The Australian government has given its approval to plans for one of the world's biggest natural resource developments.
AERIAL VIEW Peninsula at Withnell Bay, North-West Australia.
SV Map of Pilbara region, CU PAN DOWN TO Perth (2 SHOTS)
AERIAL VIEW OF Sedco rig at sea, SV Men working on rig and GV OF rig. (4 SHOTS)
SV Model of rig, PAN DOWN TO base of rig, SV of top. (3 SHOTS)
GV & CU OF Bulldozers working on peninsula. (3 SHOTS)
SV PULL OUT TO GV Bulldozers working near construction camp, showing temporary homes.
GV PULL OUT TO WIDE SHOT OF King Bay showing tanker on horizon.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Australian government has given its approval to plans for one of the world's biggest natural resource developments. The so-called North-West Shelf project will involve three production platforms in gas fields off the North-West coastal town of Dampier. The platform swill feed natural gas through a 135 kilometre-long undersea pipeline to Withnell Bay where it will be treated for domestic use as well as overseas energy markets. Australian equity in the project is only 40 percent, with the major money coming from local company Woodside Petroleum. Foreign partners include Shell, BP, and Californian Aviatic.
SYNOPSIS: The centre of the proposed development is at this peninsula near Withnell Bay, 16-hundred kilometres by road from the West Australian capital, Perth, in the south.
The Pilbara region has been a resources - rich area for decades. it's hoped natural gas will be flowing through a land pipeline from Withnell Bay to Perth by 1984. The cost of the undertaking has been estimated at more than five-thousand million dollars.
Woodside's Sedco drilling rig is still carrying out exploratory work. So far three huge gasfields have been found. They are North Rankin, Goodwyn and Angel. Up to 34 production wells will be sunk to drain the gas more effectively.
Huge production platforms, like this model, are to be built in each of the three fields. The platforms will have a total weight of more than 45 thousand tonnes and will look like artificial islands standing in water up to 130 metres deep. The first platform is due to be operating by 1984 in the North Rankin field. The legs for this platform are now under construction in Japan.
Bulldozers are in the meantime constructing access roads to Withnell Bay where the on-shore part of the operation begins.
A few kilometres away work has begun on a site for the construction workers' camp. Features of the accommodation will include ducted airconditioning for relief from the hot climate, landscaped gardens and all modern facilities.
At the foot of the peninsula a new wharf will be built to receive equipment and materials. The height of the on-shore construction is scheduled for 1983 when up to three-thousand people are expected to be working on the project.