Timor Sea Oil and Gas Fields

Click on map to enlarge


  • Laminaria oil field was discovered with the exploration well Laminaria-1 in October 1994 in the Northern Territory administered AC/P8 permit (now AC/L5) in the Ashmore and Cartier Islands Adjacent Area.
  • These worldclass oilfields are located about 550 kilometres west-north-west of Darwin and 160 kilometres south of Timor.
  • AC/L5 also contains the nearby Corallina field, 10 kilometres northwest of Laminaria, discovered by Corallina-1 in December 1995.
  • The Laminaria field extends into the neighbouring Laminaria East licence WA18L, held by BHP Petroleum and administered by WA.
  • Joint Venture Participants in AC/L5 are:
Woodside Offshore Petroleum Pty Ltd (Operator)50%
Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd 25%
BHP Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd25%

Field Development

  • February 1997 - Production Licence AC/L5 was granted by the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments.
  • 1998 - A unitisation agreement was reached concluding that the bulk of the Laminaria field is situated in AC/L5.
  • The fields have been jointly developed using a sub-sea production system tied back via flexible flow lines to the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) barge, the Northern Endeavour, located between the two fields.
  • Four subsea production wells in Laminaria and two production wells in Corallina were drilled using a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU). Additional wells may be required during the life of the fields to optimally deplete the reserves.
  • The wells were drilled in clusters and connected to flowlines tied back to one of the world’s largest FPSO facilities, the Northern Endeavour, via dynamic risers.
  • Surplus gas is reinjected through a dedicated gas disposal well.
  • The FPSO facility has a barge type steel hull with a storage capacity of 225,000 cubic metres (1.4 million barrels). It is permanently moored to the seabed via an internal turret mooring.
  • The A$1.37 billion Laminaria/Corallina development was the first in this remote area of the Timor Sea and the FPSO facility is anticipated to become the main infrastructure for development of other prospects in the area.
  • Design life of the Northern Endeavour is 20 years and the forecast project life of the Laminaria/Corallina fields is about 12 years.


  • Production commenced on 7th November 1999.
  • The production rate since startup has averaged 142,500 barrels per day, with peak production rates up to 180,000 barrels per day.
  • Maximum design production capacity was 170,000 barrels (27,000 cubic metres) per day.
  • Proved estimated recovery is 21.8 million cubic metres (137.1 million barrels) of oil, with proved and probable ultimate recovery at 31.5 million cubic metres (198.2 million barrels).


  • Combined (both on and offshore) direct employment is between 150 and 200.
  • Woodside has a local (Australian) content policy which ensures Darwin receives equal opportunities.
  • Project management and operations team are based in Perth.
  • Darwin is the logistics base for the Northern Endeavour, with supply vessels, helicopter support and other servicing facilities such as maintenance and rig refit capacity available.
  • Three manifolds, designed and built by Kvaerner Oilfield Products, were transported to Darwin’s East Arm area in late 1998, for testing, modification and subsequent loading onto the CSO Venturer for shipment to the field.
  • The manifolds, weighing up to 98 tonnes each, contain the control system to operate the sub-sea Xmas trees.
  • This exercise demonstrated Darwin’s capacity to provide quality service to the offshore industry, and Stage 1 of the new East Arm Port, is now complete (adding a further 490 metres of berth space to Darwin’s present port facility), significantly improving the existing supply and service capacity.

Current at 12/12/01

Director of Energy

Department of Business, Industry & Resource Development
GPO Box 2901

Ph: 61 8 8999 5460
Fax: 61 8 8999 5530