Tonnes per Annum (MTPA) Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from the Gorgon and Jansz-Io subsea gas fields. First LNG production commenced on the Barrow Island, Australia facility in 2016. One of the first systems commissioned was the wastewater treatment, collection and disposal system, a critical support utility for production operations. The Produced Water Disposal (PWD) facility is unique on Barrow Island due the location's national nature reserve status, and all treated waste must be disposed downhole. The objective of this paper is to review key lessons from design, startup and steady state operations. Perspectives will be given on facility/well management and production operations of PWD at the Gorgon plant.
Wastewater on Barrow Island is generated from several sources: Condensed water originating from hydrocarbon gas (separated at gas dehydration and Mono-Ethylene Glycol (MEG) regeneration facilities), drainage and runoff water from the plant, treated sewage effluent and other ad hoc liquid waste. These sources are collected and treated before the final product is pumped into two available onshore disposal wells. One of the challenges initially faced was that the disposal water quality did not meet the design specification required to maintain well performance. This problem reduced as the plant reached steady state operations and the team gained a better understanding of well performance over time. Other current challenges include hydrocarbon carryover and water polishing, so Engineering and Operations work together closely to ensure reliable water disposal and hence LNG production.
This case study will explore the success and lessons learnt in Gorgon PWD through a summary of field data, facility descriptions and experiences. An overview of the design will be given along with photographs of key components. The required design performance will be compared against actual operating data. In the new energy landscape, the Upstream Operators' social license to operate centers around our environmental performance. In our work we demonstrate that it is possible to treat and dispose of waste liquids responsibly while generating cashflow through LNG production.