Gladstone LNG – bringing natural gas from coal seams to international markets

In late 2010, Total entered into a partnership with Australian company Santos to develop its coal seam gas acreage in Queensland. With decades of experience operating onshore in Australia, Santos was an ideal partner in this endeavour. Total initially took a 20% share in the project, increasing this to 27.5%. Other partners in the project include Petronas which also has a 27.5% share, and KOGAS with 15%. The GLNG project is a pioneering development that is producing natural gas from Queensland’s coal seams before converting it to liquefied natural gas for export. It is essentially two projects in one; an upstream coal seam gas development with several thousand wells and a large downstream LNG project. With Santos' experience in operating onshore in Australia, Total's LNG expertise, and the LNG buyers of Petronas and KOGAS in the joint venture, the project took a Final Investment Decision in January 2011.

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    The first LNG cargo leaves the GLNG plant near Gladstone

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    Large gathering networks bring the gas to three hubs which then process and compress the gas before it is transported down the 420km pipeline to the LNG plant at Curtis Island.

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    Construction of the LNG plant on Curtis Island, showing the two trains and two LNG tanks, February 2015.

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    A rig drilling in the Farview field in 2013.

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    Construction of the LNG plant at Curtis Island, Feburary 2015.

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LNG production now underway

The GLNG project involves extracting natural gas in the Bowen and Surat Basins, which are inland in Queensland, before piping the gas 420 km to the LNG plant that is located on Curtis Island near Gladstone. The upstream is operated by Australian company Santos, which has a long history of operating onshore in Australia whilst the downstream is operated by a joint operating company combining expertise from each of the project partners. LNG production started in Train 1 of the LNG plant in late September 2015, with the first LNG cargo departing for South Korea on 16th October, 2015. Once fully operational, the LNG plant will produce 7.2 million tonnes per annum of LNG, with nearly all of this volume already bought by Malaysia’s Petronas and South Korea’s KOGAS. Throughout the development of the project, Total has provided a number of secondees to Santos to work on the project and provide specialist project management and technical expertise.

Contributing to Total’s growing global production

The GLNG development is not just an important part of Total’s activities and interests in Australia; it is important to Total’s global growth strategy as well which will see our LNG production capacity grow from 12mtpa in 2015 to 20mtpa in 2020. Total's share of LNG from the GLNG project and from the Ichthys LNG project - Total's other key investment in Australia - will account for around half of this growth in LNG production capacity. By 2030, global energy demand is forecast to be 25% higher than in 2010, and 75% of it will be met by fossil fuels. At the same time, a concerted effort is needed to curb the effects of climate change, and natural gas, as the world’s lowest-carbon fossil fuel, is well placed to supply this increased demand with a reduced environmental footprint.

Supporting the Queensland community

To reach the stage of first cargo from the GLNG project, more than 95 million man hours were worked, more than 10,000 people were employed, and over A$15 billion was invested in Australian businesses and products, including A$8 billion in Queensland alone. Since it was first sanctioned, the project has also invested over $200 million on social infrastructure projects and community sponsorships.

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