An Integration of Geology, Geohazards, Geophysics and Geotechnics for Pre-Feed Site Layout and Engineering Design of an Offshore Gas Field in the Timor Sea

Chullabrahm, Pattarapong (PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Ltd) | Saranyasoontorn, Korn (PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Ltd) | Svasti-xuto, Maythus (PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Ltd) | Trithipchatsakul, Chao (PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Ltd) | Sunderland, Damon (Arup Pty Ltd) | Ingvorsen, Peter (Arup Pty Ltd) | Madrigal, Sarah (Arup Pty Ltd) | McAndrew, Russell (Arup Pty Ltd)



This paper presents an integration of geology, geohazards, geophysics and geotechnical assessments for a design of an offshore gas production facility and an associated export pipeline. The gas field described in this paper is located off the North West coast of Australia in the Timor Sea in a water depth of approximately 130m.

Various resource development options were investigated during the Concept Select / pre-Front End Engineering Design (pre-FEED) phase of the project. These options included fixed and floating structures in the infield area and a 300km long export pipeline that ties into an existing gas trunkline connecting to an onshore processing plant.

To provide the necessary engineering due diligence to allow the project to progress further, several phases of geo-related investigations were undertaken to assess various geohazard challenges and foundation risks. Some of these challenges include a pipeline route traversing several steeply sloping seabed canyons, potential activation of turbidite sequences, and the presence of very soft carbonate sediments to calcarenite rock.

This paper describes these ground related challenges and how they were constrained through the geo-related investigations conducted, observations made and results obtained. Ground related challenges are described in two parts:

Pre-FEED export pipeline routing reviews focusing on geohazard, geophysical and geotechnical considerations and ‘real time’ pipeline engineering Finite Element Analysis (FEA) performed offshore. Compared to normal practice, this non-standard offshore analysis allowed a preferred pipeline corridor to be identified during the survey with an informed understanding regarding feasibility and likely seabed intervention, thus optimising the field survey time and cost; and

Staged acquisition and integration of infield geophysical and geotechnical data for developing high level assessments of foundation concepts.

Key benefits of conducting an integrated approach to geo-related challenges on a complex site will also be presented in this paper.