Scarborough Energy Project
The Scarborough Energy project (during construction and over its productive life) is expected to result in a significant direct contribution to the Australian economy through capital and operational spending, employment, taxation payments, and exports.
Will pay an estimated A$19 billion in direct Australian taxes
Has a commitment to spend more than A$90 million with Karratha business
Will generate more than 3,000 construction jobs in WA
Awarded more than A$3.6 billion in contracts to local WA businesses
Australia doesn't need new gas projects like Scarborough.
The Scarborough Energy project (during construction and over its productive life) is expected to result in a significant direct contribution to the Australian economy through capital and operational spending, employment, taxation payments, and exports. The majority of these direct impacts will be realised in Western Australia including in the Pilbara region. he development of Woodside’s Scarborough Energy Project will provide a boost to WA, increasing jobs and bringing work through the supply chain.
Woodside is working closely with our key contractors to maximise opportunities for local, regional and WA businesses across the supply chain for Scarborough. The majority of direct opportunities for Pluto Train 2 will be realised in WA, including Indigenous participation opportunities, with firm commitments to support skills development and training for Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions to meet employment and supplier opportunities arising from the development.
The Scarborough Energy Project will pay an estimated $19 Billion in direct Australian taxes, boost GDP by billions of dollars, generate more than 3,200 construction jobs in WA and will contribute $30 million to the construction training fund supporting thousands of apprentices. The project has awarded more than $3.6 Billion in contracts to local WA businesses and is large enough to power more than 8.5 million homes around the world for more than 30 years1
Scarborough Energy Project – Key facts
Is the Scarborough Energy Project producing gas?
The Scarborough Energy Project, an important part of Woodside’s portfolio, is currently in the construction and installation phase and is therefore not producing gas. We are working on the different components of the project that need to be installed both onshore at our Pluto LNG facility and offshore at the Scarborough field. At the end of 2023, the project was 55% complete with first LNG cargo targeted for 2026.
What is the Scarborough Energy Project?
Woodside Energy is developing the Scarborough natural gas field, located in the Carnarvon Basin, approximately 375 km off the coast of Western Australia (WA).
The development includes the installation of a semi-submersible floating production unit (FPU), moored in 950 m of water, connected by an approximately 430 km pipeline to a second LNG train (Pluto Train 2) at the existing Pluto LNG onshore facility.
Initially, eight wells will be drilled, with 13 wells drilled over the life of the Scarborough field.
The Scarborough Energy Project will produce around 8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG. Approximately 5 Mtpa of Scarborough gas will be processed through Pluto Train 2, with up to 3 Mtpa processed through the existing Pluto Train 1 following modifications.
Based on average Australian household energy consumption, the Scarborough Energy Project is large enough to power more than 8.5 million homes around the world for more than 30 years.
Woodside is operator of the Project and currently has a 100% participating interest in the Scarborough field. In August 2023, Woodside entered into an agreement with LNG Japan to sell a 10% interest in the Scarborough Joint Venture.
Creating and sustaining jobs
The Scarborough Energy Project will create thousands of jobs during the construction phase and hundreds of jobs throughout its operations.
A comprehensive economic modelling report completed by ACIL Allen in 2019 outlined the jobs that would be created or sustained throughout the lifecycle of the Scarborough Energy Project. During the peak construction phase for Pluto Train 2, almost 3,200 jobs are expected to be created.
Once in operations, on average 600 jobs will be created or sustained for the Project, of which around 70 will be Karratha residential jobs.
In addition, the Project will deliver opportunities for First Nations jobs and businesses in WA, as well as for apprentices and trainees.
At the time of its release, the report did not include the planned modifications to Pluto Train 1 which may create additional job opportunities.
Reference: ACIL Allen 2019, Scarborough Development Summary
The Scarborough Energy Project will be amongst the lowest emission LNG projects in Australia.
A 2021 Wood Mackenzie report highlighted the development is both lower carbon and globally cost competitive and will be one of the lowest emission LNG projects in Australia.
The LNG from the Scarborough Energy Project can also help our customers as they determine their own decarbonisation pathways.
The Scarborough reservoir contains less than 0.1% carbon dioxide and combined with processing design efficiencies at the floating production unit (offshore) and Pluto Train 2 (onshore), will deliver one of the lowest carbon intensity projects for LNG delivered into Asian markets.
Reference: Wood Mackenzie report ‘Woodside green lights Scarborough LNG’; Wood Mackenzie ‘Emissions Benchmarking’. Refer page 2, "The development is both low carbon and globally cost competitive."
Woodside is among the country’s largest taxpayers. In the first half of 2023, Woodside paid $3.7 billion in Australian taxes and royalties.
It is estimated that the Scarborough Energy Project will deliver over $19 billion in direct taxation payments to the Australian and Western Australian governments. This contribution is equivalent to building a new Fiona Stanley Hospital every three years (until 2063).
Furthermore, an estimated $14 billion of indirect taxation payments is expected to be paid.
This strong contribution helps to demonstrate the importance of the Scarborough Energy Project in providing benefits to the Australian economy for decades to come.
Reference: ACIL Allen 2019, Scarborough Development Summary
Reference: Technical Paper, Fiona Stanley Hospital
Reference: Woodside tax information
Contributions to Community
The Scarborough Energy Project is directly and indirectly contributing millions of dollars in benefits to WA and regional communities where we live and work.
Some of these contributions include:
$30 million to the Construction Training Fund which supports thousands of apprentices;
Over $300 million operational expenditure is expected in WA each and every year;
Over $90 million already committed with businesses in Karratha;
Over $19 billion in direct Australian taxes;
Awarded more than $3.6 billion in contracts to WA businesses; and
Engaging more than 60 Karratha businesses.
Reference: ACILAllen 2019, Scarborough Development Summary
Securing reliable energy for WA and the world
The Scarborough Energy Project will deliver more gas to the WA market, at a time when WA is predicted to face supply shortages.
According to 2022 WA Gas Statement of Opportunities report by Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) it is forecast there will be insufficient gas supply to meet WA demand. The start-up of Scarborough will help to address the anticipated forecast supply gap in the WA domestic gas market.
The Project is targeting first LNG cargo in 2026. Once operational, it will produce around 8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG, 5 Mtpa through Pluto Train 2, which is currently under construction and 3 Mtpa through Pluto Train 1 following modifications. The Project will have up to 225 terajoules (TJ) available per day for domestic use. 130 TJs per day have already been contracted to the Perdaman fertiliser project, based in the Pilbara.
Helping our farmers to continue to grow
The Scarborough Energy Project will also provide the gas needed to produce the fertiliser (urea) that our farmers use to grow food, with a 20 year gas supply agreement in place with Perdaman.
Perdaman are currently building a 2.3 million tonne per annum urea plant near the Pluto LNG onshore facility and Woodside has signed a 130 TJ/day of gas over a term of 20 years to supply the plant. Additionally, Perdaman have an offtake agreement with Incitec Pivot Limited, an Australian multinational corporation that manufactures fertiliser, explosives chemicals, and mining service.
Reference: AEMO WA Gas Statement of Opportunities
Reference: DISER, Australian Energy Statistics Energy Update 2021
1 based off annual Australian household energy use, “Australian Energy Statistics Energy update 2021 Report” Diser 2021