The approval triggers the sale of Triangle’s 78.75% interest in the project to partner Pilot Energy.

By Shardul Sharma

Triangle Energy announced on June 14 that the Australian government had approved the WA 31-L joint venture’s application to declare a greenhouse gas storage formation over the WA 31-L licence area. This approval, granted by the minister for resources, Madeleine King, allows the development of the Cliff Head carbon capture and storage (CCS) project and triggers the sale of Triangle’s 78.75% interest in the project to partner Pilot Energy.

Under the sale agreement, Triangle will receive staged payments of A$7.5mn ($4.96mn) in cash and up to A$7.5mn in royalties. The divestment will also remove associated liabilities from Triangle's balance sheet, allowing the company to concentrate on its upcoming Booth-1 and Becos-1 wells in the Perth basin.

"This is a major milestone for both companies and, importantly, the culmination of a significant amount of work from the Triangle team over the past two years to streamline the company’s portfolio. The decision will enable Triangle to focus on its highly prospective conventional oil and gas activities, including the upcoming wells in the Perth basin,” said Conrad Todd, managing director of Triangle Energy.

In a separate statement, Pilot Energy highlighted that this approval follows their application to the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) in November 2022 and signifies a "material advancement" in the development of its Mid West Clean Energy Project (MWCEP). Pilot, along with Genesis, the MWCEP owner's engineer and pre-FEED contractor, aims to finalise the pre-FEED work by June 2024.

With the declaration in hand, the MWCEP can proceed to the next phase, which includes traditional owner and stakeholder engagement, CO2 storage project FEED, and the final selection of hydrogen and ammonia technology partners. This will enable the ammonia FEED to commence in the second half of 2024.

“This declaration represents a material advancement in the development of Pilot’s Mid West Clean Energy Project and is an exciting milestone for CCS and clean energy production in Australia,” said Brad Lingo, chairman of Pilot Energy.

Pilot expects to start the Cliff Head CCS project offshore Western Australia by late 2025 or early 2026, Lingo told GasPathways last year.

The CCS project marks the first stage of the MWCEP, converting the Cliff Head oil field from oil production to a CCS project. The oil field, located in shallow waters offshore Western Australia, is currently jointly operated by Pilot and Triangle. The second stage of the MWCEP involves blue hydrogen production, and the third stage focuses on producing clean ammonia for export.

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