Australia’s oil sands development to include oil spill prevention
The federal government will today announce the federal government has committed $4 billion to help develop Australia’s first oil sands project, in the form of an $8 billion project to create a pipeline system for pipeline and tanker traffic.
Key points:The Federal Government has committed to fund the $4bn oil spill protection pipeline projectThe pipeline will link the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta to a terminal in Port Arthur, in Western AustraliaKey points The pipeline will be built from Athabascan oil sands, near Port Arthur in Western Australian, to the port of BaliKey points More than a billion barrels of oil will be released annually from the Athaafs oil sandsThe project will be a major upgrade to Australia’s aging oil sands infrastructureThe pipeline is part of an upgrade of the Athawas oil sands production, transport and processing system, which is designed to reduce the risk of a major spill during tanker traffic, and is also expected to help Australia cut emissions of greenhouse gases.
The pipeline, which will be constructed from the oil sands of the oil-rich Athabaskan region in western Australia to the Port Arthur port, will link Australia’s largest oil sands resource with its second largest port in Bali, where oil is shipped from the world’s largest crude oil fields in the United States and Canada.
It is also part of the Federal Government’s $8bn commitment to develop Australia, which has already pledged $2 billion to the region’s oil production, including $1.7 billion for a $1bn oil pipeline that will link to a new terminal at Port Arthur.
Key point:The pipeline project will link two oil sands projects in northern Australia and BaliThe pipeline also involves a $2.4bn upgrade of Australia’s ageing oil sands equipmentThe $4.5 billion upgrade will include upgrades to the Athayas oil-sands infrastructure.
“We’re committed to helping create jobs in the region, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in our energy sector and creating tens of thousands more jobs for the next generation,” Environment Minister Greg Hunt said.
“This will also help protect the environment, protect our water and provide jobs and opportunities for all Australians.”
Mr Hunt said the $5.5bn upgrade to the facility is the first of its kind in Australia, with it providing a major investment for the industry.
“As we look to the future, the Athagas project is an example of the way in which we can work with our partners and partner companies to build on the success of the project,” Mr Hunt said in a statement.
“The upgrades to our infrastructure will provide a reliable, safe and secure pathway to export oil from the region.”
The pipeline extension is expected to be complete by the end of the decade.
Key highlights:The $5bn upgrades to Australia have already been completed, and will be completed by the year 2020The project has been approved by the Australian Energy Market Operator, which means it is not subject to the approval of a federal or State Government agency.
“Australia’s oil resources have long been at the heart of the economic prosperity of Australia and will continue to be a key driver of the country’s future,” Mr Howard said.
Mr Hunt and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Greg Hunt, who is also the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, announced the funding commitment.
The $8.5b project will also include an upgrade to a facility that houses the Athas pipeline, and also includes a facility for storing and transporting oil from Bali.
“It will also allow the pipeline to reach and export oil that will support our future energy security,” Mr Abbott said.
The Federal Opposition has been calling for the project to be scrapped, arguing it would threaten the lives of thousands, if not millions, of Australians.
“Athabasca will continue its decline as the Athascan region’s resource goes dry,” Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said in his statement.
The project is being undertaken by the Northern Territory Petroleum Board and the Australian Petroleum and Gas Association.
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