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Gorgon Gas Development and

Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation
Management Plan

Document No:

G1-NT-PLNX0000298

Revision:

Revision Date:

10 June 2014

Copy No:

IP Security:

Public

Chevron Australia Pty Ltd

Document No: G1-NT-PLNX0000298


Revision Date: 10 June 2014
Revision:
4

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Table of Contents
Terminology, Definitions, and Abbreviations ......................................................................................... 12
1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

6.0

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 25
1.1

Proponent................................................................................................................................ 25

1.2

Project ..................................................................................................................................... 25

1.3

Location Summary .................................................................................................................. 25

1.4

Scope of this Plan ................................................................................................................... 28

1.5

Project Environmental Approvals ............................................................................................ 28

1.6

Purpose of this Plan ................................................................................................................ 30

1.7

Format of this Plan .................................................................................................................. 47

Environmental Management Framework ...................................................................................... 49


2.1

Regulatory Framework............................................................................................................ 49

2.2

Codes of Practices .................................................................................................................. 52

Activities Description ..................................................................................................................... 54


3.1

Timing and Schedule .............................................................................................................. 55

3.2

Subsea System Overview ....................................................................................................... 55

3.3

Pipeline and Umbilical Route .................................................................................................. 57

3.4

Installation Methodology ......................................................................................................... 62

3.5

Unplanned Events ................................................................................................................... 75

3.6

Event Response Activities .................................................................................................... 123

Description of Environment ......................................................................................................... 124


4.1

Regional Overview ................................................................................................................ 129

4.2

Physical Marine Environment ...............................................................................................136

4.3

Bathymetry and Sea Floor Topography ................................................................................ 141

4.4

Ecological Environment ........................................................................................................ 144

4.5

Socioeconomic Environment ................................................................................................185

Methodology for Environmental Risk Assessment and Management Measures ................... 204
5.1

Overview ............................................................................................................................... 204

5.2

Methodology.......................................................................................................................... 204

5.3

Determination of As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) ........................................... 209

5.4

Determination of Acceptable ................................................................................................. 211

5.5

Performance Objectives........................................................................................................ 211

5.6

Performance Standards ........................................................................................................ 211

5.7

Measurement Criteria ........................................................................................................... 212

Environmental Risk Assessment, Performance Objectives, Standards, and


Measurement Criteria .................................................................................................... 213
6.1

Physical Presence of Infrastructure ......................................................................................213

6.2

Vessel Movements ................................................................................................................ 218

6.3

Benthic Disturbance .............................................................................................................. 222

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

6.4

Atmospheric Emissions .........................................................................................................232

6.5

Light Emissions .....................................................................................................................235

6.6

Underwater Noise .................................................................................................................239

6.7

Non-Indigenous Species and Marine Pests ..........................................................................243

6.8

Hazardous and Non-hazardous Solid Waste ........................................................................247

6.9

Hazardous and Non-hazardous Liquid Waste and Planned Discharges ..............................250

6.10 Hydrocarbon and Chemical Spills .........................................................................................275


7.0

Implementation Strategy ..............................................................................................................325


7.1

Environmental Policy.............................................................................................................325

7.2

Environmental Management Documentation ........................................................................327

7.3

Chain of Command ...............................................................................................................328

7.4

Roles and Responsibilities ....................................................................................................329

7.5

Training and Competencies ..................................................................................................330

7.6

Compliance Assurance .........................................................................................................331

7.7

Environmental Survey and Monitoring ..................................................................................332

7.8

Routine Monitoring and Reporting ........................................................................................333

7.9

Incident Reporting .................................................................................................................336

7.10 Emergency Response ...........................................................................................................339


7.11 Control of Documentation and Records ................................................................................339
7.12 Review of the Plan ................................................................................................................340
8.0

References .....................................................................................................................................341

Appendix 1

Compliance Table ..........................................................................................................359

Appendix 2

Chemical Selection Process Summary .......................................................................368

Appendix 3

Stakeholder Consultation Plan .....................................................................................380

List of Tables
Table 1-1 General Requirements of this Plan ...........................................................................................31
Table 1-2 Requirements in State Waters ..................................................................................................32
Table 1-3 Requirements in Commonwealth Waters..................................................................................34
Table 1-4 Requirements of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment)
Regulations 2009 ..................................................................................................................35
Table 1-5 Requirements of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations 2012...........38
Table 2-1 Key Commonwealth Legislative Requirements.........................................................................49
Table 2-2 Key State Legislative Requirements .........................................................................................51
Table 2-3 International Agreeements and Conventions ............................................................................52
Table 3-1 Subsea Infrastructure Footprints ...............................................................................................60
Table 3-2 Estimated Dewatering Volumes and Timing .............................................................................68
Table 3-3 Construction Vessel Spread ......................................................................................................71
Table 3-4 Potential Credible Spill Scenarios .............................................................................................77
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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Table 3-5 Summary of the Modelled Release Sites .................................................................................. 82


Table 3-6 Properties of Typical Diesel ...................................................................................................... 85
Table 3-7 Properties of Typical Heavy Fuel Oil ......................................................................................... 86
Table 3-8 Surface Thickness Threshold Values Applied as part of the Modelling Study ......................... 89
Table 3-9 Dissolved Aromatic In-water Threshold Values Applied as Part of the Modelling Study .......... 90
Table 3-10 Entrained Threshold Values Applied as part of the Modelling Study ...................................... 91
Table 3-11 Summary of Model Settings used for Spill Modelling ............................................................. 93
Table 3-12 Explanation of Diesel Scenario Modelling Maps ..................................................................... 94
Table 3-13 Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact Probability for any Coastline ............................... 102
Table 3-14 Summary of Predicted Probability of Shoreline Contact to Specific Key Locations, from
Site 1 (Nearshore) .............................................................................................................. 103
Table 3-15 Explanation of Modelling Maps ............................................................................................. 108
Table 3-16 Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact of HFO Nearshore Spill to any Shoreline ........... 111
Table 3-17 Summary of Predicted Probability of HFO Shoreline Contact to Specific Location, from
Nearshore ........................................................................................................................... 112
Table 3-18 Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact of 800 m3 HFO Spill from Jansz MPTS to any
Shoreline ............................................................................................................................ 114
Table 3-19 Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact of 800 m3 HFO Spill from Gorgon MPTS to
any Shoreline...................................................................................................................... 114
Table 3-20 Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact Probability from 800 m3 HFO Release for any
Coastline from Site A (19.5 km from Barrow Island) .......................................................... 115
Table 3-21 Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact Probability from 800 m3 HFO release for any
Coastline from Site B (39.1 km from Barrow Island) .......................................................... 115
Table 3-22 Justification of Non-credible Scenarios ................................................................................. 122
Table 4-1 Description of EMBA Areas..................................................................................................... 124
Table 4-2 Key Documents Characterising Baseline Environmental State .............................................. 128
Table 4-3 Areas of Conservation Significance within the EMBA............................................................. 132
Table 4-4 Key Ecological Features within the EMBA .............................................................................. 134
Table 4-5 Coral Reef Habitat by EMBA Areas ........................................................................................ 152
Table 4-6 Seagrass and Macroalgae Habitat by EMBA Areas ............................................................... 153
Table 4-7 Soft-Substrate Habitat by EMBA Areas .................................................................................. 155
Table 4-8 Benthic Macroinvertebrates by EMBA Areas .......................................................................... 158
Table 4-9 Mangrove Habitat by EMBA Areas ......................................................................................... 159
Table 4-10 Salt Marsh/Flat Habitat by EMBA Areas ............................................................................... 161
Table 4-11 Intertidal Mudflat Habitat by EMBA Areas............................................................................. 161
Table 4-12 Intertidal Sandbar and Shoal Habitat by EMBA Areas ......................................................... 162
Table 4-13 Intertidal Rock Pavement and Rocky Shore Habitat by EMBA Areas .................................. 163
Table 4-14 Dugong Habitat by EMBA Areas ........................................................................................... 164
Table 4-15 Whales Likely to be in the Vicinity of the Proposed Installation Area ................................... 166
Table 4-16 Whale Habitat by EMBA Areas ............................................................................................. 169
Table 4-17 Dolphins Likely to be in the Vicinity of the Proposed Installation Area ................................. 170
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Table 4-18 Dolphin Habitat by EMBA Areas ...........................................................................................171


Table 4-19 Sea Snake Habitat by EMBA Areas ......................................................................................173
Table 4-20 Marine Turtles Likely to be in the Vicinity of the Proposed Installation Area ........................174
Table 4-21 Marine Turtle Habitat by EMBA Areas ..................................................................................175
Table 4-22 Protected Sharks Likely to be in the Vicinity of the Proposed Installation Area....................179
Table 4-23 Fish and Shark Habitat by EMBA Areas ...............................................................................180
Table 4-24 Protected Seabirds Likely to be in the Vicinity of the Proposed Installation Area.................181
Table 4-25 Seabird Habitat by EMBA Areas ...........................................................................................183
Table 4-26 Significant Infrastructure by EMBA Areas .............................................................................186
Table 4-27 Summary of Commonwealth Managed Fisheries Intersecting the Pipeline Construction
Corridor ...............................................................................................................................191
Table 4-28 Summary of State Managed Fisheries Intersecting the EMBA .............................................192
Table 4-29 Aquaculture Values by EMBA Areas.....................................................................................196
Table 4-30 Marine-Based Tourism and Recreation Values by EMBA Areas ..........................................197
Table 4-31 DAA Listed Heritage Sites by EMBA Area ............................................................................200
Table 4-32 Australian National Shipwreck Database Search by EMBA Areas .......................................201
Table 5-1 List of Key Activities and the Environmental Hazards Triggered ............................................206
Table 5-2 List of Key Environmental Hazards and the Receptors Potentially Impacted .........................207
Table 5-3 Risk Levels and Risk Tolerability1 ...........................................................................................209
Table 6-1 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria Physical
Presence of Infrastructure ..................................................................................................217
Table 6-2 Typical Speeds and Movements of the Installation Vessels ...................................................219
Table 6-3 Fishing Efforts in the Area .......................................................................................................220
Table 6-4 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria Vessel
Movements .........................................................................................................................221
Table 6-5 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria Benthic
Disturbance.........................................................................................................................231
Table 6-6 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Atmospheric Emissions ......................................................................................................234
Table 6-7 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria Light
Emissions ...........................................................................................................................238
Table 6-8 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Underwater Noise ...............................................................................................................242
Table 6-9 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Introduction of Invasive Marine Species.............................................................................246
Table 6-10 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria Solid
Waste..................................................................................................................................248
Table 6-11 Chemicals Approved for Planned Discharge ........................................................................255
Table 6-12 Modelled Hydrotest Discharge Parameters ..........................................................................264
Table 6-13 Modelled Peak Concentrations, Distance to Threshold, and Dilution Rates of Hydrotest
Water Discharge .................................................................................................................265
Table 6-14 Further Information Supporting ALALRP on Biocides Assessed Acceptable for
Discharge............................................................................................................................271
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Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Table 6-15 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria Liquid
Waste ................................................................................................................................. 273
Table 6-16 Potential Credible Spill Scenarios and Risk Ranking............................................................ 278
Table 6-17 Potential Consequence to Shoreline Types from a Hydrocarbon Spill ................................. 284
Table 6-18 Potential Consequence to Marine Habitats from a Hydrocarbon Spill .................................. 288
Table 6-19 Potential Consequence to Marine Surface, Subsurface, and Terrestrial Dwelling
Species from a Hydrocarbon Spill ...................................................................................... 291
Table 6-20 Potential Consequence to Socioeconomic Receptors from a Hydrocarbon Spill ................. 297
Table 6-21 Evaluation of Severity of Modelled Oil Spills to Values, for each EMBA Area ..................... 303
Table 6-22 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Hydrocarbon and Chemical Spills ...................................................................................... 322
Table 7-1 Environmental Training ........................................................................................................... 331
Table 7-2 Emissions, Discharges, and Wastes Monitoring Requirements ............................................. 334
Table 7-3 Summary of Routine External Reporting Requirements ......................................................... 335
Table 7-4 Incident Reporting Requirements............................................................................................ 337

List of Figures
Figure 1-1 Location of the Greater Gorgon Area ...................................................................................... 26
Figure 1-2 Location of the Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline .............................. 27
Figure 1-3 Hierarchy of Gorgon Gas Development Environmental Documentation ................................. 43
Figure 1-4 Hierarchy of Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline Environmental Documentation ................................... 44
Figure 1-5 Deliverable Development, Review, and Approval Flow Chart ................................................. 48
Figure 3-1 Estimated Activity Schedule..................................................................................................... 55
Figure 3-2 Offshore Subsea Facilities Overview ....................................................................................... 56
Figure 3-3 Marine Disturbance Footprint Associated with the Installation Activities ................................. 59
Figure 3-4 Gorgon and Jansz Pipeline Route ........................................................................................... 61
Figure 3-5 Proposed Anchor Locations in State Waters for Diving Operations ........................................ 74
Figure 3-6 Location of Modelled Release Sites ........................................................................................ 84
Figure 3-7 Predicted Weathering Graph: Diesel Fuel Oil .......................................................................... 86
Figure 3-8 Predicted Weathering Graph: Heavy Fuel Oil.......................................................................... 88
Figure 3-9 Modelling of 700 m3 Surface Release of Diesel at Site 1 (Nearshore) Across All Seasons .... 95
Figure 3-10 Modelling of 700 m3 Surface Release of Diesel at Gorgon and Jansz MPTS (Open
Ocean) Across All Seasons .................................................................................................. 96
Figure 3-11 Modelling of Zones of Entrained Exposure from 700 m3 Surface Release of Diesel at
Site 1 (Nearshore) ................................................................................................................ 98
Figure 3-12 Modelling of Zones of Entrained Exposure from 700 m3 Surface Release of Diesel at
Gorgon and Jansz MPTS (Open Ocean) ............................................................................. 99
Figure 3-13 Modelling of Zones of Dissolved Aromatics Exposure from 700 m3 Surface Release of
Diesel at Gorgon and Jansz MPTS (Open Ocean) and Site 1 (Nearshore) ...................... 101
Figure 3-14 Predicted Movement of an Oil Spill at 4 hours, 2, 4, and 6 days after the Initial Release
(3:00 am 5 May 2008) for the Worst-case Single Spill Trajectory...................................... 106

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Figure 3-15 Predicted Weathering and Fates Graph, as a Function of Percentage, for the Selected
Single Spill Trajectory chosen from the Worst-case Simulation from Nearshore ..............107
Figure 3-16 Predicted Weathering and Fates Graph, as a Function of Percentage, for the Selected
Single Spill Trajectory chosen from the Worst-case Simulation from Open Ocean ...........107
Figure 3-17 Modelling of 800 m3 Surface Release of HFO at Site 2 (Nearshore) Across All Seasons ..109
Figure 3-18 Modelling of 800 m3 Surface Release of HFO at Gorgon and Jansz MPTS (Open
Ocean) Across All Seasons ................................................................................................110
Figure 3-19 Modelling of 800 m3 Surface Release of HFO from Site A Across All Seasons ..................116
Figure 3-20 Modelling of 800 m3 Surface Release of HFO from Site B Across All Seasons ..................117
Figure 3-21 Predicted Movement of an Oil Spill at 3, 6, 12, and 24 Hours after the Initial Release
(3:00 pm 12 February 2009) for the Worst-case Single Spill Trajectory ............................118
Figure 3-22 Predicted Weathering and Fates Graph, as a Function of Percentage, for the Selected
Single Spill Trajectory chosen from the Worst-case Simulation, from Nearshore .............119
Figure 3-23 Predicted Weathering and Fates Graph, as a Function of Percentage, for the Selected
Single Spill Trajectory chosen from the Worst-case Simulation, from Gorgon MPTS .......120
Figure 3-24 Predicted Weathering and Fates Graph, as a Function of Percentage, for the Selected
Single Spill Trajectory chosen from the Worst-case Simulation, from Jansz MPTS ..........121
Figure 4-1 EMBA Areas ...........................................................................................................................127
Figure 4-2 MontebelloBarrow Island Marine Conservation Reserves ...................................................131
Figure 4-3 Key Ecological Features of the North-west Marine Region ...................................................135
Figure 4-4 Seasonally Averaged Winds in the North-west Marine Region .............................................137
Figure 4-5 Surface and Subsurface Currents in the Region ...................................................................139
Figure 4-6 Seabed Profile along the Jansz Pipeline Route .....................................................................142
Figure 4-7 Matters of National Environmental Significance Search Area, as indicated by Spill
Modelling ............................................................................................................................145
Figure 4-8 Dominant Ecological Elements in the Vicinity of the Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System
in State Waters ...................................................................................................................148
Figure 4-9 Dominant Ecological Elements in the Vicinity of the Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System
in Commonwealth Waters ..................................................................................................149
Figure 4-10 Benthic Habitat at the Gully Region .....................................................................................150
Figure 4-11 Benthic Habitat at the Scarp Region ....................................................................................151
Figure 4-12 Humpback Whale Migration Route ......................................................................................168
Figure 4-13 Significant Infrastructure by EMBA Area..............................................................................186
Figure 4-14 Petroleum Activities in the North West Shelf .......................................................................188
Figure 4-15 Shipping Lanes in the Region ..............................................................................................190
Figure 4-16 Tourism Hotspots in the North-west of WA ..........................................................................199
Figure 4-17 Known Historic Shipwrecks in the Vicinity of the Greater EMBA Area ................................203
Figure 5-1 Chevron Integrated Risk Prioritization Matrix.........................................................................208
Figure 5-2 Risk-related Decision Support Framework ............................................................................210
Figure 6-1 Inner Reef Environmental Features Pipeline Route Survey ...............................................227
Figure 6-2 Outer Reef Environmental Features Pipeline Route Survey ..............................................228
Figure 6-3 Chemical Selection Process Flow Diagram ............................................................................254

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Figure 6-4 Maximum Predicted Biocide Concentrations (ppm) from Gorgon MPTS Discharge Point
(based on 25 simulations) .................................................................................................. 266
Figure 6-5 Maximum Predicted Biocide Concentrations (ppm) from Jansz MPTS Discharge Point
(based on 25 simulations) .................................................................................................. 267
Figure 6-6 Zones of Exposure of Ecological Receptors to Marine Oil Spills........................................... 283
Figure 7-1 ABU Policy 530 ...................................................................................................................... 326
Figure 7-2 Organisation Structure ........................................................................................................... 328

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Terminology, Definitions, and Abbreviations


Terms, definitions, and abbreviations used in this document are listed below. These align with
the terms, definitions, and abbreviations defined in Schedule 2 of the Western Australian
Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline Ministerial Implementation Statements
No. 800 and No. 769 respectively (Statement No. 800 and 769) and the Commonwealth Gorgon
Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline Ministerial Approvals (EPBC Reference:
2003/1294, 2008/4178, and 2005/2184).

micrometre

ABU

Australasia Business Unit

AFMA

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

AFZ

Australian Fishing Zone

ALARP

As Low As Reasonably Practicable. Includes concept of as far as


practicable as defined by Ministerial Statement No. 800 and EPBC
Statements Approval Statements 2003/1294, 2005/2184 and 2008/4178,
and associated commitments.

AMSA

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

ANZECC

Australian and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council

APASA

Asia-Pacific Applied Science Associates

APPEA

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association

AQIS

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

ARI

Assessment on Referral Information (for the proposed Jansz Feed Gas


Pipeline dated September 2007) as amended or supplemented from time
to time

ARMCANZ

Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New


Zealand

AS

Australian Standard

AS/NZS

Australian Standard/New Zealand Standard

ASBU

Australasia Strategic Business Unit

At risk

Being at risk of Material Environmental Harm or Serious Environmental


Harm and/or, for the purposes of the EPBC Act relevant listed threatened
species, threatened ecological communities and listed migratory species
at risk of Material Environmental Harm or Serious Environmental Harm.

AUSREP

Australian Ship Reporting

Ballast Water

Any water and associated sediment used to trim and stabilise a vessel

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Benthic

Living upon or in the sea floor

Berm

A narrow ledge or shelf typically at the top or bottom of a slope

Bioaccumulation

The accumulation of a substance, such as a toxic chemical, in various


tissues of a living organism

Biocide

Any substance that can destroy living organisms

Biofouling

Aquatic organisms attached on or in a hull, including the internal seawater


pipe work, anchor well, cable locker, bilges, etc.

Bioturbation

The displacement and mixing of sediment particles by benthic fauna


(animals) or flora (plants)

Bombora

Raised, dome-shaped, limestone feature, >1 m high, often formed by


coral of the genus Porites

BTEX

Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene compounds

Bund

An area of containment that is provided to retain liquid

CALM

Former Western Australia Department of Conservation and Land


Management (now Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife
[DPaW]; was DEC)

CAMBA

ChinaAustralia Migratory Bird Agreement

Carbon Dioxide
(CO2) Injection
System

The mechanical components required to be constructed to enable the


injection of reservoir carbon dioxide, including but not limited to
compressors, pipelines and wells.

Caution zone

An area around the cetacean with a radius of 150 m for a dolphin and
300 m for a whale

CDU

Control Distribution Unit

Cefas

United Kingdom Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Science

Cetacean

Various aquatic (mainly marine) mammals of the order Cetacea,


(including whales, dolphins and porpoises) characterised by a nearly
hairless body, front limbs modified into broad flippers and a flat notched
tail.

CHARM

Chemical Hazard and Risk Management

Chevron Australia

Chevron Australia Pty Ltd

Chevron Permit
Areas

Petroleum leases of which Chevron Australia is the title holder and/or


operator.

CO

Carbon monoxide

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

CO2

Carbon dioxide

Commonwealth
Marine Areas

Zoned areas of waters of the sea, the seabed and the airspace above the
waters of the sea, defined under section 24 of the EPBC Act (Cth).

Commonwealth
Waters

Waters stretching from three to 300 nautical miles from the Australian
coast

Construction
Corridor

Construction corridor in Commonwealth Waters. The width of the pipeline


installation corridor for the Gorgon and Jansz offshore pipelines in
Commonwealth Waters will be nominally 200 m, varying in width along
the length of the corridor to allow for construction of the pipeline with
consideration to subsea features and operational constraints.

Coral Assemblages

Benthic areas (minimum 10 m2) or raised seabed features over which the
average live coral cover is equal to or greater than 10%.

cP

Centipoise (unit of viscosity)

CRA

Corrosion Resistant Alloys

CSIRO

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Cth

Commonwealth of Australia

DAA

Western Australian Department of Aboriginal Affairs

dB

Decibel; a unit of sound

dB re 1 Pa

Decibels relative to one micro pascal; the unit used to measure the
intensity of an underwater sound

DBT

Dibutyltin

DC

Drill Centre

DEC

Former Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation


(now DPaW)

DEWHA

Former Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage


and the Arts (now Department of the Environment [DotE]; was SEWPaC)

DMP

Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (formerly


Western Australia Department of Industry and Resources)

DoF

Western Australian Department of Fisheries

DoT

Western Australian Department of Transport

DotE

Commonwealth Department of the Environment (formerly SEWPaC and


DEWHA)

DP

Dynamic Positioning, a computer-controlled system to automatically


maintain a vessels position and heading by using its propellers and
thrusters

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DPaW

Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife (formerly DEC)

DRET

Commonwealth Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism

EC50

The concentration of a drug at which 50% of its maximum response is


observed

EGPMF

Exmouth Gulf Prawn Managed Fishery

EHU

Electro-hydraulic Umbilical

EIS/ERMP

Environmental
Impact
Statement/Environmental
Review
and
Management Programme (for the Proposed Gorgon Gas Development
dated September 2005) as amended or supplemented from time to time.

EMBA

Environment that may be affected

EMP

Environmental Management Plan

Environmental
Harm

Has the meaning given by Part 3A of the Environmental Protection Act


1986 (WA).

EP

Environment Plan

EP Act

Western Australian Environmental Protection Act 1986

EPA

Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority

EPBC Act

Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation


Act 1999

EPBC Reference:
2003/1294

Commonwealth Ministerial Approval (for the Gorgon Gas Development)


as amended or replaced from time to time.

EPBC Reference:
2005/2184

Commonwealth Ministerial Approval (for the Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline) as


amended or replaced from time to time.

EPBC Reference:
2008/4178

Commonwealth Ministerial Approval (for the Revised Gorgon Gas


Development) as amended or replaced from time to time.

EPCM

Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management

Epifauna

Invertebrates that attach themselves to rocky reefs or to the sea floor;


includes hydroids, sea pens, small bryozoans and sponges

Fall-pipe

A tubular construction with a length adjustable to the working depth and


from which material is discharged only a few metres above the seabed

FCGT

Flooding, cleaning, gauging and testing

Free-span

Section where the pipeline is suspended (not supported)

FTU

Formazin Turbidity Unit, which is identical to the Nephelometric Turbidity


Unit (NTU)

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Gram

Gas Treatment
Plant

The LNG plant, any domestic gas plant and associated processing and
export facilities and infrastructure, and associated ancillary and support
facilities and infrastructure to be constructed in phases and located from
time to time on the Gas Treatment Plant Lease or Leases, excluding the
Export Jetty and MOF.

GHG

Greenhouse Gas

Gorgon Gas
Development

The Gorgon Gas Development as approved under Statement No. 800


and EPBC Reference: 2003/1294 and 2008/4178 as amended or
replaced from time to time.

GT

Gross tonnes

GUFT

Gorgon Upstream Facilities Team

Hour

H2S

Hydrogen sulfide

ha

Hectare

HDD

Horizontal Directional Drilling

HDDMMP

Horizontal Directional Drilling Management and Monitoring Plan

HES

Health, Environment, and Safety

HFO

Heavy Fuel Oil

HMAAF

Hazardous Material Approval Application Form

Hydrocarbons

A large class of organic compounds composed of hydrogen and carbon.


Crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas condensate are all mixtures of
various hydrocarbons.

Hydrophilicity

Having an affinity for water; readily absorbing or dissolving in water.

Hydrotest

Method whereby water is pressurised within pipes and vessels to detect


leaks

Hz

Hertz or cycles per second. Something that repeats a cycle once each
second moves at a rate of 1 Hz.

IMCRA

Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia

IMDG

International Maritime Dangerous Goods

IMO

International Maritime Organization

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Infauna

Benthic fauna (animals) living in the substrate and especially in a soft sea
bottom.

IOPP

International Oil Pollution Prevention

IPIECA

International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association

ISO

International Organization for Standardization

ISPP

International Sewage Pollution Prevention

ISQG

Interim Sediment Quality Guideline

IUCN

International Union for Conservation of Nature

JAMBA

JapanAustralia Migratory Bird Agreement

Jansz Feed Gas


Pipeline

The Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline as approved in Statement No. 769 and
EPBC Reference: 2005/2184 as amended or replaced from time to time.

JHA

Job Hazard Analysis

kg

Kilogram

kHz

Kilohertz

KJVG

Kellogg Joint Venture Gorgon

km

Kilometre

Litre

LC50

Lethal Concentration (LC). LC50 is the concentration of a chemical kills


50% of the test animals during the observation period.

LD50

Lethal Dose (LD). LD50 is the amount of a material, given all at once,
which causes the death of 50% (one half) of a group of test animals.

LNG

Liquefied Natural Gas

Log KoW

Logarithm of the octanol-water partitioning coefficient; indicates an affinity


for lipids and can usually be used to predict the potential for
bioaccumulation

LOR

Limit of reporting. Defined as the minimum concentration of a residue


used for reporting purposes.

LPG

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

LTMTMP

Long-term Marine Turtle Management Plan

Metre

m/m

Concentration of a solution by mass

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m/s

Metres per second

M1, M2, etc.

Gorgon drill centres

m2

Square metre

m3

Cubic metre

Macroinvertebrate

An invertebrate animal (an animal without a backbone [vertebral column])


large enough to be seen without the aid of magnification; includes
sponges, crinoids, hydroids, sea pens, sea whips, gorgonians, snails,
clams, crayfish, and sea cucumbers.

Manifold

An arrangement of piping and valves designed to commingle production


fluid flow

Marine Disturbance
Footprint

The area of the seabed to be disturbed by construction or operations


activities associated with the Marine Facilities listed in Condition 14.3 of
Statement No. 800, Condition 12.3 of Statement No. 769 and
Condition 11.3 in EPBC Reference: 2003/1294 and 2008/4178 (excepting
that area of the seabed to be disturbed by the generation of turbidity and
sedimentation from dredging and dredge spoil disposal) as set out in the
Coastal and Marine Baseline State Report required under Condition 14.2
of Statement No. 800, Condition 12.2 of Statement No. 769 and
Condition 11.2 of EPBC Reference: 2003/1294 and 2008/4178. Within
State Waters only.

Marine Facilities

In relation to Statement No. 800 and EPBC Reference: 2003/1294 and


2008/4178, the Marine Facilities are the:
Materials Offloading Facility (MOF)
LNG Jetty
Dredge Spoil Disposal Ground
Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System and marine component of the
shore crossing
Domestic Gas Pipeline
For the purposes of Statement No. 800, Marine Facilities also include:
Marine upgrade of the existing WAPET landing.
In relation to Statement No. 769, Marine Facilities are the Offshore Feed
Gas Pipeline System and marine component of the shore crossing.

MARPOL

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships,


1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978.
Also known as MARPOL 73/78.

Material
Environmental
Harm

Environmental Harm that is neither trivial nor negligible.

MBT

Monobutyltin

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MDF

See Marine Disturbance Footprint

MEG

Monoethylene glycol

Metocean

Meteorological and oceanographic conditions

MFO

Marine Fauna Observer

mg

Milligram

MHHW

Mean High High Water, the mean of the higher of the two daily high
waters over a period of time (preferably 19 years). Applicable in mixed
and diurnal waters.

MHWS

Mean high water spring. The highest level that spring tides reach on the
average over a period of time.

MLWN

Mean low water neaps. The average height of the low waters of neap
tides above chart datum.

mm

Millimetre

MPTS

Midline Pipeline Termination Structure

MSDS

Material Safety Data Sheet. A widely used system for cataloguing


information on substances, such as chemicals, chemical compounds, and
chemical mixtures. MSDS information may include instructions for the
safe use and potential hazards associated with a particular material or
product.

MSL

Mean sea level. The sea level halfway between the mean levels of high
and low water.

MTPA

Million Tonnes Per Annum

MW

Megawatt

N/A

Not Applicable

N1K

The route option selected for the Jansz pipelines

NBPMF

Nickol Bay Prawn Managed Fishery

NCWHA

Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area

NEBA

Net Environmental Benefit Analysis

NEPM

National Environmental Protection Measure

NES

[Matters of] National Environmental Significance, as defined in Part 3,


Division 1 of the EPBC Act (Cth).

NH3-N

Ammonia nitrogen

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NIS

Non-indigenous Species

nm

Nautical miles

NOEC

No Observable Effect Concentration

NOPSEMA

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management


Authority

NOx

Nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2)

NOx-N

Nitrogen oxides nitrogen trace gas emission ratio

NSW

New South Wales

NTU

Nephelometric Turbidity Unit, which is identical to FTU

NVCA

National Conservation Values Atlas

NWS

North West Shelf

OCNS

Offshore Chemical Notification Scheme

ODS

Ozone Depleting Substance

OE

Operational Excellence

OEMS

Operational Excellence Management System

OEPA

Office of the (Western Australian) Environmental Protection Authority

OPGSS

Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage

OPMF

Onslow Prawn Managed Fishery

OSMP

(Spill) Operational and Scientific Monitoring Plan

OSORP

Oil Spill Operation Response Plan

OSPAR

Oslo/Paris Convention

P&A

Plugged and Abandoned

PAH

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons / Poly-aromatic hydrocarbons

PBT

Persistence, Bioaccumulative, and Toxicity Risk assessment method


relating to Environmental Harm

PER

Public Environmental Review for the Gorgon Gas Development Revised


and Expanded Proposal dated September 2008, as amended or
supplemented from time to time.

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Performance
Standards

Are matters which are developed for assessing performance, not


compliance, and are quantitative targets or where that is demonstrated to
be not practicable, qualitative targets, against which progress towards
achievement of the objectives of conditions can be measured.

Photic Zone

The depth of the water in a lake or ocean that is exposed to sufficient


sunlight for photosynthesis to occur. The depth of the photic zone can be
greatly affected by turbidity.

Pig

A device that is inserted into and travels the length of a pipeline, driven by
variety of fluids including compressed air, nitrogen, water, etc.

Pigging

The act of driving a device called a pig through a pipeline for the
purposes of displacing or separating fluids, and cleaning or inspecting the
line

PLET

Pipeline End Terminations

PLONOR

Pose Little or No Risk (to the environment)

Poppet

Mechanical hydraulic coupler

POWBONS

Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substances

ppb

Parts per billion

ppm

Parts per million

Practicable

Practicable means reasonably practicable having regard to, among other


things, local conditions and circumstances (including costs) and to the
current state of technical knowledge.

PTS

Pipeline Termination Structure

QMS

Quarantine Management System

Reference Site

Specific areas of the environment that are not at risk of being affected by
the proposal or existing developments, that can be used to determine the
natural state, including natural variability, of environmental attributes such
as coral health or water quality.

rms

Root Mean Square; a statistical measure of the magnitude of a varying


quantity

RO

Reverse Osmosis

ROV

Remotely Operated Vehicle

Scupper

An opening in the side of a ship at or just below the level of the deck, to
allow water to run off.

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Serious
Environmental
Harm

Environmental harm that is:


a)

irreversible, of a high impact or on a wide scale; or

b)

significant or in an area of high conservation value or special


significance and is neither trivial nor negligible.

SEWPaC

Former Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment,


Water, Population and Communities (now DotE; was DEWHA)

SIMAP

Spill Impact Mapping and Analysis Program

SIMOPS

Simultaneous Operations

Sn/kg

Tin per kilogram

SOPEP

Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan

SOx

Sulfur oxides

Spool

A short length of pipe typically used to tie in a pipeline to a structure and


typically designed as a pipeline expansion joint

State Waters

The marine environment within three nautical miles of the coast of Barrow
Island or the mainland of Western Australia.

Statement No. 748

Western Australian Ministerial Implementation Statement No. 748 (for the


Gorgon Gas Development) as amended from time to time [superseded by
Statement No. 800].

Statement No. 769

Western Australian Ministerial Implementation Statement No. 769 (for the


Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline) as amended from time to time.

Statement No. 800

Western Australian Ministerial Implementation Statement No. 800 (for the


Gorgon Gas Development) as amended from time to time.

Statement No. 865

Western Australian Ministerial Implementation Statement No. 865 (for the


Gorgon Gas Development) as amended from time to time.

STCW

Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping

Stinger

A steel structure protruding from the end of an offshore pipe-lay vessel


used to provide additional support at the overbend

Stochastic

Random

Substrate

The surface a plant or animal lives upon. The substrate can include biotic
or abiotic materials. For example, encrusting algae that lives on a rock
can be substrate for another animal that lives above the algae on the
rock.

TAPL

Texaco Australia Pty. Ltd.

TAPM

The Air Pollution Model, developed by CSIRO

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Taxon (plural: taxa)

A taxon (plural taxa), or taxonomic unit, is a name designating an


organism or a group of organisms.

TBT

Tributyltin

THPO

Trishydroxymethylphosphine oxide

THPS

Tetrakis-hydroxymethyl-phosphonium-sulfate

TIC

Total Inorganic Carbon

TKN

Total Kjeldahl nitrogen

TOC

Total Organic Carbon

Topsides

All parts of a vessel that are not regularly immersed or wetted with sea
water during normal operation

TPH

Total petroleum hydrocarbons

Transect

The path along which a researcher moves, counts, and records


observations.

Turbidity

The cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by individual particles


(suspended solids) that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to
smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.

Umbilical

A control line that provides hydraulic or electrical control and chemical


injection support to subsea facilities

UMCA

Umbilical Midline Connection Assembly

UNEP

United Nations Environment Program

UTA

Umbilical Termination Assembly

VOC

Volatile Organic Compound

WA

Western Australia

WAF

Water accommodated fraction.

Waters
Surrounding
Barrow Island

Refers to the waters of the Barrow Island Marine Park and Barrow Island
Marine Management Area (approximately 4169 ha and 114 693 ha
respectively) as well as the port of Barrow Island representing the Pilbara
Offshore Marine Bioregion, which is dominated by tropical species that
are biologically connected to more northern areas by the Leeuwin Current
and the Indonesian Throughflow, resulting in a diverse marine biota is
typical of the IndoWest Pacific flora and fauna.

Wet buckle

A buckle that leads to localised collapse of a pipeline, which in turn


results in fracturing of the pipeline wall, allowing sea water to flood the
pipeline

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Wetsides

All parts of a vessel that are regularly immersed or wetted with sea water
during normal operation

WISER

Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (United States)

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1.0

Introduction

1.1

Proponent

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Chevron Australia Pty Ltd (Chevron Australia) is the proponent and the person taking the action
for the Gorgon Gas Development on behalf of the following companies (collectively known as
the Gorgon Joint Venturers):
Chevron Australia Pty Ltd
Chevron (TAPL) Pty Ltd
Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd
Mobil Australia Resources Company Pty Limited
Osaka Gas Gorgon Pty Ltd
Tokyo Gas Gorgon Pty Ltd
Chubu Electric Power Gorgon Pty Ltd
pursuant to Statement No. 800 and EPBC Reference: 2003/1294 and 2008/4178.
Chevron Australia is also the proponent and the person taking the action for the Jansz Feed
Gas Pipeline on behalf of the Gorgon Joint Venturers, pursuant to Statement No. 769, and
EPBC Reference: 2005/2184.

1.2

Project

Chevron Australia proposes to develop the gas reserves of the Greater Gorgon Area (Figure
1-1).
Subsea gathering systems and subsea pipelines will be installed to deliver feed gas from the
Gorgon and JanszIo gas fields to the west coast of Barrow Island. The feed gas pipeline
system will be buried as it traverses from the west coast to the east coast of the Island where
the system will tie in to the Gas Treatment Plant located at Town Point. The Gas Treatment
Plant will comprise three Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) trains capable of producing a nominal
capacity of five Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) per train. The Gas Treatment Plant will also
produce condensate and domestic gas. Carbon dioxide (CO2), which occurs naturally in the
feed gas, will be separated during the production process. As part of the Gorgon Gas
Development, Chevron Australia will inject the separated CO2 into deep formations below
Barrow Island. The LNG and condensate will be loaded from a dedicated jetty offshore from
Town Point and then transported by dedicated carriers to international markets. Gas for
domestic use will be exported by a pipeline from Town Point to the domestic gas collection and
distribution network on the mainland (Figure 1-2).

1.3

Location Summary

The Gorgon gas field is located approximately 130 km and the JanszIo field approximately
200 km off the north-west coast of Western Australia. Barrow Island is located off the Pilbara
coast 85 km north-north-east of the town of Onslow and 140 km west of Karratha. Pipeline
installation activity will take place along corridors between Barrow Island and the Gorgon and
Jansz gas fields as indicated in Figure 1-1 and Figure 1-3. Section 3.0 contains a more detailed
description of the activity location.

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Figure 1-1 Location of the Greater Gorgon Area


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Figure 1-2 Location of the Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline
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1.4

Scope of this Plan

This Plan covers the installation of the feed gas pipeline system as described in Section 3.0
including:
installation of pipelines (including trenching)
installation of umbilicals (including trenching)
installation of permanent stabilisation and protection for the pipelines and umbilicals (rock
installation)
installation and tie-in of subsea structures
conducting pre-commissioning activities
support activities.
Some related activities covered by other approval documentation are not considered in detail in
the scope of this Plan, including installation, stabilisation, and pre-commissioning activities
relating to the following documents:
Horizontal Directional Drilling Management and Monitoring Plan (HDDMMP; Chevron
Australia 2010) addresses terrestrial and nearshore activities associated with the
Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) shore crossing on Barrow Island
Onshore Gas Pipeline Installation Environmental Management Plan (Onshore EMP; Chevron
Australia 2010a) addresses terrestrial activities associated with the construction of the
onshore pipeline sections and all onshore activities related to the offshore pipeline
installation
Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline Preparatory Works (Northern Scarp) Environment Plan (Chevron
Australia 2010b) addresses the seabed preparatory activities required prior to the
installation of the feed gas pipelines
Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Prelay Activities Environment Plan (Chevron Australia 2010c)
addresses the installation of rock foundation for one of the buckle initiators on the Gorgon
infield pipeline routes.
Note that no further approval is sought in relation to the elements of the other documents
described in this Plan. References made to the other documents are provided for information
only and for ease of interpretation where there is overlap between installation activities
assessed within each document.
Note that the Domestic Gas pipeline installation activity is covered under two separate
ministerial plansOffshore Domestic Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan (Chevron
Australia 2012), and Mainland Onshore Domestic Gas Pipeline Environmental Management
Plan (Chevron Australia 2011).

1.5

Project Environmental Approvals

The initial Gorgon Gas Development was assessed through an Environmental Impact
Statement/Environmental Review and Management Programme (EIS/ERMP) assessment
process (Chevron Australia 2005, 2006a).
The initial Gorgon Gas Development was approved by the Western Australian State Minister for
the Environment on 6 September 2007 by way of Ministerial Implementation Statement No. 748
(Statement No. 748) and the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water
Resources on 3 October 2007 (EPBC Reference: 2003/1294).
In May 2008, under section 45C of the Western Australian Environmental Protection Act 1986
(EP Act), the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) approved some minor changes to the
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Gorgon Gas Development that it considered not to result in a significant, detrimental,


environmental effect in addition to, or different from, the effect of the original proposal (EPA
2008). The approved changes are:
excavation of a berthing pocket at the Barge (WAPET) Landing facility
installation of additional communications facilities (microwave communications towers)
relocation of the seawater intake
modification to the seismic monitoring program.
In September 2008, Chevron Australia sought both State and Commonwealth approval through
a Public Environment Review (PER) assessment process (Chevron Australia 2008a) for the
Revised and Expanded Gorgon Gas Development to make some changes to Key Proposal
Characteristics of the initial Gorgon Gas Development, as outlined below:
addition of a five MTPA LNG train, increasing the number of LNG trains from two to three
expansion of the CO2 Injection System, increasing the number of injection wells and surface
drill locations
extension of the causeway and the Materials Offloading Facility (MOF) into deeper water.
The Revised and Expanded Gorgon Gas Development was approved by the Western Australian
State Minister for the Environment on 10 August 2009 by way of Ministerial Implementation
Statement No. 800 (Statement No. 800). Statement No. 800 also superseded Statement
No. 748 as the approval for the initial Gorgon Gas Development. Statement No. 800 therefore
provides approval for both the initial Gorgon Gas Development and the Revised and Expanded
Gorgon Gas Development, which together are known as the Gorgon Gas Development.
Amendments to Statement No. 800 Conditions 18, 20, and 21 under section 46 of the EP Act
were approved by the Western Australian State Minister for the Environment on 7 June 2011 by
way of Ministerial Implementation Statement No. 865 (Statement No. 865). Implementation of
the Gorgon Gas Development will therefore continue to be in accordance with Statement
No. 800, as amended by Statement No. 865.
On 26 August 2009, the then Commonwealth Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the
Arts issued approval for the Revised and Expanded Gorgon Gas Development (EPBC
Reference: 2008/4178) and varied the conditions for the initial Gorgon Gas Development
(EPBC Reference: 2003/1294).
Since the Revised and Expanded Gorgon Gas Development was approved, further minor
changes have also been made and/or approved to the Gorgon Gas Development and are now
also part of the Development. Further changes may also be made/approved in the future. This
Plan relates to any such changes, and where necessary this document will be specifically
revised to address the impacts of those changes.
The Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline was assessed via Environmental Impact Statement/Assessment
on Referral Information (ARI) and EPBC Referral assessment processes (Mobil Australia 2005,
2006).
The Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline was approved by the Western Australian State Minister for the
Environment on 28 May 2008 by way of Ministerial Implementation Statement No. 769
(Statement No. 769) and the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water
Resources on 22 March 2006 (EPBC Reference: 2005/2184).
This Plan covers the Gorgon Gas Development as approved under Statement No. 800 and as
approved by EPBC Reference: 2003/1294 and EPBC Reference: 2008/4178. In addition, this
Plan covers the Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline as approved by Ministerial Implementation Statement
No. 769 and EPBC Reference: 2005/2184.

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In respect of the Carbon Dioxide Seismic Baseline Survey Works Program, which comprises the
only works approved under Statement No. 748 before it was superseded, and under EPBC
Reference: 2003/1294 before the Minister approved a variation to it on 26 August 2009, note
that under Condition 1A.1 of Statement No. 800 and Condition 1.4 of EPBC Reference:
2003/1294 and 2008/4178 this Program is authorised to continue for six months subject to the
existing approved plans, reports, programs and systems for the Program, and the works under
that Program are not the subject of this Plan.

1.6

Purpose of this Plan

1.6.1

Legislative Requirements

1.6.1.1

Petroleum Legislation

This Plan is presented for approval/acceptance under the Western Australian (WA) Petroleum
(Submerged Lands) Act 1982 (Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations
2012), and the Commonwealth (Cth) Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act
2006 (Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009).
This Plan is also required under Condition 7 of Jansz Pipeline License WA-19-PL (Cth) and
TPL/21 (WA), as well as Gorgon Pipeline License WA-20-PL (Cth) and TPL/22 (WA).
1.6.1.2

State Ministerial Conditions

This Plan is required under Condition 23.1 of Statement No. 800, which is quoted below:
Prior to commencement of installation of the Feed Gas Pipeline System and Domestic Gas
Pipeline respectively, the Proponent shall submit to the Minister an Offshore Gas Pipeline
Installation Management Plan (the Plan) that meets the objectives set out in Condition 23.3
and the requirements of Condition 23.4, as determined by the Minister.
This Plan is also required under Condition 14.1 of Statement No. 769, which is quoted below:
Prior to commencement of installation of the Feed Gas Pipeline System, the Proponent
shall submit to the Minister an Offshore Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan (the
Plan) that meets the objectives set out in Condition 14.3 and the requirements of
Condition 14.4, as determined by the Minister.
1.6.1.3

Commonwealth Ministerial Conditions

This Plan satisfies the requirements of Condition 16.1 of EPBC Reference: 2008/4178 and
2003/1294 and Condition 16A.1 and 16B.1 of EPBC Reference: 2003/1294, which are quoted
below:
16.1) Prior to commencement of installation of the Feed Gas Pipeline System in State
waters and Domestic Gas Pipeline respectively, the person taking the action must submit to
the Minister, for approval, an Offshore Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan (the
Plan) that meets the objectives and requirements set out in this Condition.
16A.1) Prior to commencement of construction of Offshore facilities in Commonwealth
waters, the person taking the action must submit for the Ministers approval a plan (or
plans) for managing the impacts of the action.
16B.1) The person taking the action must submit for the Ministers approval, a plan or plans
to address pipeline installation measures for minimising the potential for impacts on listed
threatened turtles and cetaceans during pipeline construction in Commonwealth marine
areas.

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This Plan also satisfies the requirements of Conditions 1 and 2 of EPBC Reference: 2005/2184,
which are quoted below:
1) The person taking the action must submit, for the Ministers approval, a plan (or plans)
for managing the offshore impacts of the action.
2) The person taking the action must submit for the Ministers approval, a plan or plans to
address pipeline installation measures for minimising the potential for impacts on listed
threatened turtles and cetaceans during pipeline construction

1.6.2

Objectives

This Plan has been prepared to ensure that the installation of the feed gas pipeline system
described in Section 3.0 is conducted in a manner that protects environmental values and
reduces impacts to the environment as far as practicable.
This Plan has also been prepared to meet the relevant objectives of the above State and
Commonwealth ministerial conditions; the objectives of the applicable State and Commonwealth
petroleum legislation; Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations 2012; and
Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009.

1.6.3

Requirements

The requirements of this Plan, as stated in Statement No. 800, Statement No. 769, EPBC
Reference: 2003/1294, 2008/4178, and 2005/2184 are listed in Table 1-1 to Table 1-3.
The requirements of this Plan, as stated in Division 2.3 of the Offshore Petroleum and
Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009, are listed in Table 1-4.
The requirements of this Plan, as stated in Division 2.3 of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands)
(Environment) Regulations 2012, are listed in Table 1-5.
Table 1-1 General Requirements of this Plan
Ministerial
Condition
EPBC
Reference:
2003/1294
and
2008/4178

Condition
No.

Requirement

Section
Reference in
this Plan

3.2.1

A description of the EPBC Act listed species and their


habitat likely to be impacted by the components of
the action which are the subject of that plan

4.4.4, 4.4.5, 4.4.6,


4.4.7

3.2.2

An assessment of the risk to these species from the


components of the action the subject of that plan

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

3.2.3

Details of the management measures proposed in


relation to these species if it is a requirement of the
condition requiring that plan

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

3.2.4

Details of monitoring proposed for that species if it is


a requirement of the condition requiring that plan

7.7.2

3.2.5

Performance standards in relation to that species if it


is a requirement of the condition requiring that plan

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

3.2.6

Management triggers in relation to that species if it is


a requirement of the condition requiring that plan

Not a requirement

3.2.7

Protocols for reporting to the Department

7.8, 7.9

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Table 1-2 Requirements in State Waters


Ministerial
Condition
EPBC
Reference:
2003/1294
and
2008/4178

Condition 23
of Statement
No. 800
and
Condition 14
of Statement
No. 769

Condition
No.

Requirement

Section
Reference in
this Plan

16.4 (I)

Management measures to reduce the impacts from


pipeline installation activities in State waters, as far
as practicable

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

16.4 (II)

Management measures to ensure that pipeline


activities in State waters do not cause Material or
Serious Harm outside the Terrestrial and Marine
Disturbance Footprints associated with those facilities
listed in Condition 16.1

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

16.4 (III)

Performance Standards against which achievements


of the objectives of this condition can be determined

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

16.5 (I)

Management measures to address the generation


and dispersion of turbidity associated with pipeline
installation activities

6.3.5,

16.5 (II)

Management measures to address direct disturbance


of habitat

6.3.5,

16.5 (III)

Management measures to address preventing harm


to, or fatalities of turtles and other EPBC Act listed
marine fauna

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.5.5,


6.6.5, 6.7.5, 6.8.5,
6.9.5, 6.10.5

16.5 (IV)

Program for pre and post pipeline installation seafloor


survey of the Marine Disturbance Footprint and the
areas at risk of Material or Serious Environmental
Harm due to the construction of the pipeline in State
waters

7.7.1, and 7.7.3

16.5 (V)

Details of mooring pattern design, including range


and bearing from fairleads of individual anchor drops
to show how the mooring pattern has been designed
to limit impacts in coral habitat in State waters

3.4.6.2

16.5 (VI)

Details of a typical mooring pattern design for areas


other than coral habitat in State waters

3.4.6.2

16.5 (VII)

Procedures to reduce as far as practicable, the


impacts resulting from anchoring, wire and chain
sweep, and wash from thrusters and propellers, on
benthic communities in State waters

6.3.5,

16.5 (VIII)

Details of proposed hydrotest water discharge and


how this will be managed to avoid Material or Serious
Harm to the marine environment; and

3.4.5, 6.9.5

16.5 (IX)

A marine monitoring program to detect changes to


ecological elements outside the Marine Disturbance
Footprint for the Offshore Gas Pipelines in State
waters

7.7.2

23.2

The Proponent shall consult with DEC (now DPaW),


DEWHA (now DotE), and DMP

1.6.5, Appendix 3

Management measures to reduce the impacts from


pipeline installation activities as far as practicable

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

14.2
23.4 (i)
14.4 (i)

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Ministerial
Condition

Condition
No.

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Requirement

Section
Reference in
this Plan

Management measures to ensure that pipeline


installation activities do not cause Material or Serious
Environmental Harm outside the Terrestrial and
Marine Disturbance Footprint

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

23.4 (iii)

Performance Standards against which achievement


of the objectives of this condition can be determined

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

23.5 (i)

6.3.5

14.4 (iii)

Management measures to address the generation


and dispersion of turbidity associated with pipeline
installation activities

23.5 (ii)
14.4 (iv)

Management measures to address direct disturbance


of habitat

6.3.5

23.5 (iii)
14.4 (v)

Management measures to prevent harm to, or


fatalities of turtles

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.5.5,


6.6.5, 6.7.5, 6.8.5,
6.9.5, 6.10.5

23.5 (iv)
14.4 (vi)

Program for pre and post pipeline installation seafloor


survey of the Marine Disturbance Footprint and the
areas at risk of Material or Serious Environmental
Harm due to the construction of the pipeline in State
waters

7.7.1 and 7.7.3

23.5 (v)
14.4 (vii)

Details of mooring pattern design, including range


and bearing from fairleads of individual anchor drops
to show how the mooring pattern has been designed
to limit impacts in coral habitat areas within State
waters

Not Applicable
(N/A)

23.5 (vi)
14.4 (viii)

Details of typical mooring pattern design for other


than coral habitat areas within State waters

3.4.6.2

23.5 (vii)
14.4 (ix)

Procedures to minimise as far as practicable the


impacts resulting from anchoring, wire and chain
sweep, and wash from thrusters and propellers, on
benthic communities

6.3.3

23.5 (viii)
14.4 (x)

Details of proposed hydrotest water discharge and


how this will be managed to avoid Material or Serious
Harm to the marine environment

3.4.5, 6.9.3

23.5 (ix)
14.4 (xi)

A marine monitoring program to detect changes to


ecological elements outside the Marine Disturbance
Footprint for the Offshore Gas Pipeline identified in
Condition 14.3iv and 14.3v (of Statement No. 800)
and Condition 12 (of Statement No. 769)

7.7.2

23.4 (ii)
14.4 (ii)

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Table 1-3 Requirements in Commonwealth Waters


Section
Reference in
this Plan

Ministerial
Condition

Condition
No.

EPBC
Reference:
2003/1294
and EPBC
Reference:
2005/2184

16A.1 (I)
1a

Design and construction of facilities to allow for the


complete removal of all structures and components
(except flowlines) above the sea floor

3.2

16A.1 (II)
1b

Sea floor surveys around proposed flowline paths


and well sites to identify sensitive marine ecosystem
such as reefs, sponge beds and seagrasses and
historic shipwrecks

4.4.2.3, 4.4.3.2,
4.5.6

16A.1 (III)
1c

Selection of flowline paths and well sites to avoid


impacts on sensitive marine ecosystems and historic
shipwrecks as referred to in 16A.1 (ii)/1(b)

3.3, 4.4.2.3,
4.4.3.2, 4.5.6, 6.3.3

16A.1 (IV)

Establish baseline information to inform a risk-based


approach to environmental management and
monitoring of action attributable impacts to water
quality, benthic flora and fauna and keystone species
from the installation and operation of marine facilities

4.0

16A.1 (V)
1d

A schedule of works

3.1 and Table 3-3

16A.1 (VI)
1e

Managing the impacts on cetaceans, including


interaction procedures for aircraft, supply and
construction vessels that are consistent with part 8 of
the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Regulations 2000

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.5.5,


6.6.5, 6.7.5, 6.8.5,
6.9.5, 6.10.5

16A.1 (VII)
1f

Cetacean sightings reporting

6.2.3, 7.8.2

16A.1 (VIII)
1g

Hydrotest fluid type, handling and disposal

3.4.5.5, 6.9.3

16A.1 (IX)
1h

Ballast water management for international


construction vessels arriving in Australia in
accordance with Australian Quarantine and
Inspection Service Australian Ballast Water
Management Requirements

6.7.3

The use and disposal of drilling muds.

Not within scope

16A.1 (XI)
1j

The monitoring and disposal of produced formation


water, if it is planned to dispose to the
Commonwealth marine environment

Not within scope

16A.1 (XII)

A plan for contingencies and the management of


unplanned events such as oil or gas leaks or spills

6.10.5, 7.10, Oil


Spill Operation
Response Plan
(OSORP; Chevron
Australia 2013a)

16B. 1(I)
2

Lighting impact on listed threatened turtles and


cetaceans

6.5.5

16B. 1(II)
2

Noise impact on listed threatened turtles and


cetaceans

6.4.5

16B. 1(III)
2

Vessel and aircraft interaction procedures to


minimise impact on listed threatened turtles and
cetaceans

6.2.5, 6.4.5

16B. 1(IV)
2

Construction methodology to minimise impact on


listed threatened turtles and cetaceans

3.0, 6.1.5, 6.2.5,


6.3.5, 6.6.5, 6.9.5

16A.1 (X) 1j

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Requirement

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Revision:
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Ministerial
Condition

Condition
No.

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Section
Reference in
this Plan

Requirement

16B. 1(V)
2

Any seabed blasting, trenching, or rock dumping


required and measures to mitigate such effects on
listed turtles and cetaceans

N/A (sea blasting)


6.3.5, 6.6.5

16B. 1(VI)
2

The monitoring of any impacts on turtles and


cetaceans

7.7.2

Table 1-4
Requirements of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage
(Environment) Regulations 2009
Regulation

Requirement

Section Reference
in this Plan

Part 2 Environment plans


Division 2.3 Contents of an environment plan
13

(1)

The environment plan must contain a comprehensive


description of the activity including the following:
(a) the location or locations of the activity;

3.3 and Figure 3-4

(b) general details of the construction and layout of any


facility or other structure;

3.2, 3.3, 3.4.6

(c) an outline of the operational details of the activity


(for example, seismic surveys, exploration drilling or
production) and proposed timetables;

3.1, 3.2, 3.4

(d) any additional information relevant to consideration


of environmental impacts and risks of the activity.

3.0, 3.5

(2)

The environment plan must:


(a) describe the existing environment that may be
affected by the activity, as well as any relevant
cultural, social and economic aspects of the
environment that may be affected; and
(b) include details of the particular relevant values and
sensitivities (if any) of that environment.

4.0, and Section 4.1


and Appendix 1 of the
OSORP (Chevron
Australia 2013a)

(3)

The environment plan must include:


(a) details of the environmental impacts and risks for
the activity; and
(b) an evaluation of all the impacts and risks.
For the avoidance of doubt, the evaluation mentioned in
paragraph (3) (b) must evaluate all the significant
impacts and risks arising directly or indirectly from:
(a) all operations of the activity, including construction;
and
(b) potential emergency conditions, whether resulting
from accident or any other reason.

6.0

The environment plan must include environmental


performance objectives, environmental performance
standards and measurement criteria that:
(a) address legislative and other controls that manage
environmental features of the activity; and
(b) define the objectives, and set the standards, against
which performance by the operator in protecting the
environment is to be measured; and
(c) include measurement criteria for determining

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

(3A)

(4)

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Regulation

Requirement

Section Reference
in this Plan

whether the objectives and standards have been


met.

14

(5)

The environment plan must describe the requirements


that:
(a) apply to the activity; and
(b) are relevant to the environmental management of
the activity.

2.0

(1)

The environment plan must contain an implementation


strategy for the activity in accordance with this regulation.

7.0

(2)

The implementation strategy must include measures to


ensure that the environmental performance objectives
and standards in the environment plan are met.

7.0

(3)

The implementation strategy must identify the specific


systems, practices and procedures to be used to ensure
that the environmental impacts and risks of the activity
are continuously reduced to as low as reasonably
practicable and that the environmental performance
objectives and standards in the environment plan are
met.

7.2

(4)

The implementation strategy must establish a clear chain


of command, setting out the roles and responsibilities of
personnel in relation to the implementation, management
and review of the environment plan.

7.3, 7.4 and


Section 7.1 and 7.2 of
the OSORP (Chevron
Australia 2013a)

(5)

The implementation strategy must include measures to


ensure that each employee or contractor working on, or
in connection with, the activity is aware of his or her
responsibilities in relation to the environment plan and
has the appropriate competencies and training.

7.5

(6)

The implementation strategy must provide for the


monitoring, audit, management of non-conformance and
review of the operators environmental performance and
the implementation strategy.

7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9.2

(7)

The implementation strategy must provide for the


maintenance of a quantitative record of emissions and
discharges (whether occurring during normal operations
or otherwise) to the air, marine, seabed and sub-seabed
environment, that is accurate and can be monitored and
audited against the environmental performance
standards and measurement criteria.

7.8, 7.11

(8)

The implementation strategy must contain an oil spill


contingency plan and provide for the maintenance of the
plan.

OSORP (Chevron
Australia 2013a)

(8AA) The oil spill contingency plan must:


(a) be kept up-to-date; and
(b) include emergency response arrangements.

Sections 2.0, 8.0, and


12.6 of the OSORP
(Chevron Australia
2013a)

(8A)

Section 12.6 of the


OSORP (Chevron
Australia 2013a)

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The response arrangements in the oil spill contingency


plan must be tested:
(a) when they are introduced; and
(b) when they are significantly amended; and
(c) not later than 12 months after the most recent test;
and
(d) for a new location for the activity that is added to the
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Regulation

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Requirement

Section Reference
in this Plan

environment plan after the response arrangements


have been tested and before the next test is
conducted when the location is added to the plan;
and
(e) for a facility or other structure that becomes
operational after the response arrangements have
been tested and before the next test is conducted
when the facility or structure becomes operational.

15

16

(9)

The implementation strategy must provide for appropriate


consultation with:
(a) relevant authorities of the Commonwealth, a State
or Territory; and
(b) other relevant interested persons or organisations.

Stakeholder
Consultation Plan
Appendix 3 (Chevron
Australia 2013b)

(10)

The implementation strategy must comply with the Act,


the regulations and any other environmental legislation
applying to the activity.

N/A as per ongoing


management of
implementation

(1)

The environment plan must include arrangements for:


(a) recording, monitoring and reporting information
about the activity (including information required to
be recorded under the Act, the regulations and any
other environmental legislation applying to the
activity) sufficient to enable the Regulator to
determine whether the environmental performance
objectives and standards in the environment plan
are met; and
(b) reporting to the Regulator at intervals agreed with
the Regulator, but not less often than annually.

7.8

(2)

The environment plan must also include arrangements


for the operator to notify the Department of the
responsible State Minister, or the responsible Northern
Territory Minister, before the proposed date of
commencement of drilling operations or seismic survey
operations that are being carried out under the authority
of the title if:
(a) there is a community in the area where the drilling
operations or seismic survey operations will be
carried out; and
(b) the drilling operations or seismic survey operations
may have an effect on the community.

N/A seismic and


drilling are outside the
scope of this Plan

The environment plan must contain the following:


(a) a statement of the operators corporate
environmental policy;
(b) a report on all consultations between the operator
and any relevant person, for regulation 11A, that
contains:
(i) a summary of each response made by a
relevant person; and
(ii) an assessment of the merits of any objection or
claim about the adverse impact of each activity
to which the environment plan relates; and
(iii) a statement of the operators response, or
proposed response, if any, to each objection or
claim; and
(iv) a copy of the full text of any response by a

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Appendix 3 (Chevron
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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Regulation

Requirement

Section Reference
in this Plan

relevant person;

(c) details of all reportable incidents in relation to the


proposed activity.

7.9

Table 1-5
Requirements of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment)
Regulations 2012
Regulation

Requirement

Section Reference in
this Plan

Part 2 Environment plans


Division 3 Contents of environment plan
An environment plan for a pipeline activity must include
the matters set out in regulations 14, 15, 16, and 17.

See below

The environment plan must include a comprehensive


description of the pipeline activity including the following:
(a) the location or locations of the pipeline activity;

3.3 and Figure 3-4

(b) details of the construction and layout of any facility;

3.2, 3.3, 3.4.6

(c) a description of the operational details of the


petroleum activity and proposed timetables;

3.1, 3.2, 3.4

(d) any additional information relevant to consideration


of environmental impacts and risks of the petroleum
activity.

3.0, 3.5

(2)

The environment plan must:


(a) describe the existing environment that may be
affected by the petroleum activity; and
(b) include details of the particular relevant values and
sensitivities (if any) of that environment.

4.0, and Section 4.1


and Appendix 2 of the
OSORP (Chevron
Australia 2013a)

(3)

The environment plan must include:


(a) details of all environmental impacts and
environmental risks of the petroleum activity; and
(b) an evaluation of those impacts and risks; and
(c) a description of the environmental risk assessment
process used to evaluate those impacts and risks,
including the terms used in that process to
categorise the levels of seriousness of those impacts
and risks.

6.0

13
14

(1)

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Regulation

15

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Requirement

Section Reference in
this Plan

(4)

For the avoidance of doubt, the evaluation mentioned in


subregulation (3)(b) must evaluate all the environmental
impacts and environmental risks arising directly or
indirectly from:
(a) all aspects of the petroleum activity; and
(b) potential emergency conditions, whether resulting
from accident or any other cause.

6.0

(5)

The environment plan must include:


(a) environmental performance objectives that define
the goals of the operator in relation to the:
(i) processes, policies and practices to be followed;
and
(ii) equipment to be used; and
(iii) actions to be taken,
for the purposes of minimising the environmental
impacts and environmental risks of the petroleum
activity; and
(b) environmental performance standards:
(i) that state the performance required of persons,
equipment and procedures for the purposes of
managing the environmental impacts and
environmental risks of the petroleum activity; and
(ii) against which the performance of the operator
in meeting the environmental performance
objectives in the environment plan can be measured;
and
(c) measurement criteria for the purposes of
determining whether:
(i) the environmental performance objectives and
environmental performance standards in the
environment plan have been met; and
(ii) the implementation strategy in the environment
plan has been complied with.

6.1.5, 6.2.5, 6.3.5,


6.4.5, 6.5.5, 6.6.5,
6.7.5, 6.8.5, 6.9.5,
6.10.5

(6)

The environment plan must describe the requirements


that:
(a) apply to the petroleum activity under legislation
(including conditions imposed under legislation),
international conventions or agreements, or
applicable codes of practice; and
(b) are relevant to the environmental management of
the petroleum activity.

2.0

(1)

The environment plan must include an implementation


strategy for the petroleum activity in accordance with this
regulation.

6.0, 7.0

(2)

The implementation strategy must include measures to


ensure that the environmental performance objectives
and environmental performance standards in the
environment plan are met.

6.0, 7.0

(3)

The implementation strategy must identify the specific


systems, practices and procedures to be used to ensure
that:
(a) the environmental impacts and environmental risks
of the petroleum activity are continuously reduced to

6.0, 7.0

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Regulation

Requirement

Section Reference in
this Plan

as low as is reasonably practicable; and


(b) the environmental performance objectives and
environmental performance standards in the
environment plan are met.
(4)

The implementation strategy must establish a clear chain


of command, setting out the roles and responsibilities of
personnel in relation to the implementation, management
and review of the environment plan.

7.3, 7.4 and


Sections 2.2 and 2.4 of
the OSORP (Chevron
Australia 2013a)

(5)

The implementation strategy must include measures to


ensure that each employee or contractor working on, or
in connection with, the petroleum activity is aware of his
or her responsibilities in relation to the environment plan
and has the appropriate competencies and training.

7.5

(6)

The implementation strategy must provide for the


monitoring of, audit of, management of non-compliance
with, and review of, the operators environmental
performance and the implementation strategy.

7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9.2

(7)

The implementation strategy must provide for:


(a) specified emissions and discharges (whether
occurring during normal operations or otherwise) to
any air, marine, seabed and subseabed
environment to be monitored and recorded in a way
that:
(i) is accurate; and
(ii) can be audited against the environmental
performance standards and measurement
criteria in the environment plan; and
(b) the monitoring mentioned in paragraph (a) to be
done either continuously or at specified intervals;
and
(c) tests to assess the performance of the monitoring
equipment used for the purposes of paragraph (a) to
be conducted at specified intervals.

7.8, 7.11

(8)

If the petroleum activity may involve the injection or re


injection of produced formation water into wells, the
implementation strategy must specify the maximum
permissible concentration of petroleum in that produced
formation water.

Not Applicable

(9)

The implementation strategy must include details of any


chemicals or other substances that may be:
(a) in, or added to, any treatment fluids to be used for
the purposes of drilling or hydraulic fracturing
undertaken in the course of the petroleum activity; or
(b) otherwise introduced into a well reservoir or
subsurface formation in the course of the petroleum
activity.

Not Applicable

(10)

The implementation strategy must include an oil spill


contingency plan that:
(a) sets out details of the following:
(i) preparations to be made for the possibility of
an oil spill;
(ii) emergency response arrangements to be
implemented if an oil spill occurs;

OSORP (Chevron
Australia 2013a)

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Requirement

Section Reference in
this Plan

(iii) recovery arrangements to be implemented if


an oil spill occurs;
(iv) current oil spill trajectory modelling that
applies to the petroleum activity; and
(b) requires the operator to conduct tests of the
emergency response arrangements set out in the oil
spill contingency plan at specified intervals; and
(c) describes the tests mentioned in paragraph (b).
(11)

The implementation strategy must provide for appropriate


consultation with relevant authorities and other relevant
interested persons or organisations.

Stakeholder
Consultation Plan
Appendix 3 (Chevron
Australia 2013b)

16

The environment plan must include arrangements for:


(a) monitoring, and recording information about, the
petroleum activity that are sufficient to enable the
Minister to determine whether:
(i) the environmental performance objectives
and environmental performance standards in
the environment plan have been met; and
(ii) the implementation strategy in the
environment plan has been complied with;
(b) reporting to the Minister on the information recorded
under paragraph (a) at intervals agreed with the
Minister, but not less often than annually.

7.8

17

(1)

The environment plan must include the following:


(a) a statement of the operators corporate
environmental policy;
(b) a report on all consultations between the operator
and relevant authorities and other relevant interested
persons and organisations in the course of
developing the environment plan;
(c) a list of all incidents that are classified as reportable
incidents in relation to the petroleum activity.

7.1
Stakeholder
Consultation Plan
Appendix 3 (Chevron
Australia 2013b)
7.9

(2)

The environment plan must classify an incident as a


reportable incident if:
(a) it could arise from the petroleum activity; and
(b) it has the potential to cause an environmental impact
that is classified, under the environmental risk
assessment process described in the environment
plan, as moderate or more serious than moderate.

7.9

Any matter specified in this Plan is relevant to the Gorgon Gas Development or Jansz Feed Gas
Pipeline only if that matter relates to the specific activities or facilities associated with that
particular development.

1.6.4

Hierarchy of Documentation

This Plan will be implemented for the Gorgon Gas Development and the Jansz Feed Gas
Pipeline via the Chevron Australasia Business Unit (ABU) Operational Excellence Management
System (OEMS). The OEMS is the standardised approach that applies across the ABU to
continuously improve the management of safety, health, environment, reliability, and efficiency
to achieve world-class performance. Implementation of the OEMS enables the Chevron ABU to
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integrate its Operational Excellence (OE) objectives, processes, procedures, values, and
behaviours into the daily operations of Chevron Australia personnel and contractors working
under Chevron Australias supervision. The OEMS is designed to be consistent with and, in
some respects, go beyond ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management Systems
Requirements with Guidance for Use) (Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand 2004).
Figure 1-3 and Figure 1-4 provide an overview of the overall hierarchy of environmental
management documentation within which this Plan exists. Further details on environmental
documentation for the Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline are provided in
Section 7.0 of this Plan.

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This Plan

Figure 1-3 Hierarchy of Gorgon Gas Development Environmental Documentation


Note: Figure 1-3 refers to all Plans required for Statement No. 800. The Plans are only relevant to EPBC Reference: 2003/1294 and 2008/4178, if required for the conditions of those
approvals.
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This Plan

Figure 1-4 Hierarchy of Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline Environmental Documentation


Note: Figure 1-4 refers to all Plans required for Statement No. 769. They are only relevant to EPBC Reference: 2005/2184 if required for the conditions of that approval.

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1.6.5

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Stakeholder Consultation

Regular consultation with stakeholders has been undertaken by Chevron Australia throughout
the development of the environmental impact assessment management documentation for the
Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline. This stakeholder consultation has
included engagement with the community, government departments, industry operators, and
contractors to Chevron Australia via planning workshops, risk assessments, meetings,
teleconferences, and the PER and EIS/ERMP formal approval processes.
This document was prepared with input from:
Independent Reviewer: Mark Bailey, Director, Oceanica has reviewed this Plan and his
comments have been incorporated or otherwise resolved.
Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW; was Department of
Environment and Conservation [DEC]): Workshops and meetings were held involving DPaW
and Chevron Australia personnel to discuss the scope and content of this Plan during its
development. DPaW reviewed draft revisions of this Plan along with the feedback of the
independent reviewer. DPaWs comments have been incorporated or otherwise resolved.
Commonwealth Department of the Environment (DotE; was Department of Sustainability,
Environment, Water, Population and Communities [SEWPaC]): DotE reviewed draft revisions
of this Plan along with the feedback of the independent reviewer. DotEs comments have
been incorporated or otherwise resolved.
Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP): The DMP reviewed draft
revisions of this Plan along with the feedback of the independent reviewer. The DMPs
comments have been incorporated or otherwise resolved.

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Scope and develop


deliverable

Consult with key stakeholders


(including DMAs) as per
Ministerial Conditions

Draft deliverable

Issue

Internal review
(Chevron Australia key project
personnel and subject matter
experts)

Revise

Comments

Draft deliverable

Issue

Revise

Comments

Draft deliverable

Issue

Minor revisions (if


required)

Report

Draft deliverable and


Expert Panels report

Issue

Minor revisions (if


required)

Report

Expert Panel/DMA review

Report to the
Minister

Expert Panel close-out review

DMA close-out review

Issue final deliverable for Ministerial approval

Figure 1-5 shows the development, review, and approval process for this Plan.
Chevron Australia has prepared a Stakeholder Consultation Plan (Chevron Australia 2013b)
specific for the offshore feed gas installation activities in accordance with the requirements of
Regulation 14(9) and 16(b) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage
(Environment) Regulations 2009, and Regulation 17(b) of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands)
(Environment) Regulations 2012. The Stakeholder Consultation Plan is contained in Appendix
3, and describes:
stakeholder identification and analysis
communication engagement plan, comprising the level and trigger of engagement, type of
engagement, and frequency
stakeholder engagement log, including any issues raised and Chevron Australia responses
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full text of consultation.


A summary of social and commercial stakeholder activity is also given in Section 4.5.

1.6.6

Public Availability

This Plan will be made public as and when determined by the Minister, under Condition 35 of
Statement No. 800, Condition 20 of Statement No. 769, and Condition 22 of EPBC Reference:
2003/1294 and 2008/4178.
In accordance with Regulation 11(7) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage
(Environment) Regulations 2009 and Regulation 11(7) of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands)
(Environment) Regulations 2012, a summary of this Plan will be submitted to both the National
Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) and DMP,
respectively, for public disclosure.

1.7

Format of this Plan

This Plan has been written inline with the formats outlined by:

the Environment Plan Preparation Guidance Notes (NOPSEMA 2012a) and


Environmental Plan Content Requirements Guidance Note (NOPSEMA 2012b) in
accordance with Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment)
Regulations 2009; and
the Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of an Environment Plan (DMP 2012a)
in accordance with the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations 2012

This Plan is structured as follows:


Section 2.0 summarises the legislative framework and relevant legislation applicable to the
proposed installation activities.
Section 3.0 describes the proposed installation activities.
Section 4.0 summarises the existing environment in the vicinity of the proposed installation
activities.
Section 5.0 describes the Chevron Australia risk assessment methodology, and how the
environmental hazards and environmental impacts were identified for each activity, and how
As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP), acceptability, and environmental performance
objectives, performance standards, and measurement were determined.
Section 6.0 provides the environmental risk assessment, demonstration of ALARP and
acceptability, and relevant environmental performance objectives, standards, and
measurement criteria for each environmental hazard associated with the installation
activities.
Section 7.0 details the implementation strategy to manage the environmental impacts of the
proposed installation activities.

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Scope and develop


deliverable

Consult with key stakeholders


(including DMAs) as per
Ministerial Conditions

Draft deliverable

Issue

Internal review
(Chevron Australia key project
personnel and subject matter
experts)

Revise

Comments

Draft deliverable

Issue

Revise

Comments

Draft deliverable

Issue

Minor revisions (if


required)

Report

Draft deliverable and


Expert Panels report

Issue

Minor revisions (if


required)

Report

Expert Panel/DMA review

Expert Panel close-out review

Report to the
Minister

DMA close-out review

Issue final deliverable for Ministerial approval

Figure 1-5 Deliverable Development, Review, and Approval Flow Chart

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2.0

Environmental Management Framework

2.1

Regulatory Framework

This section briefly summarises the legal framework applicable to the proposed installation
activities. The installation of the feed gas pipeline system will take place in both State and
Commonwealth Waters. The Commonwealth environmental regulatory regime is set out in
Table 2-1, while the State regime is outlined in Table 2-2 and International Agreements and
Conventions outlined in Table 2-3.
Table 2-1 Key Commonwealth Legislative Requirements
Applicability to
Proposed Activities

Administering
Authority

The Offshore Petroleum and


Greenhouse Gas Storage
(Environment) Regulations 2009 made
under the Offshore Petroleum and
Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006
require an operator to have an accepted
Environment Plan in place for a
petroleum activity. They ensure that
petroleum activities are undertaken in
an ecologically sustainable manner and
in accordance with an accepted
environmental plan.

This Environment Plan has


been prepared and
submitted to NOPSEMA as
the regulatory agency for
acceptance under this
legislation. Table 1-4
details how this Plan has
met the required content of
an Environment Plan in
accordance with the
Offshore Petroleum and
Greenhouse Gas Storage
(Environment)
Regulations 2009

NOPSEMA,
Department of
Resources,
Energy and
Tourism
(DRET)

Environment
Protection and
Biodiversity
Conservation
Act 1999
(EPBC Act)

Under the EPBC Act, an action will


require approval from the Minister if the
action has, will have, or is likely to have,
a significant impact on a matter of
National Environmental Significant
(NES)

The Gorgon Gas


Development and Jansz
Feed Gas Pipeline were
referred to the Minister.
Section 1.5 provides
detailed information on the
EPBC Act approvals for the
Gorgon Gas Development
and Jansz Feed Gas
Pipeline

Department of
the
Environment
(DotE; was
SEWPaC)

Environment
Protection
(Sea
Dumping) Act
1981

Prevents the deliberate disposal of


wastes (loading, dumping, and
incineration) at sea from vessels,
aircraft, and platforms

Prohibit ocean disposal of


waste considered too
harmful to be released in
the marine environment
and regulate permitted
waste disposal to ensure
environmental impacts are
minimised

DotE

Historic
Shipwrecks
Act 1976

Protects the heritage values of


shipwrecks and relics

Provides protection for


shipwreck and relics
impacted by the installation
activities

DotE

Ozone
Protection and
Synthetic
Greenhouse
Gas
Management
Act 1989

Regulates the manufacture, importation,


and use of ozone depleting substances

Require any personnel


handling ozone depleting
substances (ODS) to be
certified and hold the
necessary permits and
licenses
Require recording and

DotE

Legislation
Offshore
Petroleum and
Greenhouse
Gas Storage
Act 2006

Scope

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Legislation

Applicability to
Proposed Activities

Scope

Administering
Authority

reporting the use and


disposal of ODS,
including reporting the
release of any ODS (e.g.
from firefighting or
refrigeration systems)
Protection of
the Sea
(Prevention of
Pollution from
Ships) Act
1983

Regulates ship-related operational


activities and invokes certain
requirements of the MARPOL
convention relating to discharge of
noxious liquid substances, sewage,
garbage, air pollution etc.

Applicable to pollution
prevention standards for
vessels, including:
the discharge
concentration for oils
the discharge of sewage
and greywater
the disposal of garbage
the emissions from
engines and incinerators.
It also requires vessel(s) of
certain sizes to have
Shipboard Oil Pollution
Emergency Plan (SOPEP).

Department of
Infrastructure
and Transport

Quarantine Act
1908

Empowers authorities to quarantine


goods, vessels, and people to prevent
the introduction, establishment, or
spread of diseases or pests affecting
human beings, animals, or plants

Regulates the condition of


vessels entering Australian
waters with regard to
ballast water and hull
fouling

Department of
Agriculture,
Fisheries and
Forestry

Navigation Act
1912

Regulates ship-related activities and


invokes certain requirements of the
MARPOL convention relating to
construction and equipment of ships

Applicable to installation of
pollution prevention
equipment on vessels

Department of
Infrastructure
and Transport

Protection of
the Sea
(Harmful Antifouling
Systems) Act
2006

Regulates the use of harmful antifouling


systems employed on boats and their
effects on the marine environment

Regulates the type of


antifouling that can be used

Department of
Infrastructure
and Transport

Facilitates international cooperation and


mutual assistance in preparing and
responding to a major oil spill incident.
This Act specifies that the Australian
Maritime Safety Authoritys (AMSA) role
includes protection of the marine
environment from pollution from ships
and other environmental damage
caused by shipping.
Encourages countries to develop and
maintain an adequate capability to deal
with oil pollution emergencies.

Applicable to the reporting


of any spills to the marine
environment

AMSA

Provides a framework for reporting and


dissemination of information related to
greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse
gas projects, energy consumption, and
energy production.
Underpins the Clean Energy Act 2011
by imposing various registration,
reporting, and recordkeeping

Applicable to regulatory
reporting of greenhouse
gas emissions, including
fuel usage, sewage
treatment, and power
generation, for both support
vessels and the rig

Department of
Climate
Change and
Energy
Efficiency /
Clean Energy
Regulator

Australian
Maritime
Safety
Authority Act
1990

National
Greenhouse
and Energy
Reporting Act
2007

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Scope

Applicability to
Proposed Activities

Administering
Authority

Applicability to
Proposed Activities

Administering
Authority

requirements.

Table 2-2 Key State Legislative Requirements


Legislation

Scope

Petroleum
(Submerged
Lands) Act
1982

The Petroleum (Submerged Lands)


(Environment) Regulations 2012 made
under the Petroleum (Submerged
Lands) Act 1982 require an operator to
have an accepted Environment Plan in
place for a petroleum activity. They
ensure that petroleum activities are
undertaken in an ecologically
sustainable manner and in accordance
with an approved environmental plan.
This Act is complementary to the
Commonwealth Act and regulations,
and regulates petroleum exploration
and production, including
environmental performance in Western
Australian (WA) waters.

This Plan has been


prepared and submitted to
the DMP as the regulatory
agency for acceptance
under this legislation prior
to commencement of the
offshore feed gas pipeline
installation

Department of
Mines and
Petroleum
(DMP)

Environmental
Protection Act
1986

Provides for the prevention, control,


and abatement of pollution and
environmental harm, for the
conservation, preservation, protection,
enhancement, and management of the
environment

The Gorgon Gas


Development and Jansz
Feed Gas Pipeline were
referred to the Minister.
Section 1.5 provides
detailed information on the
Environmental Protection
Act approvals for the
Gorgon Gas Development
and Jansz Feed Gas
Pipeline

Department of
Parks and
Wildlife
(DPaW; was
DEC)

Maritime
Archaeology
Act 1973

Protects pre-1900 shipwrecks,


maritime infrastructure, and maritime
industrial sites in State Waters. Under
this Act, it is an offence to in any way
alter, remove, destroy, damage, or in
any way deal with, or assume the
possession, custody, or control of any
maritime archaeological site, ship, or
relic without the consent of the Trustee

Provides protection for


maritime archaeological
sites, ships, or relics
impacted by the installation
activities

The Western
Australian
Maritime
Museum

Western
Australian
Marine (Sea
Dumping) Act
1981

Enacts the provisions of the


International Convention On The
Prevention Of Marine Pollution By
Dumping Of Wastes And Other Matter
1972 in State Waters. It provides for
the protection of the environment by
regulating the dumping into the sea,
and the incineration at sea, of wastes
and other matter, and the dumping into
the sea of other objects, and for other
purposes

Prohibits ocean disposal of


waste considered too
harmful to be released in
the marine environment
and regulates permitted
waste disposal to ensure
environmental impacts are
minimised

Department of
Transport

Pollution of

Protects the sea and other waters from

Prohibits the discharge of

Department of

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Applicability to
Proposed Activities

Legislation

Scope

Waters by Oil
and Noxious
Substances Act
1987

pollution by oil and noxious substances


(POWBONS). This Act implements
MARPOL 73/78 and details the
liabilities and penalties for discharges
from ships and enables WA to take
measures to respond to spills

oil and other noxious


substances from vessels

Administering
Authority

Transport

Table 2-3 International Agreements and Conventions


International Agreements and
Conventions

Relevance

Australian and New Zealand Water Quality


Guidelines (ANZECC)

Framework for water resource management, and


states specific water quality guidelines for
environmental values and the context within which
they should be applied.

International Convention for the Prevention


of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

Designed to reduce pollution of the seas, including


dumping, oil and exhaust pollution. MARPOL currently
includes six technical Annexes. Special areas with
strict controls on operational discharges are included
in most Annexes.
MARPOL is enacted in Australia through the
Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from
Ships) Act 1983 and the Navigation Act 2012. Whilst
designed principally for ships and vessels.

Protocol to the International Convention of


the Prevention of Marine Pollution by
Dumping of Waste and Other Matter 1996
(London Protocol)

Contributes to the international control and prevention


of marine pollution by prohibiting the dumping of
certain hazardous materials and requiring permits for
dumping of wastes and other identified materials.

Convention of the Conservation of Migratory


Species of Wild Animals 1979 (Bonn
Convention)

This convention aims to improve the status of all


threatened migratory species by national action and
international agreements between range states.

The Australian Government has entered into


three bilateral migratory bird agreements;

These agreements recognise international concern for


the protection of migratory birds and birds in danger of
extinction.

2.2

Japan-Australia Migratory Bird


Agreement

China-Australia Migratory Bird


Agreement

Republic of Korea-Australia
Migratory Bird Agreement

Codes of Practices

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Associations (APPEA) Code of


Environmental Practice (APPEA 2008) was taken into consideration in preparing this Plan. The
Code represents good industry practices in the petroleum industry.
This Plan has been developed in accordance with the interim Guidance Note for Environment
Plan Preparation (NOPSEMA 2012a) and Guidance Note for Environment Plan Content
Requirements (NOPSEMA 2012b). These documents provide guidance to the petroleum
industry on the Commonwealth Governments policy for managing environmental aspects
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associated with petroleum activities and expand upon and clarify the Offshore Petroleum and
Greenhouse Gas Storage (OPGGS) (Environment) Regulations 2009.
This Plan has also been developed in accordance with Guidelines for the Preparation and
Submission of an Environment Plan (DMP 2012), with the purpose of meeting the requirements
of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations 2012 and Petroleum Pipelines
(Environment) Regulations 2012.

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3.0

Activities Description

A base-case installation methodology is discussed in this section. This methodology represents


the most likely scenario and therefore represents the basis for environmental assessment and
associated management. As detailed engineering design advances, the potential for deviation
away from the base-case scenario may occur. Those deviations that have the same risk profile
as the base case, that can be managed under the existing implementation strategy and
performance objectives and standards, and that can be monitored under the existing monitoring
and measurement criteria, may be implemented without further approval from NOPSEMA or
DMP (as applicable) under this Plan. Each potential revision will be evaluated for its risk,
compliance, and required approvals.
Base-case activities to be conducted within the scope of this Plan are as discussed in Section
1.4, including:
1. Installation of pipelines:
a. Gorgon and Jansz 30/34 production pipelines
b. Gorgon and Jansz 6 monoethylene glycol (MEG) pipelines
c. Gorgon and Jansz 8 utility pipelines
d. Gorgon 26 Corrosion Resistant Alloy (CRA) infield pipelines
e. Gorgon 6 MEG pipelines
f.

Gorgon 8 utility pipelines

g. Jansz 24 CRA infield pipelines


h. Jansz 6 MEG pipelines
i.

Jansz 8 utility pipelines

2. Installation of umbilicals:
a. Gorgon and Jansz umbilicals
3. Installation of long-term stabilisation and protection of the pipelines and umbilicals:
a. Gorgon and Jansz rock installation
4. Installation of subsea structures:
a. Jansz structure foundations
b. Jansz manifold Pipeline Termination Structures (PTSs)
c. Jansz well jumpers/spools
d. Jansz MPTS
e. Jansz Control Distribution Unit (CDU)
f.

Jansz Umbilical Midline Connection Assembly (UMCA)

g. Gorgon Manifolds
h. Gorgon structure foundations and PTSs
i.

Gorgon well jumpers/spools

j.

Gorgon MPTS

k. Gorgon CDU
5. Tie-in of pipelines, umbilicals, and subsea structures

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6. Conducting of pre-commissioning activities:


a. Water winning
b. Flooding, gauging, cleaning, and hydrotesting
c. Dewatering
d. Inerting
e. MEG fill
7. Support activities.
Further detail is given on these activities in the subsections below.

3.1

Timing and Schedule

The installation of the offshore feed gas pipeline system will run 24 hours a day over
approximately 24 months from mobilisation to demobilisation. The current estimate of timing for
the key stages for construction is provided in Figure 3-1.

Figure 3-1 Estimated Activity Schedule

3.2

Subsea System Overview

The initial subsea production system development concept for Gorgon is an eight-well, threemanifold scheme; the initial JanszIo concept is a ten-well, two-manifold scheme.
In each field, horizontal jumpers connect wells to the manifolds, which are connected to the
pipeline termination structures (PTS), which are subsequently connected via the Corrosion
Resistant Alloy (CRA) pipelines to a MPTS. Production pipelines take product from the MPTS
to the Gas Treatment Plant located on Barrow Island.
Figure 3-2 provides a graphical overview of the subsea production system layout.

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Figure 3-2 Offshore Subsea Facilities Overview

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Subsea production systems will be supported with:


MEG pipelines to provide continuous injection of MEG into the production system for hydrate
management purposes and for the delivery of corrosion and scale management chemicals
Utility pipelines to support a subsea maintenance depressurisation capability, annulus
depressurisation, and double-sided depressurisation of the production system in the unlikely
event of a hydrate blockage
fibre-optic, electro-hydraulic control umbilicals to provide hydraulic power, electrical power,
and a fibre-optic control link from the Barrow Island Gas Treatment Plan to the subsea
control system elements.
The design, construction, and installation of the subsea production system will be conducted in
accordance with the following standards, where reasonably practicable:
ISO 13628-1 (International Organization for Standardization [ISO] 2005]
ISO 13628-5 (ISO 2009).
In accordance with ISO 13628-1, the subsea production system was designed to facilitate easy
abandonment and allow refurbishment and re-use of equipment, where applicable. In
accordance with ISO 13628-5, the umbilical and its constituent components were designed to
be capable of being recovered and reinstalled.

3.3

Pipeline and Umbilical Route

Six subsea pipelines and two subsea umbilical systems will be installed to transport natural gas
from the Gorgon and Jansz fields to Barrow Island for gas processing (see Figure 3-2). All
offshore pipelines will be installed in separate lay corridors with MEG and Utility pipelines
installed in close proximity (approximately 2 m separation) through the rock stabilised section.
The width of the pipeline corridor for the Gorgon and Jansz offshore pipelines will be
approximately 200 m, varying in width along the length of the corridor to allow for construction of
the pipeline with consideration to subsea features. In State Waters, the pipeline will lay within
the Marine Disturbance Footprint (MDF), which encompasses an area extending 100 m either
side of the outermost design pipeline route (see Section 3.3.1).
The JanszIo fields are located within production license WA-36-L and WA-39-L, approximately
200 km off the north-west coast of Western Australia in water depth approximately 1350 m. The
pipeline and umbilical route from JanszIo will initially head south-east, traversing the scarp
between the Chrysaor Canyons and the Gorgon field. Two trenches will be excavated to
prevent the Jansz pipelines from exceeding their strength, serviceability, and fatigue limits when
crossing the steep scarp region (see Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline Preparatory Works [Northern
Scarp] Environment Plan [Chevron Australia 2010b]). Once on the continental shelf, the Jansz
pipeline and umbilical route will cross the Halyard electro-hydraulic umbilical (EHU) at water
depth approximately 75 m, and pass to the west of the John Brookes Development. The Jansz
pipeline and umbilical route will then continue south-east to Barrow Island (see Figure 3-4).
The Gorgon fields are located within production license WA-37-L, approximately 130 km off the
north-west coast of Western Australia in water depth approximately 220 m. The pipeline and
umbilical route from the Gorgon fields will head south-east toward Barrow Island. The Gorgon
pipeline and umbilical route will then cross the Halyard EHU at water depth approximately 95 m
and converge with the Jansz pipeline and umbilical at approximately 70 m water depth (see
Figure 3-4).
The Gorgon and Jansz pipeline and umbilical route will cross two reef sections in approximately
5055 m and 40 m water depths (25 km and 12 km from Barrow Island, respectively), where the
route deviates and has a restricted lay corridor to minimise free-spans and avoid rock outcrops.
The pipeline and umbilical routes will then cross the existing East Spar Pipeline in about 25 m
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water depth (approximately 7 km from Barrow Island) as they head to the shore crossing at
North Whites Beach on Barrow Island (see Figure 3-4).
The potential zone of impact from unplanned events covers a greater physical area. This is
described in detail in the OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a).

3.3.1

State Waters

The total area for the offshore feed gas pipeline system infrastructure footprint in State Waters
is approximately 26 ha (~0.26 km2). This includes the area that will be occupied by the
pipelines and umbilicals and the rock berms from the HDD shore crossing area to the boundary
of the State Waters at 3 nm.
The MDF is defined in detail in the Coastal and Marine Baseline State and Environmental
Impact Report: Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System and Marine Component of the Shore
Crossing (Chevron Australia 2010d).
The MDF includes the Marine Facilities footprint (the areas of the seabed associated with the
physical footprint of the Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System in State Waters) and the extent of
the surrounding seabed in which the planned construction and operation activities could be
expected to disturb the seabed.
The MDF includes the indicative location of anchoring areas around the HDD exit alignment
(hatched areas in Figure 3-3).

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Figure 3-3 Marine Disturbance Footprint Associated with the Installation Activities
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3.3.2

Commonwealth Waters

The width of the pipeline installation corridor for the Gorgon and Jansz offshore pipelines in
Commonwealth Waters will be nominally 200 m, varying in width along the length of the corridor
to allow for construction of the pipeline with consideration to subsea features and operational
constraints (known as the construction corridor). The umbilicals will be laid in separate lay
corridors along the pipelines, typically with a 50 m separation. The total length of the pipelines
and umbilicals in Commonwealth Waters (from the State Water boundaries to the MPTS) is
approximately 60 km and 129 km for Gorgon and Jansz, respectively (see Figure 3-4 for
pipeline and umbilical route).
The footprints of the subsea structures (see Section 3.2 for description and layout) are detailed
in Table 3-1. The installation methods for the subsea infrastructure is described in Section
3.4.3.
The total area occupied by the pipelines and umbilicals, rock berms, and subsea infrastructure
in Commonwealth Waters is approximately 106 ha (~1 km2).
Table 3-1 Subsea Infrastructure Footprints
Structures

Expected Foundation Type

Approximate Footprint
(length width)

Jansz MPTS

Mudmat

41 33 m

Jansz DC1

Mudmat

31 26 m

Jansz DC2

Mudmat

31 26 m

Jansz CDU

Mudmat

13 13 m

Jansz UMCA

Mudmat

13 13 m

Gorgon Manifold M1

Suction piles

25 19 m

Gorgon Manifold M2

Suction piles

20 19 m

Gorgon Manifold M3

Suction piles

20 19 m

Gorgon MPTS

Suction piles

34 28 m

Gorgon M1 PTS

Mudmat

30 25 m

Gorgon M2 PTS

Mudmat

30 25 m

Gorgon M3 PTS

Mudmat

30 25 m

Gorgon CDU

Mudmat

13 13 m

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Figure 3-4 Gorgon and Jansz Pipeline Route

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3.4

Installation Methodology

3.4.1

Pipeline Installation

Offshore pipelay installation is conducted in two phases with two Dynamically Positioned (DP)
Pipelay Vessels. The first phase pipelay vessel will recover the pipeline tails and lay the
6 Jansz Utility and 8 Jansz MEG pipelines from the HDD tail end to the top of the Scarp. The
first phase pipelay vessel will also lay 6 Gorgon Utility and 8 MEG pipeline to the Gorgon
Midline Pipeline Termination Structure (MPTS) location. The first phase pipelay vessel will also
lay the 34 Gorgon and Jansz Production pipelines to 20 m water depth (approximately 3.5 km
from Barrow Island), where the pipeline will be temporarily laid down. During the pipeline
initiation activities (typically at the HDD tails), a specialist towing vessel may be used to provide
additional thrust capability where high pipelay tensions are required, or, alternatively, the
pipelay vessels bow anchor may be set up along the pipeline route to provide additional vessel
stability where high pipelay tensions are required (typically at the HDD tails). The second phase
pipelay vessel will then continue laying the production pipelines from the first phase pipelay
vessels temporary laydown location to the Gorgon and Jansz MPTS. The first phase pipelay
vessel will return to lay the pipes to the Jansz MPTS location.
While laying the pipeline to the Jansz MPTS, each of the Jansz pipelines may be temporarily
laid down at the top at the scarp at approximately 140 m water depth. In such an event, these
pipelines will be flooded with treated sea water for stability; they will be dewatered at this
location immediately before recommencing pipelay.
Infield pipelines connect Jansz Drill Centres DC1 and DC2 to the MPTS (24) and the Gorgon
Drill Centres, M1 and M2 to the MPTS (26), and M3 to M2 (26) (see Figure 3-2). The Gorgon
infield pipelines (Production, MEG, and Utility) are planned to be installed by the first phase
pipelay vessel, whilst the Jansz infield pipelines are installed by both the first phase pipelay
vessel (MEG and Utility) and the second phase pipelay vessel (Production). The Drill Centres
will then be connected to the individual subsea wells via rigid jumpers (see Section 3.4.3).
Pipeline End Terminations (PLETs) will be installed to support and connect the pipelines to the
PTS/manifold. The PLETs will either be laid down separately or installed with their respective
pipeline.
The pipe lengths (typically 12.2 m) will be transported by supply vessel or bulk carrier from the
pipeline coating yard to the pipelay vessels. Where possible, the pipelay vessels will carry a
supply of pipeline lengths sufficient for several days of pipelay operations. The stocks will be
continually replenished from the bulk carrier or supply vessel.
3.4.1.1

Pipelay

The pipelines will be installed using the S-lay installation method. A typical pipelaying sequence
involves assembling the pipes in the firing line, where welding takes place in a number of
stages. After acceptance of the welds, field joint coating is applied and the welded pipeline is
gradually lowered to the seabed behind the vessel, supported through the overbend by a
stinger (a steel structure protruding from the rear of the vessel to provide support to the
pipeline), to avoid pipe buckling. As more pipe is welded, the vessel moves forward, and the
pipe forms the shape of an S in the water to the seabed. Once the vessel move ahead has
been completed, additional pipe is brought to the firing line and fabrication operations continue.
3.4.1.2

Stabilisation

The Gorgon and Jansz pipelines are required to be horizontally and vertically stable under
environmental loading. The primary pipeline stabilisation method is to apply high density
concrete weight coating to the pipelines. Long-term operational stability will be achieved via the
installation of rock berm over the pipelines in the area between approximately 12.5 and 60 m
water depths (see Section 3.4.4 for rock installation methodology).
Eleven lateral buckle initiators will also be installed prior to pipelay, every 1.5 km to 2 km along
the 26 Gorgon infield Production pipeline (see Figure 3-2), to allow the pipeline expansion force
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to be relieved laterally in a controlled manner. One of the buckle initiator locations is within a
rock outcropping area on the Gorgon Drill Centre M1 to MPTS flowline route. A gravel blanket
will be pre-laid at this location to provide a level seabed to ensure the serviceability of the
buckle initiator (refer to the Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Prelay Activities Environment Plan
[Chevron Australia 2010c]).
In addition to the buckle initiators, a series of anti-burial concrete mattresses will also be
installed along the route of the 26 Gorgon infield Production pipelines (see Figure 3-2). These
mattresses will ensure that the pipelines remain clear of the seabed, and thus help cool the
production gas. The mattresses will be installed at a nominal 40 m spacing along the infield
Production pipeline routes. The mattresses are approximately 9 m 3 m and will be installed
from a pipelay support vessel using a handling frame and remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
3.4.1.3

Mechanical Trenching

The 6 and 8 pipelines will also be trenched to provide stability from where they exit the rock
berm to the MPTS at approximately 130 m water depth for the Gorgon line (approximately
29 km) and approximately 150 m water depth for the Jansz lines (approximately 33 km).
Trenching is planned to be undertaken using a mechanical trenching machine; digging arms will
be deployed under the pipeline and these, assisted by suction systems, will excavate the
loosened material, which will be deposited adjacent to the excavated trench.
Concrete block mattresses or rock berms may be required to provide additional stability in
sections where trenching is not possible due to the hardness of the seabed.
3.4.1.4

Seabed Preparation

At the crossing of the East Spar pipeline, support mattresses will be installed on either side of
the East Spar pipeline by the pipelay support vessel using a handling frame and ROV to form a
bridge. The Gorgon and Jansz pipelines will then be laid on the support mattresses over the
East Spar pipeline. The crossing location will then be fully overlaid with rock engineered to
ensure pipeline stability (see Section 3.4.4 for installation methodology). In this area, the
Gorgon and Jansz MEG and Utility pipelines will be laid close to each other to minimise the
width of the crossing and the volume of rock required for stabilisation. The Gorgon and Jansz
Production pipelines will be laid individually over the existing East Spar pipeline. The crossing
of the Halyard EHU will be undertaken using a similar method to the East Spar pipeline crossing
with pre-installed crossing supports.
Both crossings have been designed to exceed the requirements of AS 2885:4 Pipelines Gas
and Liquid Petroleum Submarine Pipeline Systems (Standards Australia 2010) in relation to
the impact resistance, and crossing separation distance. Specific design elements are
described in East Spar Pipeline Crossing Design (GUFT [Gorgon Upstream Facilities Team]
2011) and Halyard Umbilical Crossing Design Gorgon and Jansz Pipelines (GUFT 2012), and
were independently verified through third-party review on behalf of Apache Energy Ltd.
Additionally, Chevron Australia has liaised and reached agreement with Apache Energy Limited
as the Operator of both the East Spar pipeline and the Halyard EHU on the crossing design and
installation methodology. An additional result of this consultation was the requirement for the
Halyard Umbilical Crossing design to accommodate a 2 m exclusion zone (i.e. no supports or
post-lay rock dump) either side of the Halyard umbilical centreline, in accordance with Apache
requirements. Details on engagement with Apache are given in the Stakeholder Consultation
Plan (Appendix 3).

3.4.2

Umbilicals Installation

The subsea umbilicals will provide hydraulic and electrical power, communications, and
contingency chemical supplies to the subsea production systems at the Gorgon and Jansz
fields. Each umbilical will include steel hydraulic tubes, fibre-optic, and electrical cables, and
spares that are bound together to form a composite umbilical. Each umbilical will be pre-filled

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with umbilical control fluids and loaded on a carousel for transportation to site on the umbilical
installation vessel.
To complete the shore crossing, the Gorgon and Jansz main umbilicals will be fitted with pull-in
heads to enable pull-in through the umbilical HDD casings.
3.4.2.1

Umbilical Lay

During the HDD shore crossing construction, Gorgon and Jansz shore crossing umbilical
casings (18 diameter pipe) were installed with messenger wires pulled through the casings
from the landfall to the HDD exit point offshore (see HDDMMP [Chevron Australia 2010]) and
connected to temporary seal plugs ready for recovery by the umbilical installation vessel. To
protect against corrosion and fouling of the casings between casing installation and umbilical
installation, the umbilical casing was left filled with sea water that was treated with biocide. The
treated water will be discharged when the temporary seal plugs are recovered for umbilical
installation.
The main umbilicals will be installed from the HDD exit points to the Gorgon and JanszIo fields.
The DP umbilical installation vessel will recover the messenger wire together with the
temporary HDD casing seal plug offshore from the HDD exit point. In recovering the messenger
wire, the pull-in wire (connected to the messenger wire) will be pulled from the shore-based pullin winch and the installation vessel. The pull-in wire will be recovered by the installation vessel.
The pull-in winch spread comprising the winch and wire, diesel-powered hydraulic power unit,
and sheave block(s) will be set up on the HDD site, and will be used to pull each of the
umbilicals through their dedicated casing (see Onshore EMP [Chevron Australia 2010a]). Once
this operation has been completed, the umbilical installation vessel will move offshore along the
predefined umbilical routes, laying the umbilicals. The umbilicals will be laid parallel to the
pipeline route, at an offset distance of approximately 50 m from the nearest pipeline. Within the
Gorgon and JanszIo fields, each main umbilical is terminated by an Umbilical Termination
Assembly (UTA), which is connected to a Control Distribution Unit (CDU). Infield umbilicals are
laid from the CDUs to each of the production manifolds, with UTAs on each end being
connected to the CDU and manifold respectively (see Figure 3-2). Connections of the UTAs
into the CDU and manifold structures will be assisted by a Work Class ROV deployed from the
umbilical installation vessel. Some umbilical control fluid release is expected when the
mechanical hydraulic couplers are connected. The main umbilicals installation activity has now
been completed.
At the HDD exits, an umbilical installation support vessel will be used to disconnect the
temporary seal plugs and recover the messenger wire, and will monitor the umbilical being
pulled into the umbilical casings. The umbilical installation support vessel will be dynamically
positioned, or moored approximately 400 m offshore from Barrow Island.
Installation integrity monitoring (pressure containment, fibre-optic, and electrical continuity) will
be performed during the laying of all umbilicals. Following subsea connection, post-lay pressure
and electrical and fibre-optic function tests will be performed to ensure all umbilicals have been
installed and connected in accordance with the design and specification requirements.
3.4.2.2

Trenching

In depths greater than 60 m, the umbilicals will be trenched to approximately 120 m water depth
for the Gorgon main umbilical (29 km) and to approximately 200 m water depth (43 km) for the
Jansz main umbilical. Specialist trenching equipment, consisting of a mechanical cutting
machine, will be used to lower the umbilicals in a narrow (<5 m wide) trench to a minimum
depth of 1 m below the seabed. The umbilical falls into the excavated trench/relatively light
fluidised seabed material, which is backfilled over time by sediment deposit carried by subsea
currents and wave motion.
This activity has now been completed.

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Stabilisation

The main umbilicals will require temporary stabilisation between 12.5 m and 40 m water depth.
This temporary stabilisation may be performed via the placement of concrete stabilisation
mattresses or spot rock dumping of the umbilicals at defined intervals. Long-term stability will
be achieved via the installation of a rock berm in the nearshore area between approximately
12.5 m and 60 m water depth.
In areas where 1 m depth of lowering may not be achieved by trenching, contingency
stabilisation methods (e.g. concrete mattresses or spot rock dumping) will be used.

3.4.3

Structures Installation and Tie-in

The wells at each Drill Centre will be connected to subsea manifolds by rigid 8 production
jumpers with piggy-backed 2 MEG and 2 utility jumpers. Flying leads will supply hydraulic
power, chemical injection, and electrical connections for control of the wells. The subsea well
flows will be commingled in the subsea manifold, which will be tied in to the PTSs with spool
pieces. Spool pieces then connect the PTSs with the PLETs, where the PLETs facilitate the tiein of the spool pieces into the Production, MEG, and Utility pipelines (see Figure 3-2).
The subsea production manifolds, the PTSs, the MEG, and the Utility tie-in spool pieces, as well
as the well production spool pieces, will be transported to the subsea sites by either selfpropelled cargo ships or flat-bottomed transportation barges towed by tugs. The spools and
structures will be transported and installed filled with MEG. During installation, some MEG
release is expected when the end caps are removed from spools and structure pipework.
ROVs will assist in the tie-in of the pipeline systems and the control umbilicals to the subsea
structures.
The manifolds and PTSs, which have been designed to allow for retrieval, will be supported by
either four-pile suction pile foundations or mudmat foundations. The suction pile foundations
will be lowered first to the seabed for the suction piles to self-penetrate under their own weight
and by suction if necessary. Mudmat foundation skirts will self-penetrate. Once fully
penetrated, an ROV will check the foundation orientation, inclination, and position. The
structures will then be lowered onto the foundations.

3.4.4

Rock Installation

The following structures will be constructed using rock:


rock berms over the pipeline and umbilicals to provide long-term operational stability
between 12.5 m and 60 m water depth
rock berms at the East Spar Pipeline and Halyard EHU crossings to ensure pipeline stability
pre- and post-lay pipeline supports for free-span correction, where required, and where
pipeline or umbilical trenching is not possible due to the hardness of the seabed
base for the subsea structures (manifold etc.), where required
scour protection/remediation around mattresses and subsea structures, where required.
Dedicated DP vessels (fall-pipe or side-cast) will be used for rock installation. The rocks to be
used will be sourced from mainland Western Australia and will be transported to site by the rock
installation vessels from the Rock Load Out Facilities at Dampier.
To reduce the risk of introducing any non-indigenous species, the rock placed close to Barrow
Island (within 500 m) will be subject to the requirements of the Quarantine Management System
(Chevron Australia 2010e).
3.4.4.1

Fall-pipe

On the fall-pipe vessels, the rocks will be loaded into a pipe running through the water column
(fall-pipe) to contain the rock and to control the rock placement footprint. The quantity of rocks
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placed will be controlled by controlling the speed of the conveyor belt used to transport the
rocks from the vessel into the fall-pipe and the tracking speed of the vessel distributing the rocks
over the pipeline. The rock installation vessels may make several passes over the
pipeline/umbilicals to achieve the desired berm profile.
3.4.4.2

Side-cast

For rocks that are too large to pass through the fall-pipe, one or more side-cast vessels will be
used up to an approximate water depth of 30 m. On the side-cast vessel, the rocks are loaded
onto the deck holds. Each vessel has a mechanical system that releases the rocks over the
side of the vessel, above the waterline. On site, the vessel will be positioned over the pipeline
with the side of the vessel parallel to the pipeline to be covered. The rocks will be released from
a single point over the side of the vessel and will freefall to the seabed. The quantity of rocks
placed is controlled by the amount pushed over the side at any one time. In between drops, the
vessel will be repositioned at the next section of pipe to be covered. In water depths up to 30 m
this method has similar levels of accuracy as when placed through a fall-pipe.

3.4.5

Pre-commissioning

3.4.5.1

Initial Flooding for Temporary Stabilisation

The Gorgon and Jansz pipelines will be laid down (see Section 3.4.1) and temporarily stabilised
with chemically treated sea water. This water will be discharged at the Gorgon and Jansz
MPTS location. Each of the Jansz pipelines (Production, MEG, and Utility) may be dewatered
at the top of the scarp at approximately 140 m water depth if flooding is required for temporary
stabilisation.
Treated water left in the pipeline for temporary stabilisation will be replaced during flooding,
cleaning, gauging, and hydrotesting to maintain protection as required (see Section 3.4.5.2).
The pipelines will be dewatered and re-flooded with chemicals according to operational
requirements and the chemical approval and selection criteria described in Appendix 2. Treated
waters are planned to be discharged at the MPTS (see Table 3-2 for anticipated volume).
3.4.5.2

Water Sources

Seawater Winning
During the HDD operations, an 18 casing was installed from the landfall to the HDD exit point.
A lift pump will be installed at the land end of the 18 casing and an inlet diffuser or intake will be
installed at the subsea end of the casing (see HDDMMP [Chevron Australia 2010]). This
arrangement will be used intermittently for flooding and pressure testing of the onshore and
offshore pipeline networks. The intake will be fitted with a screen and the intake velocity at the
screen will be limited to reduce the potential for marine fauna entrainment. After completion of
the feed gas pipeline installation, the intake may be recovered and the pumps will be removed
as required to support potential expansion activity. The temporary hoses for early water winning
have been retained to function test the main water lift pumps described below. Sea water lifted
via the 18 casing will be returned to the sea via nominal 6 hoses.
For flooding of the MEG and Utility infield pipelines at the Gorgon and JanszIo fields, seawater
winning will be undertaken from a vessel, typically using a lift caisson over the side of the vessel
and a lift pump on the vessel.
RO Plant
Potable water may be required for flooding the CRA-clad infield pipelines; this water will be
transported to site via a supply vessel or barge. Alternatively, reverse osmosis (RO) plants may
be installed on one of the vessels. Desalination using RO technology generates a brine reject
stream, which requires disposal. It is estimated that during the flooding, gauging, and
hydrotesting operations, approximately 250 000 m3 of brine will be discharged offshore. This
volume is calculated based on an expected 200 m3/day production rate per RO plant, an
expected two RO units, and an expected recovery rate of 48% in accordance with the proposed
Reverse Osmosis Plant specification (Chevron Australia 2013g).
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Flooding, Cleaning, Gauging, and Hydrotesting

Upon completion of installation activities for the pipelines, they will be flooded, gauged, cleaned,
and hydrotested to AS 2885.4 (Standards Australia 2010) to verify pipeline integrity.
The flooding, cleaning, and gauging operations for the pipelines are performed from Barrow
Island or by a support vessel using a down-line. An possible alternative method of flooding
other than via down-line, is via a subsea flooding spread, which is a self-contained purpose-built
skid, supported by an ROV.
The flooding medium is planned to be either sea water, potable water, which has been filtered
and chemically treated, or MEG (for infield MEG and Utility pipelines). This flooding/hydrotest
medium will be treated with chemicals to ensure that corrosion attributed to oxidation and
microbial action does not occur over the duration that the water is expected to remain in the
pipeline (from hydrotesting to dewateringexpected residence time ranges from approximately
12 months to potentially more than 36 months). To maintain the appropriate level of protection
and provide flexibility in the Project schedule, while reducing the environmental impact due to
treated water release, chemicals will be selected according to the selection criteria described in
Appendix 2.
The chemicals currently selected for use are listed in Section 6.9.1.2, and have been selected
according to the process described in Appendix 2.
Additions, substitutions, or changes to these chemicals to meet operational requirements will be
assessed and selected according to the chemical selection and approval criteria.
Following flooding, gauging, cleaning, and hydrotesting of the pipelines, fluid may remain in the
respective pipeline or be returned and stored in the tank farm on Barrow Island for re-use
throughout the flooding, gauging, cleaning, and hydrotesting operation to minimise the volume
of treated water discharged to the marine environment. Storage of returned water may be a
larger volume than the tanks can accommodate; in this case, the returned sea water is to be
discharged into the Gorgon 6 Utility pipeline for eventual discharge offshore at the Gorgon
MPTS.
The management of the potential terrestrial impacts of the onshore spread for the flooding,
gauging, cleaning, and hydrotesting operations is detailed in the Onshore EMP (Chevron
Australia 2010a).
3.4.5.4

Planned Dewatering

Following the completion of the system hydrotest, the pipelines are dewatered in preparation for
commissioning. Dewatering pig trains typically comprise between one and ten pigs. Between
the pigs, treated potable water or MEG-based slugs may be used to remove salts and/or debris
from the pipeline bore; MEG slugs may be used to remove the last traces of water from the
pipelines. The dewatering pig trains are planned to be driven by nitrogen or air for the Gorgon
and Jansz Production pipelines, and by MEG for the MEG and Utility pipelines. The treated sea
water, potable water slugs, and MEG slugs are planned to be discharged subsea at the Gorgon
and Jansz MPTS.
The planned discharge of chemically treated sea water was modelled to investigate
environmental impact. The results of this modelling are described in Section 6.9.2.
Estimated discharge volumes and locations are listed in Table 3-2. The medium listed in the
table will be chemically treated; these chemical additives are described in Section 6.9.2 and
were selected to meet the criteria described in Appendix 2.

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Table 3-2 Estimated Dewatering Volumes and Timing


Discharge
Location

Estimated
Timing

Pipeline

Discharge
Volume (m3)

Medium/Fluid

Water from the tank


farms on Barrow
Island to allow
redosing should
there be a change
of chemical

700

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

MPTS

Gorgon Umbilical
casing from initial
flooding

71.9

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

HDD Exit
Point

Completed

Jansz Umbilical
casing from initial
flooding

63.5

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

HDD Exit
Point

Completed

Gorgon MEG Line


temporary
stabilisation water

113

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

Gorgon
MPTS

Completed

Gorgon Utility Line


temporary
stabilisation water

61

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

Gorgon
MPTS

Completed

Gorgon Production
Line temporary
stabilisation water

1700

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

Gorgon
MPTS

Completed

Jansz Utility Line


temporary
stabilisation water

61

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

Gorgon
MPTS

Completed

Jansz MEG Line


temporary
stabilisation water

113

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

Gorgon
MPTS

Completed

Jansz Production
Line temporary
stabilisation water

1700

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

Gorgon
MPTS

Completed

Gorgon MEG Line


dewatering from
Flooding, Cleaning,
Gauging and
Testing (FCGT)
operations

715

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

Gorgon
MPTS

Completed

Gorgon Utility Line


dewatering from
FCGT operations

1162

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

Gorgon
MPTS

Completed

Jansz Utility Line


dewatering from
FCGT operations

2700

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

Jansz MPTS

Completed

Jansz MEG Line


dewatering from
FCGT operations

4241

Treated sea water


(XC24959)

Jansz MPTS

Completed

Gorgon MEG Line


from reflooding
operations

715

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Gorgon
MPTS

Jun 2014
and Jun
2015

Planned

Gorgon Utility Line


from reflooding

1162

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or

Gorgon
MPTS

Jun 2014
and Jun

Planned

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Jul 2013
Jun 2015

Status

Planned

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Discharge
Volume (m3)

Medium/Fluid

Discharge
Location

Estimated
Timing

Status

operations

XC24105)

Jansz Utility Line


from reflooding
operations

2700

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Jansz MPTS

Mar 2014

Planned

Jansz MEG Line


from reflooding
operations

4241

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Jansz MPTS

Mar 2014

Planned

Gorgon Production
Line dewatering
from FCGT
operations

38 000

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Gorgon
MPTS

Aug 2014

Planned

Jansz Production
Line dewatering
from FCGT
operations

68 000

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Jansz MPTS

Aug 2014

Planned

Gorgon Drill
Centre(s)

Gorgon Infield MEG


and Utility pipelines

45.5

MEG Gel

190

MEG

Jansz Infield MEG


and Utility pipelines

18

MEG Gel

40

MEG

Gorgon onshore
above ground (will
be discharged with
whole of pipeline
into offshore
location)

60

Jansz onshore
above ground (will
be discharged with
whole of pipeline
into offshore
location)

60

2015

Completed

Jansz Drill
Centre(s)

Oct 2013
Feb 2014

Planned

MEG

Gorgon
MPTS

Oct Dec
2015

Planned

MEG

Jansz MPTS

Jul 2015

Planned

7000

Treated sea water


/ potable water
(Hydrosure O3670R)

Gorgon Drill
Centre(s)

Jun 2015

Planned

Jansz Infield
Production Lines
dewatering

2100

Treated sea water


/ potable water
(Hydrosure O3670R)

Jansz Drill
Centre(s)

Nov 2014

Planned

Gorgon Production
Pipeline from
onshore tie-ins

7500

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Gorgon
MPTS

Jun 2014

Planned

Jansz Production
Pipeline from
onshore tie-ins

7500

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Jansz MPTS

Mar 2014

Planned

Gorgon Production
system dewatering

38 000

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Gorgon
MPTS

Jul 2015

Planned

Gorgon Utility
system dewatering

3000

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or

Gorgon
MPTS

Jul 2015

Planned

Gorgon Infield
Production Lines
dewatering

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Pipeline

Discharge
Volume (m3)

Medium/Fluid

Discharge
Location

Estimated
Timing

Status

XC24105)
Gorgon MEG
system dewatering

5000

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Gorgon
MPTS

Jul 2015

Planned

Jansz Production
system dewatering

68 000

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Jansz MPTS

Oct 2014

Planned

Jansz Utility system


dewatering

2700

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Jansz MPTS

Dec 2014

Planned

Jansz MEG system


dewatering

5000

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

Jansz MPTS

Dec 2014

Planned

Jansz 6 Utility DC1 to MPTS

100

Treated sea water


(Hydrosure O3670R)

Jansz Drill
Centre(s)

Nov 2013

Contingency

Jansz 6 MEG DC1


to MPTS

100

Treated sea water


(Hydrosure O3670R)

Jansz Drill
Centre(s)

Nov 2013

Contingency

Jansz 6 MEG DC-2


to MPTS

100

Treated sea water


(Hydrosure O3670R)

Jansz Drill
Centre(s)

Nov 2013

Contingency

Jansz 6 Utility DC2


to MPTS

100

Treated sea water


(Hydrosure O3670R)

Jansz Drill
Centre(s)

Nov 2013

Contingency

250

Treated MEG
(biocide and
oxygen scavenger
sticks)

Jansz Drill
Centre(s)

Dec 2013
Dec 2014

Planned

250

Treated MEG
(biocide and
oxygen scavenger
sticks)

Gorgon Drill
Centre(s)

Dec 2013
Dec 2014

Planned

68 000

Treated sea water


(XC24959 or
XC24105)

MPTS

Jansz spools and


structures tie-ins

Gorgon spools and


structures tie-ins
Jansz Pipeline
contingency
flooding and
dewatering

3.4.5.5

Contingency

Contingency Dewatering

During pipe-lay, the potential exists for an unplanned event resulting in the ingress of sea water
into the pipeline. For example, if the pipeline were to suffer a wet buckle or rupture, sea water
would enter, resulting in microbial or chemical corrosion; contingency dewatering and reloading
of treated water would be necessary.
To repair or replace the damaged section, the pipeline will have to be dewatered and recovered
to the pipe-lay vessel. In the event of such an occurrence, the CRA infield pipelines will need to
be flushed with treated potable water to remove the untreated sea water, while the production
pipelines will be flushed using treated sea water prior to commencing contingency recovery

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procedures. The treated water used to flush the pipeline will be discharged at the buckle
location prior to resuming pipe-lay.
The potential also exists for interruption to the pipeline installation because of a cyclone. In this
case, the pipeline may be stabilised by flooding it with treated sea water prior to temporary
abandonment. The treated water used in the temporary stabilisation of the pipeline will be
discharged at the abandonment location prior to resuming pipe-lay.
3.4.5.6

Onshore Tie-in

To complete the onshore tie-ins at North Whites Beach, the onshore and offshore
34 Production pipeline sections must be sufficiently drained to enable a dry tie-in. The
34 onshore Production pipeline sections will be dewatered using a pig propelled by
compressed air from the Gas Treatment Plant to North Whites Beach (see Onshore EMP
[Chevron Australia 2010a]). The chemically treated sea water may be transferred from the
onshore section to the offshore section via a temporary hose connection at North Whites Beach,
and the chemically treated water will be discharged at the MPTS (see Table 3-2 for volume).
To enable the tie-ins of the onshore and offshore sections of the MEG and Utility pipelines
without dewatering them, pipe freezing may be performed. Pipe freezing involves the use of
liquid nitrogen in the controlled formation of a solid ice plug inside the pipeline using specialist
equipment and techniques (see Onshore EMP [Chevron Australia 2010a]).
Pipe freezing may also be performed to enable the tie-in of the onshore and offshore production
pipelines, subject to the completion of successful trials.
To minimise the potential for weld defects due to the intrusion of melting water, water-absorbent
materials (sodium polyacrylate or similar) will be used downstream of the freeze. Sodium
polyacrylate is widely used in a variety of consumer products (e.g. diapers, household
detergent, fake snow) for its ability to absorb several hundred times its mass in water.

3.4.6

Support Activities

3.4.6.1

Construction Vessels

Table 3-3 lists the main construction vessels proposed for the installation activities and their
estimated time in the field. Offshore construction workers are accommodated on board the
installation vessels.
Emissions, wastes, and discharges will be produced from the
accommodation of these workers (e.g. sewage and greywater, putrescibles, domestic wastes)
as well as from the daily operation of the vessels (e.g. power generation, thruster use, cooling
water).
The main installation vessels that are considered facilities under petroleum legislation shall
have NOPSEMA and DMP (as appropriate) -accepted Safety Cases in place. The main
installation activities will be undertaken by dynamically positioned (DP) vessels.
Table 3-3 Construction Vessel Spread
Vessel

Contractor

Phase 1 Pipelay Vessel


Phase 2 Pipelay Vessel

Nov 2011 Apr 2013


Allseas

Pipelay Support Vessels


Umbilical Installation Vessel
Umbilical Trenching Vessel
Rock Installation Vessel
Rock Installation Vessel

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Estimated Schedule
Apr 2013 Nov 2013
Sep 2011 Dec 2013

Subsea 7
Van Oord and Jan de Nul Joint
Venture

Public

Mar 2013 Jun 2013


Mar 2013 Jun 2013
Dec 2012 Apr 2014
Dec 2012 Apr 2014

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Vessel

Contractor

Estimated Schedule

Rock Installation Vessel

Dec 2012 Apr 2014

Rock Installation Vessel

Dec 2012 Apr 2014

Heavy Lift Vessel

Dec 2013 Apr 2014

Tie-in Vessel

Subsea 7

Pre-commissioning Support Vessel

3.4.6.2

Mar 2014 Oct 2014


May 2014 May 2015

Support Vessels

A number of ancillary support vessels will also be required to support the installation of the
offshore feed gas pipeline system, including:
survey vessels
transportation barges or cargo ships
bulk carriers
tug boats
dive support vessels
supply vessels.
Activities that are involved in vessel operations include:
power generation
liquid waste treatment and discharge (including sewage, greywater, ballast and cooling water
discharge)
solid waste discharge and transport (including incineration)
chemical transport, storage and handling
anchoring and mooring
thruster use
refuelling and bulk transfer of chemicals such as MEG
lighting.
Anchoring will only be required for the following vessels in State Waters:
a dive support vessel to perform survey activities and to attach recovery rigging to each of
the HDD pipeline tails (see Section 3.4.1).
a pipelay vessel to provide additional vessel stability where high pipelay tensions are
required (typically at the HDD tails) by setting up its bow anchor along the pipeline route (see
Section 3.4.1). However, the seabed area impacted by the anchor will be directly impacted
by the installation of the offshore feed gas pipeline system and the rock structures.
an umbilical installation support vessel for disconnecting the temporary seal plugs and
recovering the messenger wire (see Section 3.4.2). Anchoring of the umbilical installation
support vessel (if required) will be undertaken within the MDF and a typical anchor pattern is
shown in Figure 3-5.
Anchoring activities will be restricted to within this area and as far as practicable within the MDF
itself (see Section 6.3). Based on greater definition achieved during detailed design and an

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anchor stability review with the contractors, Chevron Australia can now provide an updated
figure of the indicative anchoring area ( Figure 3-5).
Anchoring may be required in Commonwealth Waters, and will be undertaken within the
construction corridor, described in Section 3.3.2. Planned anchoring activities have now been
completed.

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Figure 3-5 Proposed Anchor Locations in State Waters for Diving Operations
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3.4.6.3

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Helicopter Operations

Activities involved in support operations include helicopter transfer. Personnel transfer to


offshore facilities will typically be via helicopter from Barrow Island. Where vessels are not
equipped with helidecks, the vessels will undertake crew changes during regular port calls.
Crew changes for the support vessels will be conducted at existing mainland ports.
3.4.6.4

Seabed Surveys

A number of seabed surveys are to be undertaken before, during, and after installation of the
offshore feed gas pipeline system, including:
Pre-lay Survey carried out to assist installation activity planning to ensure there are no
seabed features or obstructions that will create a hazard for the installation, and to confirm
seabed data.
Intermediate Surveys carried out during the installation to monitor progress and to record
the location of the pipelines, umbilicals, and the subsea structures on the seabed.
As-built Survey undertaken once the installation is completed to verify that the works have
been completed according to specification.
Multibeam bathymetry and side-scan sonar techniques as well as ROV-mounted video and
obstacle avoidance sonar will be used at areas of particular interest.

3.5

Unplanned Events

The proposed installation activities will introduce the possibility of a leak or spill of hydrocarbons
and chemicals to the marine environment. The environmental impacts of such a spill largely
depend on the chemical characteristics of the products involved and the details of any release.

3.5.1

Potential Release Scenario Identification

An assessment was conducted of potential unplanned releases (including uncontrolled


hydrocarbon and chemical releases).
Unplanned releases fall into two categorieshydrocarbon and chemical. Of these, only
hydrocarbon spills are carried through into the OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a).
An assessment of all potential releases (including uncontrolled hydrocarbon and chemical
releases) was conducted and is detailed in Section 6.8.
An appraisal of these scenarios identified the following potential spill material:
diesel
Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO)
hydraulic fluid
wellbore fluids (MEG/brine mixture)
MEG.
Spill scenarios were then grouped by type to enable the scale and nature of the unplanned
events to be identified. Only the first three materials are hydrocarbon-based. Hydrocarbon
spills are described in Section 3.5.2, and non-hydrocarbon (i.e. chemical) spills are described in
Section 3.5.3.
Single point failures on board have not been considered further, as potential spills in this
scenario do not reach the environment.

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Note: Installation activities do not include drilling, hook up, and commission or production
activities. Therefore, the only risks for marine hydrocarbon spills are from vessels during
installation activities.
A summary of potential spill scenarios including estimated spill volumes derived from each
scenario is detailed in Table 3-4. The risk assessments for these scenarios are given in Section
6.10. The risk of these potential incidents to the environment and local community were
assessed using the Chevron Health, Environment, and Safety (HES) Integrated Risk
Prioritization Matrix and Risk Levels and Tolerability Table (in Section 5.0). Further explanation
is provided in the sections below.
Justification for scenarios that were identified as non-credible is summarised in Section 3.5.3.

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Table 3-4 Potential Credible Spill Scenarios


Source

Spill Material

Scenario

Max. Credible
Volume

Tier
Level

Comment

Hydrocarbons
Construction Vessel

Lubrication oil /
hydraulic oil

Single point
failure on board

<1 m3

Tier 1

Minor spills due to limited volumes of oils on board for servicing and
routine operations. Contained on deck and unlikely to reach sea.

Construction Vessel

Lubrication oil /
hydraulic oil

Single point
failure overboard

<1 m3

Tier 1

Minor spills due to limited volumes of oils overboard during servicing and
routine operations.

Tier 1

With the use of dry-break couplings (which provide an automatic


mechanism to seal off both the hose and the fixed pipe end when the
hose is disconnected) and breakaway couplings (which are designed to
eliminate spillage and damage associated with pull-away incidents), the
maximum credible spill scenario from a refuelling accident is 1.2 m3.
This is the maximum quantity of HFO or diesel held in the transfer hose.

Tier 2

Assuming failure of dry break couplings. AMSA (2012) indicated that the
maximum credible spill volume from a refuelling incident with continuous
supervision is the transfer rate 15 minutes. Based on the known
transfer volume of 200 m3/h, this equates to an instantaneous spill of
50 m3 (Credible Worst-case Scenario).

Tier 2/3

The maximum credible volume is based on the complete instantaneous


loss of the largest HFO tank capacity of the second phase pipelay vessel
(Solitaire), one of the largest vessels in the fleet, and which operates
close to Barrow Island. Once this vessel has completed its pipe-pickup
near Barrow Island, post-June 2013, the only vessels approaching close
to Barrow Island will be smaller vessels with a maximum HFO scenario
of 400 m3.
Largest forward tank: 800 m3
Fill capacity: 85% due to high-level alarm.
There is potential for vessel grounding in shallow coastal waters.

Tier 2/3

The maximum credible volume is based on the complete instantaneous


loss of the largest diesel tank capacity of the first phase pipelay vessel
(Lorelay), which operates close to Barrow Island and has one of the
longest scopes of work. Once the first and second phase pipelay
vessels scopes are complete, the only vessels approaching close to
Barrow Island will be smaller, with a maximum diesel scenario of 400 m3.

Construction Vessel

Construction Vessel

Construction Vessel

Construction Vessel

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HFO / diesel

HFO / diesel

HFO

Diesel

Vessel refuelling

Vessel refuelling

Vessel grounding

Vessel grounding

1.2 m3

50 m3

800 m3

700 m3

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Source

Spill Material

Scenario

Max. Credible
Volume

Tier
Level

Comment
Largest forward tank: 700 m3
Fill capacity: 85% due to high-level alarm.
There is potential for vessel grounding in shallow coastal waters.
The maximum credible volume is based on the complete instantaneous
loss of the largest single wing tank capacity of the second phase pipelay
vessel (Solitaire), one of the largest vessels in the fleet, which operates
close to Barrow Island.
Largest forward tank: 800 m3
Fill capacity: 85% due to high-level alarm.
There is potential for vessel collision during periods when vessels work
in close proximity, if systems (such as DP, thrusters, navigation) fail.
The maximum credible volume is based on the complete instantaneous
loss of the largest single wing tank capacity of the first phase pipelay
vessel (Lorelay), which operates close to Barrow Island and has one of
the longest scopes of work.
Largest forward tank: 700 m3
Fill capacity: 85% due to high-level alarm.
There is potential for vessel collision during periods when vessels work
in close proximity, if systems (such as DP, thrusters, navigation) fail.

Construction Vessel

HFO

Vessel collision

800 m3

Tier 2/3

Construction Vessel

Diesel

Vessel collision

700 m3

Tier 2/3

Subsea tree /
subsea
infrastructure

Hydraulic fluid
and/or
dielectric fluid

Damage to
subsea tree

0.03 m3

Tier 1

Dropped objects during installation of subsea infrastructure on subsea


trees. May result in release of hydraulic fluid or dielectric fluid from
transducer seals.

Construction Vessel

MEG

Unplanned MEG
release during
bulk transfer

0.3 m3

Tier 1

With the use of dry-break and breakaway couplings, the maximum


credible spill scenario from a bulk MEG transfer is 0.3 m3. This is the
maximum quantity of MEG held in the transfer hose.

Subsea tree /
subsea
infrastructure

Wellbore fluids
(MEG/brine
mixture)

Damage to
subsea tree

1 m3

Tier 1

Dropped objects during installation of subsea infrastructure on subsea


trees may damage the debris cap, leading to limited release of wellbore
fluids.

Chemicals

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Scenarios with the highest potential release volumes, and therefore consequences, were
selected to be modelled. These scenarios were vessel collision and grounding, for both diesel
and HFO. Therefore, the modelled environment that may be affected (EMBA) is representative
of the maximum credible scenario for the scope of work.

3.5.2

Hydrocarbon Spill Scenarios

3.5.2.1

Scenario Identification

Single Point Failure On Board or Overboard


The spillage of hydrocarbons from single point failure on board or overboard typically occurs by:
failure or mechanical breakdown of equipment used to store or transfer fuels
incorrect storage and/or absence of bunding around fuels
human error.
Single point failures on board have not been considered further, as potential spills in this
scenario do not reach the environment. Single point failures overboard may result in minor
hydrocarbon spills. A range of hydrocarbons is likely to be present during the course of the
installation activities; however, the impacts associated with single point failures are not
considered to be significant as the maximum credible volume is approximately 1 m3. As such
no further modelling is considered appropriate for this risk.
Hydraulic Fluid Spill Scenario
Dropped objects during installation of subsea infrastructure on subsea trees may result in the
release of hydraulic fluid or dielectric fluid from transducer seals.
The maximum credible spill volume is 0.03 m3, therefore the environmental impacts associated
with this scenario are negligible. As such, this scenario has not been modelled, or dealt with
further.
Loss of Containment During Transfer/Refuelling
The spillage of hydrocarbons during refuelling operations at sea typically occurs by:
parting the fuelling hose
DP failure, causing hose breakage or decoupling of the fittings
mooring line failure, causing breakage of the hose or decoupling of the fittings
human error.
AMSA (2012) suggests the maximum credible spill volume from a refuelling incident with
continuous supervision is approximately the transfer rate 15 minutes. However, given the use
of dry-break couplings (which provides an automatic mechanism to seal off both the hose and
the fixed pipe end when the hose is disconnected) and breakaway couplings (which are
designed to eliminate spillage and damage associated with pull-away incidents), the maximum
credible spill scenario from a refuelling accident is around 1.2 m3. This is the maximum volume
of a typical transfer hose potentially released to the environment in the event of a refuelling
incident.
Assuming failure of dry-break couplings, based on the known transfer volume of 200 m3/h, this
equates to an instantaneous spill of 50 m3.
Vessel Grounding
Major marine oil spills predominantly occur from the accidental damage of vessels, such as from
vessel grounding.

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Grounding is only likely to occur under exceptional circumstances, such as:


loss of DP (despite maintenance, alarms and warnings, and backup systems)
navigational error (despite using the latest charts, navigational aids, and communications)
vessel black out (despite maintenance, alarms and warnings, and backup systems)
foundering due to weather (despite weather warnings,
communications, and early assistance contingency plans).

emergency

plans

and

AMSA (2012) suggests the maximum credible spill volume from the collision or grounding of an
(installation) vessel is the total volume of fuel from one tank. Although vessel collision or vessel
grounding incidents could occur anywhere along the pipeline, the worst environmental and
social impacts would occur if such an incident occurred in the nearshore area. Between 2005
and 2012, there were 73 groundings in Australian waters (Australian Transport Safety Bureau
2013).
The first phase pipelay vessel (Lorelay) used for the Site 1 modelling scenario has the closest
proximity to Barrow Island, at only 700 m from the closest shoreline. The remaining scope of
work for Lorelay is in deep water 70 km off Barrow Island. This vessel demobilised from the
project in March 2013.
The second phase involves the Solitaire pipelay vessel, which is one of the largest in the fleet.
This vessel was used for the HFO modelling scenarios (Site 2, 2 km from Barrow Island). This
vessel will only approach this point on two occasions to pick up the pipe (these pick-ups
occurred in May and June 2013). The pipelaying progresses so that the vessel starts pipelay
closest to Barrow Island, then moves away from the shoreline at approximately 2 to 3 km per
day.
After June 2013, the only installation vessels that will come close to Barrow Island are smaller,
with a maximum fuel tank size of 400 m3, for any fuel type.
The pipeline route in the nearshore area has a relatively flat sandy seabed with no emergent
features, as detailed in pre-installation surveys, described in Section 4.0. At the lowest tide,
there is approximately 2 m clearance to the seabed, which is line with the safe operating
clearance of the Solitaire and Lorelay.
For these vessels to ground they would require an uncontrolled run-off of up to 1 km before the
positioning thrusters of the vessel contacted the seabed. The hull would require a further 500 m
run-off before it comes in contact with the seabed. The time taken for this run-off distance to
occur is significantly greater than the time taken to implement emergency response plans of the
vessels to minimise this run-off distance.
As the pipelay vessels are Class 3 DP vessels, there is a high level of positioning redundancy,
which reduces the potential for vessel run-off. Hence the likelihood of a grounding is reduced.
Spill prevention measures are described in Section 6.10.
Vessel Collision
Major marine oil spills predominantly occur from the accidental damage of vessels, such as from
vessel collisions.
The potential exists for collision between the main installation vessels and any of the support
vessels as well as third-party vessels. The support vessels include supply, pipe supply, crew
transfer, and survey vessels, all of which are required to operate close to the installation
vessels.
Major marine spill as a result of vessel collision is only likely to occur under exceptional
circumstances, such as:
loss of DP (despite maintenance, alarms and warnings, and backup systems)
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navigational error (despite using the latest charts, navigational aids, and communications)
vessel black out (despite maintenance, alarms and warnings, and backup systems)
foundering due to weather (despite weather warnings,
communications, and early assistance contingency plans).

emergency

plans

and

AMSA (2012) suggests the maximum credible spill volume from the collision or grounding of an
(installation) vessel is the total volume of fuel from one tank. Although vessel collision or vessel
grounding incidents could occur anywhere along the pipeline, the worst environmental and
social impacts would occur if such an incident occurred in the nearshore area. Between 2005
and 2012, of 1200 total marine incidents in Australian waters, only 37 were due to vessel
collision (Australian Transport Safety Bureau 2013).
As described in the vessel grounding section above, the two installation vessels used for the
modelling scenarios only approach close to Barrow Island a limited number of times, then
steadily move away from Barrow Island along the pipeline route. Further modelling has been
done to estimate this risk period of spill shoreline contact (see Section 3.5.2.4.3).
In addition, the pipeline installation vessels used for the spill scenarios are Class 3 DP vessels,
meaning there is a greater positioning redundancy, and therefore less likelihood of a loss of DP.
3.5.2.2

Spill Modelling

Oil spill modelling simulations for this installation program were undertaken by Asia-Pacific
Applied Science Associates (APASA) to assess and quantify the environmental impacts of
potential offshore hydrocarbon spills (APASA 2013).
Oil spill modelling was carried out using a three-dimensional oil spill trajectory and weathering
model, SIMAP (Spill Impact Mapping and Analysis Program), which is designed to simulate the
transport, spreading, and weathering of specific oil types under the influence of changing
meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) forces. The model can be used to represent
physical and chemical properties of an oil type, and to calculate rates of evaporation and
viscosity change, including the tendency to form oil in water emulsions. Moreover, the unique
transport and dispersion of surface oil and in-water components (entrained and dissolved) are
modelled separately. Thus the model can be used to understand the wider potential
consequences of a spill, including direct contact to surface features and exposure to organisms
in the water column from entrained and dissolved oil.
Stochastic modelling was carried out as part of this study. This involves using repeated
simulations of the same spill scenario under different, randomly sampled, conditions. These
modelling simulations provide insight into the probable behaviour of potential oil spills under the
metocean conditions expected to occur in the Gorgon Project area. They predict the most
probable path and transport rates for released oil using historical wind and ocean current data.
Stochastic modelling provides three types of information:
sea surface areas that might be oiled and the associated probability of oiling
the shortest period of time the oil takes to reach beaches
the beaches that are predicted to become potentially oiled.
Note that the modelling does not take into consideration any spill prevention, mitigation, and
response capabilities that Chevron Australia proposes to have in place during the installation
operations. The modelling makes no allowance for intervention following a spill to reduce
volumes and/or prevent hydrocarbons from reaching sensitive areas.
From the credible spill risks identified in Table 3-4, Scenarios 3 and 4 were identified as the
maximum credible scenarios, with the highest volume of loss of containment.
Three-dimensional modelling of surface oil and subsurface concentrations was conducted for
vessel grounding and vessel collision scenarios using the assumption that the entire tank
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volume would be lost. Single point failures on board were not modelled, as potential spills in
this scenario do not reach the environment. Single point failures overboard and refuelling were
also not modelled, as the potential volume lost is less than that of vessel grounding or vessel
collision.
3.5.2.2.1

Modelled Release Locations

Six release locations were selected as being representative and were used in the modelling
scenarios (Table 3-4, Figure 3-6). These were categorised as Nearshore and Open Ocean
locations. These locations were chosen due to level of risk of the location, proximity to shore,
water depth and reef features, and levels of vessel activity. The factors considered in selecting
representative and appropriate locations to be used in the modelling to produce the EMBA are:
the location of activity of the pipeline installation vessels, both for vessel traffic volumes and
proximity to shoreline
the potential environmental impact from a spill, relating to proximity to shoreline and sensitive
receptors.
The location details are listed in Table 3-5.
Sites 1 and 2 are located in the nearshore environment to Barrow Island, and as such, any spills
from these sites would be at higher risk of reaching Barrow Island or other surrounding sensitive
receptors.
The Gorgon MPTS and Jansz MPTS allows for connection between the Gorgon and Jansz
wells and pipelines (respectively) to Barrow Island. These locations were chosen to be
representative of open ocean situations, given the MPTSs are approximately halfway between
Barrow Island and the outermost wells, and are locations of increased vessel activity and
potential for simultaneous operations (SIMOPS).
Estimation of distance from Barrow Island for shoreline contact
Further modelling was then undertaken to quantify approximately how far from Barrow Island
the release point would have to be for the modelled spill to have no shoreline impact. As the
closest open ocean release point (Gorgon MPTS) had no shoreline contact, two points a third
of the way along the pipeline route from Barrow Island were modelled as release points (Sites A
and B). This modelling was done for HFO, which is representative of the worst-case scenario
as HFO is more persistent and covers a larger EMBA.
Table 3-5 Summary of the Modelled Release Sites
Location
Type

Location

Site 1

20 41'
15.5"

Longitude
(East)

Distance to
Closest
Shoreline
(Barrow
Island)

115 24'
30.4"

1015

0.7 km

Reason

Site 2

20 40'
51.2"

115 23'
33.6"

1520

2 km

Gorgon
MPTS

20 29'
11.0"

114 53'
53.3"

130

58.6 km

Jansz
MPTS

19 48'
33.8"

114 36'
26.0"

1350

128 km

Nearshore

Open
ocean

Latitude
(South)

Water
Depth
(m)

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Closest
proximity to
shoreline
Shallow water
Greatest
potential for
shoreline
impact
Increased
vessel activity
and SIMOPS
Greater risk of

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Location
Type

Location

Latitude
(South)

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Longitude
(East)

Water
Depth
(m)

Distance to
Closest
Shoreline
(Barrow
Island)

Reason

Shoreline
contact
estimation

Site A

20 37
31.498

115 14
32.246

56

19.5 km

Site B

20 33
47.356

115 04
01.920

77

39.1 km

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collision
Representativ
e of open
ocean
scenarios
where the
EMBA is
unlikely to
reach
shoreline

To estimate distance
from closest shoreline
for no shoreline
impact

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Figure 3-6 Location of Modelled Release Sites

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To best represent the oceanographic conditions across all four sites, APASA used two available
ocean current datasets based on the characteristics (depths and proximity to shore) of each
site. The United States Navys NCOM Ocean Model dataset was the most appropriate for
Site 1 and Site 2 while the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisations
(CSIRO) BRAN (Bluelink ReANalysis) Ocean Model dataset was used for the Gorgon and
Jansz locations.
3.5.2.2.2

Types of Hydrocarbons

Diesel
The properties of typical diesel used are detailed in Table 3-6. Diesel is characterised by a
large mixture of low and semi to low volatile compounds (95%) and persistent hydrocarbons
(5%). The heavy components (or low volatile components) of diesel have a strong tendency to
physically entrain into the upper water column in the presence of moderate winds (i.e.
>12 knots) and breaking waves, but can refloat to the surface if these energies abate.
Table 3-6 Properties of Typical Diesel
Characteristics

Volatiles
(%)

Semi
volatiles
(%)

Low
volatiles
(%)

Residual
(%)

Boiling point (C)

<180

180265

265380

>380

34.6

54.4

Diesel

Non persistent

Density
(kg/m3) at
25 C

Viscosity
(cP) at
25 C

829

Persistent

Typical fate and weathering of diesel can be seen in Figure 3-7, which shows that the lighter
hydrocarbons (or non-persistent constituents) tend to evaporate quickly as the slick spreads out
on the water surface. Approximately 50% of the spilled diesel is expected to evaporate in the
first few days. It is expected that evaporation processes will continue to occur for any diesel
stranded on shore.

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Source: APASA 2012

Figure 3-7 Predicted Weathering Graph: Diesel Fuel Oil


Note: Predicted sample weathering graphs for three randomly selected single spill trajectories, under winter season
3
metocean conditions. Results are based on a 700 m surface release of diesel, tracked for 21 days.

Heavy Fuel Oil


The properties of typical heavy fuel oil used are detailed in Table 3-7. As can be seen from
Table 3-7, HFO is characterised by a high content of heavy hydrocarbons (or persistent
compounds).
Table 3-7 Properties of Typical Heavy Fuel Oil
Characteristics

Volatiles
(%)

Semi
volatiles
(%)

Low
volatiles
(%)

Residual
(%)

Boiling point (C)

<180

180265

265380

>380

4.9

11.3

82.8

Heavy Fuel Oil

Non persistent

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Density
(kg/m3) at
25 C

Viscosity
(cP) at
25 C

975

3180

Persistent

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Typical fate and weathering of HFO is shown in Figure 3-8. As a result of the high content of
heavy hydrocarbons (or persistent compounds), once HFO is released into the environment it is
not likely to entrain into the water column and very little of the oil will be lost to evaporation. The
high water content (up to 30%) of HFO will cause it to emulsify. As a result of the emulsification
processes, the surface oil is unlikely to thin out, but rather travel on the sea surface for an
extended time while undergoing degradation processes.
Importantly, the density of some HFOs means that they may also sink on their release into
water. This heavy fraction will assume a tar-like consistency and stick to exposed substrates or
become adsorbed to suspended particulates (Concawe 1998). In the open sea where the
concentrations of suspended material are low, this effect may be less important, but in the surf
zone, grains of sand become mixed into the oil. The longer term fate of oil sunk in this way is
likely to be burial under fresh sediment in nearshore waters or stranding by waves casting the
oil onto shore (International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation 2001).
HFO also tends to solidify into tar balls, which can widely disperse. Tar balls are oil fragments
that can have a solid to semi-solid consistency and tar ball formation mechanisms are not
entirely known. They form when oil adheres to sediment or sand, when thick oil slicks partially
oxidise, or when stable water-in-oil emulsions form and persist submerged in the environment
(Goodman 2003). Tar balls commonly wash up on shorelines and can originate from natural oil
seeps or petroleum spills (Wang et al. 1998). In general, tar balls are subject to extreme
weathering and lose the majority of n-alkanes and lower molecular weight poly aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAH) (Wang et al. 1998). However, there has been little research on whether tar
balls lose their toxic constituents (i.e. PAH) to water at rates sufficient to cause toxicity.
Some tar balls have a uniform structure throughout, while others have consolidated shell
exteriors and liquid interiors (Goodman 2003). Where there is rapid temperature change or
strong light exposure, the oil may not weather evenly and a heavily degraded skin can entrain
less weathered oil. This trapped liquid oil can ooze from tar balls creating a persistent source of
hydrocarbons long after a spill occurs (Short 2008).

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Source: APASA 2012

Figure 3-8 Predicted Weathering Graph: Heavy Fuel Oil


Note: Predicted sample weathering graphs for three randomly selected single spill trajectories, under winter season
3
metocean conditions. Results are based on a 800 m surface release of HFO, tracked for 21 days.

3.5.2.2.3

Modelling Parameters and Thresholds

As spills can occur during any set of wind and ocean current conditions, SIMAPs stochastic
model was used to quantify the probability of exposure to the sea-surface and shoreline
contacts for the six spill scenarios over the three seasonal conditions. The model runs many
single spill trajectories (e.g. 100 per season and location) using the same spill information (i.e.
release location, spill volume, duration, and oil type) but varies the start time, and in turn, the
prevailing wind and current conditions. This approach ensures that the predicted transport and
weathering of an oil slick is subjected to range of current and wind conditions.
During each spill trajectory, the model records the grid cells exposed to hydrocarbons, as well
as the time elapsed. Once all the spill trajectories have been run, the model then combines the
results from the individual simulations to determine the following:
probability of sea-surface contact that may occur at a given region (or a grid cell)
minimum time before contact would occur at a given region (or a grid cell)
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extent of sea-surface exposure that may occur at a given region (or a grid cell)
probability of shoreline contact that may occur at a given region (or a grid cell)
extent of shoreline exposure that may occur at a given region (or a grid cell).
The stochastic model output does not represent the extent of any one spill trajectory (which
would be significantly smaller); rather, it provides a summary of all trajectories run for each
season of each scenario.
For this assessment, 100 simulations were performed for each scenario. These simulations
were repeated for each season and then combined into a single stochastic output per season
and post-processed for the relevant reporting thickness thresholds (10 g/m2 [~10 m]; Section
3.5.2.2.3).
Surface Thickness
The SIMAP model is able to track hydrocarbons on the sea surface to levels that are lower than
biologically significant levels or visible to the naked eye. Therefore, reporting thresholds have
been specified (based on the scientific literature) to control the recording of contact or
exposure to locations at meaningful levels only. AMSA (2012) recommends the use of a
surface oil parameter of 0.01 mm thickness or 10 microns (m), which is the likely thickness to
cause a smothering effect to species that might interact with the surface oil. The sea-surface
and shoreline threshold values presented in Section 3.5.2.2.3 have been determined based on
literature reviews of oil effects on aquatic birds and marine mammals. Engelhardt (1983), Clark
(1984), Geraci and St Aubin (1988), and Jenssen (1994) indicated that the threshold thickness
of oil that could impart a lethal dose to some intersecting wildlife individual is 10 m (~10 g/m2).
Scholten et al. (1996) indicates that a layer 25 m thick would be harmful for most birds that
contact the slick. Therefore, this thickness was used to describe zones of heavy exposure.
In order to generate zones of exposure from surface hydrocarbon concentrations for each
scenario, simulations are post-processed for four specified thresholds: 0.5 g/m2 (~0.5 m),
1 g/m2 (~1 m), 10 g/m2 (~10 m), and 25 g/m2 (~25 m).
Table 3-8 Surface Thickness Threshold Values Applied as part of the Modelling Study
Threshold value (m or g/m2)

Potential level of exposure

Low

10

Moderate

25

High

This threshold value has been applied for the oil spill modelling simulations for the Offshore
Feed Gas Pipeline for diesel and HFO.
In-water Hydrocarbons (Dissolved and Entrained)
As indicated in Section 3.5.2.2.2, the heavy components (or low volatile components) of diesel
have a strong tendency to physically entrain into the upper water column in the presence of
moderate winds, whereas the heavy hydrocarbons (or persistent compounds) of HFO are not
likely to entrain into the water column. As a result of this, modelling was carried out for
dissolved aromatics and entrained hydrocarbons resulting from diesel spills only.
As the dissolved aromatic and entrained in-water concentrations were quantified, it was
necessary to establish applicable trigger values.
Studies indicate that the dissolved aromatic compounds (typically the mono-aromatic
hydrocarbons and the two- and three-ring PAHs) are commonly the largest contributor to the
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toxicity of solutions generated by mixing oil into water (Di Toro et. al. 2007). The dosage level
(threshold value duration) was used to assess the potential for exposure to subsea habitats
and species by entrained and dissolved aromatic hydrocarbons. The threshold value for
species toxicity in the water column is based on global data from French et al. (1999) and
French-McCay (2002, 2003), which showed that species sensitivity (fish and invertebrates) to
dissolved aromatics exposure >4 days (96-hour LC50) under different environmental conditions
varied from 6 to 400 g/L (ppb) with an average of 50 ppb. This range covered 95% of aquatic
organisms tested, which included species during sensitive life stages (eggs and larvae). Based
on scientific literature, a minimum threshold of 6 parts per billion (ppb) over 96 hours or
equivalent was used to assess in-water low exposure zones, respectively (Engelhardt 1983;
Clark 1984; Geraci and St. Aubin 1988; Jenssen 1994; Tsvetnenko 1998). French-McCay
(2002) indicates that an average 96-hour LC50 of 50 ppb and 400 ppb could serve as an acute
lethal threshold to 5% and 50% to biota, respectively. Hence, these thresholds were used to
represent the moderate and high exposure zones, respectively.
Table 3-9 summarises the in-water dissolved aromatic threshold values applied during the
modelling study.
Table 3-9
Dissolved Aromatic In-water Threshold Values Applied as Part of the
Modelling Study
Trigger Value for
Dissolved Aromatic
Concentrations for a 96hour LC50 (ppb)

Equivalent Dosage
of Dissolved
Aromatics
(ppb.hrs)

Range of Sensitive Species


Potentially Impacted from
Acute Exposure

Potential
Level of
Exposure

576

Very sensitive species


(99th percentile)

Low

50

4800

Average sensitive species


(95th percentile)

Moderate

400

38 400

Tolerant sensitive species


(50th percentile)

High

While dissolved aromatics are the largest contributor to the toxicity of solutions generated by
mixing oil into water, it is still important to model the fate of entrained hydrocarbons because
they are the mechanism of delivering soluble aromatics to the water column.
Conservative thresholds were used to indicate potential zones of exposure for entrained
hydrocarbons. The lowest threshold concentration was set at 10 ppb, which corresponds
generally with the lowest trigger levels for chronic exposure for entrained hydrocarbons in the
Australian and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council (ANZECC 2000) water quality
guidelines. Due to the requirement for relatively long exposure times for these concentrations
to be significant, they are likely to be more meaningful for juvenile fish, larvae, and planktonic
organisms that might be entrained (or otherwise moving) within the entrained plumes, or when
entrained hydrocarbons adhere to organisms or are trapped against a shoreline for several days
or more. To indicate potential zones of acute exposure, which is more meaningful over shorter
durations, a threshold of 100 ppb was set, along with a second threshold of 500 ppb, to cover
the range of thresholds outlined in ANZECC (2000) water quality guidelines.
Table 3-10 summarises the in-water entrained threshold values applied during the modelling
study.

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Table 3-10 Entrained Threshold Values Applied as part of the Modelling Study
Trigger Value for
Entrained Oil
Concentrations (ppb)

Equivalent Dosage of
Entrained Oil
(ppb.hrs)

Range of Sensitive Species


Potentially Impacted from
Acute Exposure

Potential
Level of
Exposure

10

960

Very sensitive species


(99th percentile)

Low

100

9600

Average sensitive species


(95th percentile)

Moderate

500

48 000

Tolerant sensitive species


(50th percentile)

High

Time Period
Twenty-one days was chosen as the simulation modelling period, as diesel and HFO were
expected to disperse below modelled threshold values for each parameter within this time
period. This is considered reasonable, as diesel and HFO both drop below threshold levels
within 8.3 days and 6.3 days respectively (Section 3.5.2.3.1 and 3.5.2.4.1). The weathering
graphs for diesel and HFO also support this, in that the peak drop in presence at the surface
occurs within the first three days, and then plateau and slowly decrease over time (Section
3.5.2.2.2). For this reason, a simulation length of 21 days was used for the spill modelling.
Probability
The full range (0100%) of probability outputs from the spill modelling are shown.
Modelled Seasons
Simulations were separately quantified for three different seasons, defined by unique
combinations of wind and general ocean current conditions occurring for:
summer (October to March)
transitional months (April and September)
winter (May to August).
All three seasons were used, and are displayed together.
Shoreline Contact
Shoreline contact is calculated to any shoreline and to specific locations (i.e. Montebello
Islands, Varanus Island). The mainland has been divided into areas to allow probability, oiling
volume, and absolute minimum time to impact to key locations (i.e. Cape Range National Park,
Dampier Coast, Onslow Coast).
There are many different types of shorelines, ranging from cliffs, rocky beaches, sandy
beaches, mudflats, and mangroves, and each will influence the volume of oil that could be
stranded ashore and its thickness before the shoreline saturation point occurs. For instance, a
sandy beach may allow oil to percolate through the sand, thus increasing its ability to hold more
oil ashore over tidal cycles and various wave actions than an equivalent area of water; hence,
oil can increase in thickness onshore over time.
The sea-surface thresholds stated in the previous section have been applied to shoreline oil for
consistency. They are not intended to imply a level of risk to the shoreline. Shoreline stranding
quantities calculated by the model are indicators of peak load. These statistics, along with the
minimum time to shore statistics, and the hydrocarbon properties are intended to provide the
necessary information to identify specific shorelines that may be vulnerable to the quantified
onshore loads.

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Owens and Sergy (1994) define oil stain/film as 100 m, oil coat as 1001000 m, and oil
cover as >1000 m. For benthic epifaunal invertebrates living in intertidal habitats on hard
substrates, a threshold of 100 m oil thickness would be enough to coat the animal and likely
impact its survival and reproductive capacity, while stain (<100 m) would be less likely to have
an effect (French-McCay 2009). Thus, 100 m (100 g/m2) of oil is assumed as the lethal
threshold for invertebrates on hard substrates (rocky, artificial/man-made, rip-rap, etc.) and
sediments (mud, silt, sand, or gravel) in intertidal habitats.
Observations by Lin and Mendelssohn (1996), demonstrated that more than 1 kg/m2 of oil
during the growing season would be required to impact marsh or mangrove plants significantly.
Note that due to the thinning and dispersion of oil in the water column and on the surface, oil
may drop below threshold levels, and then re-accumulate on a shoreline. Hence the shoreline
contact tables may show accumulation on shorelines that are outside the modelled surface
thickness, entrained, or dissolved parameters.
The EMBA used for the EPBC Matters of NES search included these shoreline accumulation
areas.
3.5.2.2.4

Summary of Model Settings

Table 3-11 summarises the oil spill model settings and assumptions.
For ease of understanding the modelling maps, the nearshore and open ocean release
locations have been grouped and are shown together.
The modelling results are presented separately for diesel (Section 3.5.2.3) and HFO (Section
3.5.2.4), as response strategies may differ.
Modelling results for each season have been combined to produce individual figures. Modelling
of diesel and HFO releases was conducted using scenarios and locations, with a maximum
credible spill volume equivalent to the total volume of fuel from one tank, as explained in
Section 3.5.1. This equates to 700 m3 for diesel and 800 m3 for HFO (Table 3-3).
Figures have also been produced of aromatic exposure (Figure 3-13) and entrained exposure
(Figure 3-11 and Figure 3-12) for the diesel-only scenarios (nearshore and open ocean
locations).

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Table 3-11 Summary of Model Settings used for Spill Modelling


Parameter

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Scenario 3

Scenario 4

Scenario 5

Scenario 6

Number of randomly selected


spill start times per season

100

100

100

100

100

100

Diesel

HFO

Diesel

HFO

Diesel

Oil type
Release type

Scenario 7

Scenario 8

100

100

HFO

HFO

HFO

800

800

800

Jansz MTPS
Open ocean

Site A
Distance to
shoreline
contact
estimate

Site B
Distance to
shoreline
contact
estimate

Water surface; instantaneous


3

Total spill volume (m )

Release location

700
Site 1
Nearshore

800
Site 2
Nearshore

700

800

Gorgon MTPS
Open ocean

Gorgon
MTPS
Open ocean

Release duration

Surface oil concentration


thresholds (

Jansz MTPS
Open ocean

3 hours

Simulation length (days)


Period analysed

700

21
Summer (October to March)
Transitional months (April and September)
Winter (May to August)
Low (1 m), moderate (10 m), and high (25 m)

Dissolved aromatic dosages


to assess the potential
exposure (ppb.hrs)

Low (576 ppb.hrs), moderate (4800 ppb.hrs), and high (38 400 ppb.hrs)

Entrained oil dosages to


assess the potential exposure
(ppb.hrs)

Low (960 ppb.hrs), moderate (9600 ppb.hrs) and high (48 000 ppb.hrs)

Probability

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3.5.2.3

Diesel EMBA

SIMAP was used to quantify the:


probability of exposure to the sea surface and shorelines
minimum time to sea-surface contact
potential zones of sea-surface exposure at low, moderate, and high thresholds
potential zones of exposure from dissolved aromatics and entrained hydrocarbons for the
spill scenarios listed in Table 3-12. This involved simulating multiple single spill trajectories
(100 trajectories per season) for each scenario and randomly varying spill start times (and in
turn metocean conditions).
The figures showing the modelling results of diesel scenarios are explained in Table 3-12. The
results for all three seasons have been combined.
Table 3-12 Explanation of Diesel Scenario Modelling Maps
Figure

Release Location

Scenario

Parameter

Figure 3-9

Nearshore

Scenario 1: 700 m3 surface release of diesel


at Site 1

Surface thickness

Figure 3-10

Open Ocean

Scenario 3 and 5: 700 m3 surface release of


diesel at the Gorgon and Jansz MPTS
respectively

Surface thickness

Figure 3-11

Open Ocean and


Nearshore combined

Scenario 1, 3, and 5: 700 m3 release of


diesel at Site 1 and Gorgon and Jansz MPTS

Entrained

Figure 3-11

Open Ocean and


Nearshore combined

Scenario 1, 3, and 5: 700 m3 release of


diesel at Site 1 and Gorgon and Jansz MPTS

Dissolved
Aromatics

3.5.2.3.1

Diesel Surface Thickness

Nearshore
The nearshore release scenario from Site 1 in Figure 3-9 shows that the modelled surface
thickness impacts the shoreline along the west coast of Barrow Island and extends around the
northern and southern tip.
For the worst-case season (summer), the maximum distance from the modelled release point
(at the 99th percentile) is predicted to be 62 km at the moderate threshold, and 126 km at the
low threshold.
Open Ocean
Figure 3-10 shows the open ocean location, from both Gorgon and Jansz MPTSs. The diesel is
predicted to dissipate and drop below the 10 g/m2 moderate surface threshold within a
maximum 2.4 days, in the worst-case season of summer (at 1% probability), from the Jansz
MPTS modelled release point.
At low surface thickness thresholds, the diesel is not predicted to contact Barrow Island, the
Montebello Islands, or the mainland from either location.
For the worst-case season (summer), the maximum distance from the Jansz MPTS release
point (at the 99th percentile) is 60.4 km at the moderate threshold and 83 km at the low
threshold. There is no probability of shoreline contact from Jansz.
From the Gorgon MPTS location (at the 99th percentile), the maximum distance is 78.1 km at
the moderate threshold and 193.3 km at the low threshold.
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Figure 3-9 Modelling of 700 m3 Surface Release of Diesel at Site 1 (Nearshore) Across All Seasons

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Figure 3-10 Modelling of 700 m3 Surface Release of Diesel at Gorgon and Jansz MPTS (Open Ocean) Across All Seasons

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Entrained Exposure

In addition to quantifying the exposure to the sea surface, the modelling also explored the
potential zones of exposure from dissolved aromatics and entrained hydrocarbon
concentrations for combined seasons.
As response activities for surface spills are focused on hydrocarbons present on the surface,
this is considered the most relevant parameter for planning a response. However, entrained
and dissolved aromatics represent hydrocarbons present in the water column that could still
cause an environmental impact.
Nearshore
Figure 3-11 shows zones of entrained moderate exposure for the nearshore modelled release
point (Site 1), for all seasons.
Figure 3-12 shows zones of entrained moderate exposure for the Gorgon and Jansz MPTS
modelled release points, across all seasons.

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Figure 3-11 Modelling of Zones of Entrained Exposure from 700 m3 Surface Release of Diesel at Site 1 (Nearshore)

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Figure 3-12 Modelling of Zones of Entrained Exposure from 700 m3 Surface Release of Diesel at Gorgon and Jansz MPTS (Open Ocean)

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3.5.2.3.3

Dissolved Aromatics

Modelling for dissolved aromatics resulting from a diesel spill from these release locations
(nearshore and open ocean, combined across all seasons), shows that dissolved aromatics are
only predicted to be present at low thresholds and over a localised area (Figure 3-11).

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Figure 3-13 Modelling of Zones of Dissolved Aromatics Exposure from 700 m3 Surface Release of Diesel at Gorgon and Jansz MPTS
(Open Ocean) and Site 1 (Nearshore)

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3.5.2.3.4

Diesel Shoreline Contact

Nearshore
As the nearshore release location (Scenario 1) represents the location that is closest to any
shoreline, modelling was used to predict the probability of a diesel spill from this location
contacting any shoreline. Site 1 represents the closest proximity to Barrow Island for the first
phase pipelay vessel (the Lorelay). This vessel has now completed its scope of works.
However, the scenario still represents vessels containing diesel that will operate in nearshore
areas, albeit with smaller fuel tank volumes.
Table 3-13 summarises the shoreline contact during summer, transitional, and winter metocean
conditions. The probability of contact was calculated for each grid cell from the 100 randomly
selected spill trajectories modelled during each season condition.
Given the close proximity of the release site to the coastline of Barrow Island, the modelling
registered a high probability of shoreline contact (i.e. 87%) under all seasonal conditions. For
all seasons, the earliest shoreline contact was one hour after the spill release (assuming
instantaneous release).
Table 3-13 Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact Probability for any Coastline
Summer

Transitional
period

Winter

Probability of contact to any shoreline (%)

98

94

87

Absolute shortest time to shore (hours)

414

391

429

253

187

147

Shoreline Statistics

Maximum volume of oil ashore (m )


3

Average volume of oil ashore (m )

The summary of the predicted contact to specific sections of the shoreline for each season and
threshold modelled for the nearshore location (Site 1) is shown in Table 3-14. The output was
calculated for each grid cell and summarises the 100 spill trajectories modelled, during each
seasonal condition, using the same assumptions described in Section 3.5.2.2.3.
Barrow Island and the Montebello Islands recorded the highest likelihood of contact, with a
predicted maximum thickness of hydrocarbon mixture on shore of up to 3313 g/m2.

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Table 3-14 Summary of Predicted Probability of Shoreline Contact to Specific Key Locations, from Site 1 (Nearshore)
Max. shoreline
probability (%)
>10 g/m2

Max.
load
ashore
(g/m2)

Average
load
ashore
(g/m2)

Max.
volume
ashore (L)
[m3]

Average
volume
ashore (L)
[m3]

Max. length
of
shoreline
contacted
>10 g/m2
(km)

84

84

3313

1,234

26 648
[26.6]

5865 [5.9]

32

15 [0.63]

49

46

3311

133

10 723
[10.7]

578 [0.6]

27

5 [0.21]

37

36

3303

875

3 [0.0]

1 [0.0]

Thevenard Island

103 [4.29]

100

10

11 [0.0]

4 [0.0]

South Muiron Island

140 [5.83]

113

9 [0.0]

2 [0.0]

2 [0.0]

Min. travel
time (hours)
[days]

Max.
Shoreline
Probability
(%) >1 g/m2

Barrow Island

1 [0.04]

Montebello Islands
Varanus Island

Season

Summer

Location name

120 [5.00]

Sholl Island

Middle Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area


(NCWHA)1

North Sandy Island

Exmouth Gulf

Dampier Archipelago
Onslow Coast1
Cape Range National Park1
Dampier Coast

Port Hedland Coast


Transitional

Barrow Island
Montebello Islands

88 [3.67]
148 [6.17]

2
1

1
-

46
7

1
<1

14 [0.0]
59 [0.1]

4 [0.0]
26 [0.0]

3
-

5161 [5.2]

42

69

3314

893

28 440
[28.4]

21

3312

132

13 138
[13.2]

561 [0.56]

23

71
1 [0.04]
24
15 [0.62]
8 [0.33]

15

14

1346

318

2 [0.0]

1 [0.0]

Thevenard Island

South Muiron Island

North Sandy Island

Varanus Island

Sholl Island
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Season

Location name

Middle NCWHA
Exmouth Gulf

Dampier Archipelago
Onslow Coast

1
1

Cape Range National Park


Dampier Coast

Port Hedland Coast


Winter

Max. shoreline
probability (%)
>10 g/m2

Max.
load
ashore
(g/m2)

Average
load
ashore
(g/m2)

Max.
volume
ashore (L)
[m3]

Average
volume
ashore (L)
[m3]

Max. length
of
shoreline
contacted
>10 g/m2
(km)

3178 [3.2]

30

Min. travel
time (hours)
[days]

Max.
Shoreline
Probability
(%) >1 g/m2

53

3,314

623

31 220
[31.2]

3,301

90

2061 [2.1]

316 [0.32]

27

13 [0.54]

394

144

1 [0.0]

1[0.0]

11

6 [0.0]

2 [0.0]

4
5

Barrow Island

1 [0.04]

Montebello Islands

22 [0.92]

Varanus Island
Thevenard Island

53

92 [3.83]

346

South Muiron Island

148 [6.62]

251

15 [0.01]

3 [0.0]

North Sandy Island

16

2 [0.0]

2 [0.0]

Sholl Island

Middle NCWHA
Exmouth Gulf

Dampier Archipelago
Onslow Coast

1
1

Cape Range National Park


Dampier Coast

Port Hedland Coast

Results are based on a 700 m surface release of diesel from Site 1 (APASA 2013). Note that dashes represent no predicted presence of oil (i.e. 0).
1 Mainland Western Australia

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Open Ocean
The Jansz MPTS represents the location of installation activity that is the greatest distance from
any shoreline. From this release point, no shoreline contact is predicted at any threshold.
From the Gorgon MPTS, which is approximately half the distance between the Jansz MPTS and
Barrow Island (the closest shore), the highest probability of contact is only 4% (winter), and the
absolute minimum time to shore for this simulation is 8.2 days.
3.5.2.3.5

Single Spill Trajectory Analysis

The worst-case single spill simulation from the nearshore diesel scenario (Scenario 1) was
selected, using the maximum onshore volume.
Figure 3-14 shows snapshots of the predicted exposure to surface hydrocarbons at 4 hours,
and two, four, and six days after the initial release, which was at 3:00 am 5 May 2008 for this
worst-case simulation.
In this instance, surface hydrocarbons were shown to initially follow the south-westerly
longshore tidal current towards the western coastline of Barrow Island.
By Day 1, 60% of the total spilled volume had contacted the shoreline of Barrow Island and
additional contact was recorded on Boodie Island two days after. Following Day 3, surface
slicks at a low exposure level continued to spread to the south-west until no visible
hydrocarbons remained on the sea surface. The visible hydrocarbon at the surface had
dissipated by Day 6.
The fates and weathering graph for the corresponding trajectory (APASA 2013) demonstrates
the tendency of the lighter hydrocarbons (or non-persistent constituents) to evaporate quickly as
surface slicks spread out on the sea surface. Throughout the simulation, evaporation is an
ongoing process, whether hydrocarbons are stranded onshore or floating on the sea surface.

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4 Hours

4 Days

2 Days

6 Days

Figure 3-14 Predicted Movement of an Oil Spill at 4 hours, 2, 4, and 6 days after the
Initial Release (3:00 am 5 May 2008) for the Worst-case Single Spill Trajectory
Results are based on a 700 m3 surface release of diesel from Site 1 (APASA 2013)

3.5.2.3.6

Fate and Weathering of Diesel

The weathering and fate graphs of the worst-case single simulation scenarios from nearshore
and open ocean (Gorgon was used, as Jansz did not predict any shoreline contact) are shown
in Figure 3-15 and Figure 3-16 respectively. Both graphs demonstrate that approximately 50%
of the diesel rapidly evaporates over three to four days.
For nearshore (700 m from Barrow Island coastline), the peak load of diesel ashore occurs in
the first day, then gradually drops. There is no surface thickness of diesel after Day 2, and a
plateaued amount is entrained in the water column. Note: Evaporation continues onshore.
For open ocean, where shoreline contact does not occur until approximately Day 9, Figure 3-16
demonstrates a much greater percentage of diesel is entrained into the water column, and this
fluctuates between being present on the surface and in the water column. This is likely due to
fluctuating wind and waves, allowing diesel to refloat to the surface, if these wind waves abate.

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Figure 3-15 Predicted Weathering and Fates Graph, as a Function of Percentage, for the
Selected Single Spill Trajectory chosen from the Worst-case Simulation from Nearshore
Results are based on a 700 m3 surface release of diesel from Site 1 (the initial release was 3:00 am 5 May 2008)
(APASA 2013).

Figure 3-16 Predicted Weathering and Fates Graph, as a Function of Percentage, for the
Selected Single Spill Trajectory chosen from the Worst-case Simulation from Open
Ocean

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Results are based on a 700 m3 surface release of diesel from Gorgon MPTS (the initial release was 3:00 pm
1 January 2004) (APASA 2013).

3.5.2.4

HFO EMBA

SIMAP was used to quantify the:


probability of exposure to the sea surface and shorelines
minimum time to sea-surface contact
potential zones of sea-surface exposure for the hypothetical spill scenarios listed in Table
3-15.
This involved simulating multiple single spill trajectories (100 trajectories per season) for the
scenario and randomly varying spill start times (and in turn metocean conditions).
The figures presenting the modelling results of the HFO scenarios are explained in Table 3-15.
Due to the nature of HFO and its tendency to emulsify, there were no predicted in-water
exposures for dissolved aromatics or entrained hydrocarbons at any levels of concern for this
scenario. The results for all seasons have been combined.
Table 3-15 Explanation of Modelling Maps
Release
Location

Figure

Scenario

Parameter

Figure 3-17

Nearshore

800 m3 surface release of HFO at Site 2

Surface
thickness

Figure 3-18

Open Ocean

800 m3 surface release of HFO at the Gorgon and Jansz


MPTS respectively

Surface
thickness

Figure 3-19

Site A

800 m3 surface release of HFO at Site A (estimate of


distance of shoreline contact)

Surface
thickness

Figure 3-20

Site B

800 m3 surface release of HFO at Site A (estimate of


distance of shoreline contact)

Surface
thickness

3.5.2.4.1

HFO Surface Thickness

Nearshore
Figure 3-17 shows the nearshore release location (Site 2) for the HFO scenario, for all seasons.
For the worst-case season (winter), the maximum distance from the release point (at the 99th
percentile) is 232.1 km at the moderate threshold and 572.9 km at the low threshold.
The modelled spill has a high probability of contacting the west coast of Barrow Island, and
potentially the Montebello Islands. Section 3.5.2.4.2 provides more detail about shoreline
contact.
Open Ocean
Figure 3-18 shows the open ocean release locations for the HFO scenario, for all seasons. For
the worst-case season (winter), the maximum distance from the Gorgon MTPS release point (at
the 99th percentile) is 198 km at the moderate threshold and 417 km at the low threshold.
For the Jansz MPTS release point (representing the furthest location of activity from shore), the
maximum distance is 179.5 km at the moderate threshold and 446.8 km at the low threshold
(winter).

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Figure 3-17 Modelling of 800 m3 Surface Release of HFO at Site 2 (Nearshore) Across All Seasons
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Figure 3-18 Modelling of 800 m3 Surface Release of HFO at Gorgon and Jansz MPTS (Open Ocean) Across All Seasons
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3.5.2.4.2

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HFO Shoreline Contact

Nearshore
As Site 2 represents the HFO release location that is closest to any shoreline, modelling was
used to predict the probability of a HFO spill from this location contacting any shoreline. Table
3-16 summarises the shoreline contact during the summer, transitional, and winter metocean
conditions for Site 2. The probability of contact was calculated for each grid cell from the
100 randomly selected spill trajectories modelled during each season condition.
Modelling under the summer season conditions resulted in the highest likelihood of shoreline
contact (i.e. 97%). The maximum volume of hydrocarbons coming ashore was 771 m3.
However, the shortest time to shoreline contact was predicted in the winter and transitional
seasons (2 hours).
Table 3-16
Shoreline

Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact of HFO Nearshore Spill to any

Shoreline statistics
Probability of contact to any shoreline (%)
Absolute shortest time to shore (hours)
3

Maximum volume of oil ashore (m )


3

Average volume of oil ashore (m )

Summer

Transitional
period

Winter

97

79

57

2 [0.08]

2 [0.08]

2 [0.08]

771

763

718

554

393

316

The summary of the predicted contact to specific sections of the shoreline for each season and
threshold modelled for Site 2 is shown in Table 3-17. The output was calculated for each grid
cell and summarises the 100 spill trajectories modelled during each seasonal condition. Barrow
Island and the Montebello Islands had their coastline most exposed under all seasonal
conditions.
There are lower volumes, significantly less probability (57%) of shoreline contact, and to fewer
key locations during winter than the other seasons. Summer metocean conditions are predicted
to have the greatest probability and the highest average volume of oiling.
Due to the tendency of HFO to emulsify, the modelling predicts HFO is likely to drop below
threshold levels for surface thickness, but then re-accumulate on distant shorelines. For
example, Figure 3-17 shows that oil above moderate surface threshold levels has a 0 to 5%
probability of contacting the Dampier Archipelago; however, Table 3-17 shows a 15%
probability shoreline accumulation calculated for Dampier Archipelago..

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Table 3-17 Summary of Predicted Probability of HFO Shoreline Contact to Specific Location, from Nearshore
Max.
Shoreline
Probability
2
(%) >1 g/m

Max.
shoreline
probability
(%) >10 g/m2

Max. load
ashore
(g/m2)

Average
load ashore
(g/m2)

Max. volume
ashore (L) [m3]

Average
volume
ashore (L)
[m3]

Max. length of
shoreline
contacted
>10 g/m2 (km)

2 [0.08]

51

48

18 875

93

180 994 [180.9]

88 195 [88.2]

35

Montebello Islands

13 [0.54]

46

44

17 313

11

296 630 [296.6]

38 147 [38.1]

33

Varanus Island

5 [0.21]

34

30

8787

855

20 369 [20.4]

2147 [2.1]

Thevenard Island

53 [2.21]

8469

865

103 637 [103.6]

24 803 [24.8]

South Muiron Island

59 [2.46]

4836

36 498 [36.5]

12 147 [12.1]

North Sandy Island

99[4.13]

1227

40

9206 [9.2]

2440 [2.4]

104 [4.33]

1376

177

14 084 [14.1]

5732 [5.7]

422 [17.58]

174 [0.2]

174 [0.2]

215 [8.96]

106

1323 [1.3]

787 [0.8]

Dampier Archipelago

57 [2.38]

16

15

9280

194 598 [194.6]

39 626 [39.6]

79

Onslow Coast1

91 [3.79]

5821

125 828 [125.8]

29 949 [29.9]

75

189 [7.88]

2753

184 240 [184.2]

20 385 [20.4]

77

270 [11.25]

60

1395 [1.4]

653 [0.7]

10

92 [3.83]

2460

217 689 [217.7]

17 873 [17.9]

45

359 [14.96]

1322

167

40,108 [40.1]

18,287 [18.3]

2 [0.08]

42

42

17 630

1,494

202 785 [202.8]

68 601 [68.6]

42

Montebello Islands

12 [0.50]

38

33

15 647

535

131 081 [131.1]

24 949 [25.0]

30

Varanus Island

6 [0.25]

16

15

2594

347

6075 [6.1]

801 [0.8]

Thevenard Island

209 [8.71]

25 [0.0]

25 [0.0]

South Muiron Island

225 [9.38]

671

152

4028 [4.0]

2024 [2.0]

North Sandy Island

Sholl Island

Season

Summer

Min. travel
time (hours)
[days]

Location name

Barrow Island

Sholl Island
Middle NCWHA
Exmouth Gulf

Port Hedland Coast

1
1

Cape Range National Park


Dampier Coast

Port Hedland Coast

Rowley Shoals Marine Park


Transitional

Barrow Island

Middle NCWHA
Exmouth Gulf
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Min. travel
time (hours)
[days]

Max.
Shoreline
Probability
(%) >1 g/m2

Max.
shoreline
probability
(%) >10 g/m2

Max. load
ashore
(g/m2)

Average
load ashore
(g/m2)

Max. volume
ashore (L) [m3]

Average
volume
ashore (L)
[m3]

Max. length of
shoreline
contacted
>10 g/m2 (km)

Barrow Island

2 [0.08]

25

22

17 695

1117

172 485 [172.5]

43 222 [43.2]

43

Montebello Islands

13 [0.54]

15

14

15 244

405

160 430 [160.4]

24 352 [24.4]

29

Varanus Island

9 [0.38]

1121

575

4261 [4.3]

2141 [2.1]

Thevenard Island

71 [2.96]

7286

1137

64 334 [64.3]

17 292 [17.3]

South Muiron Island

89 [3.71]

12

12

6201

838

47 009 [47.0]

23 315 [23.3]

North Sandy Island

Sholl Island

219 [9.13]

7675

719

182 296 [182.3]

91 425 [91.4]

26

125 [5.21]

836

101

31 280 [31.3]

8099 [8.1]

22

97 [4.04]

19 [0.02]

19 [0.02]

107 [4.46]

5549

251

295 022 [295.0]

63 096 [63.1]

102

Season

Location name

Dampier Archipelago
Onslow Coast

Cape Range National Park1


Dampier Coast

Port Hedland Coast

Rowley Shoals Marine Park


Winter

Middle NCWHA
Exmouth Gulf

Dampier Archipelago
Onslow Coast

1
1

Cape Range National Park


1

Port Hedland Coast1

Rowley Shoals Marine Park

Dampier Coast

Results are based on a 800 m surface release of HFO from Site 2 (APASA 2013). Note that dashes represent no predicted presence of oil (i.e. 0).
1 Mainland Western Australia

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As HFO is persistent in the environment, if the HFO has not stranded ashore prior to the 21-day
period modelled, assuming no response, weathering and fate of HFO indicates approximately
50% of the oil may still be present on the water surface (Section 3.5.2.4.5, Figure 3-8). This
surface oil will undergo decay at similar rates, but if it intersects with a shoreline prior to decay,
additional volumes of oil may accumulate onshorein addition to the volumes presented in
Table 3-18 and Table 3-19. These predicted volumes ashore have been taken into account
when planning for spill response in the OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a), and assessing
severity of spills (Section 6.10.2.2).
Having modelled the worst-case spill scenario over 21 days, the assessment of the EMBA takes
into consideration the full extent and potential of landfall from this event. This assessment
enables a qualitative understanding of the consequence of persistent HFO. With the
deployment of containment and recovery oil spill response, and oil spill protection activities, the
actual volume of HFO in the environment will be reduced. Oil spill recovery and response
activities will continue until such time as monitoring and response strategy termination criteria
are met (as per the OSORP; Chevron Australia 2013a).
Open Ocean
The predicted shoreline contact statistics from the Jansz and Gorgon MPTS are listed in Table
3-18 and Table 3-19 respectively. The Jansz MPTS represents the location of installation
activity that is the greatest distance from any shoreline, and is only predicted to contact any
shoreline at low volumes, and only in winter.
Table 3-18 Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact of 800 m3 HFO Spill from Jansz
MPTS to any Shoreline
Shoreline Statistics

Summer

Transitional

Winter

Probability of contact to any shoreline (%)

Absolute minimum time to shore (hours) [days]

438 [18.3]

34.79

34.79

Maximum volume of oil ashore (m )


3

Average volume of oil ashore (m )

Table 3-19 Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact of 800 m3 HFO Spill from Gorgon
MPTS to any Shoreline
Shoreline Statistics

Summer

Transitional

Winter

197 [8.2]

168 [7.0]

196 [8.2]

10.97

20.05

421.67

10.97

10.76

263.33

Probability of contact to any shoreline (%)


Absolute minimum time to shore (hours) [days]
3

Maximum volume of oil ashore (m )


3

Average volume of oil ashore (m )

3.5.2.4.3

Distance to Shoreline Contact Estimate

Further modelling was undertaken to quantify approximately how far from Barrow Island the
release point would have to be for the modelled spill to have a low probability of shoreline
contact (APASA 2013).
As the closest open ocean release point (Gorgon MPTS) had no shoreline contact at moderate
surface thresholds, two points one-third of the way along the pipeline route from Barrow Island
were modelled as release points. This was done for HFO, which is representative of the worstPage 114
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case scenario as HFO is more persistent and covers a larger EMBA. The thresholds and
assumptions described in Section 3.5.2.2.3 were used.
Site A was 19.5 km and Site B was 39.1 km along the pipeline route from Barrow Island.
The stochastic modelling showed that shoreline contact was still probable from Site A, at higher
probabilities in summer and winter than transitional months (Table 3-20; Figure 3-19). The
shortest time to shoreline contact was 33 hours.
Table 3-20
Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact Probability from 800 m3 HFO
Release for any Coastline from Site A (19.5 km from Barrow Island)
Shoreline Statistics
Probability of contact to any shoreline (%)
Absolute shortest time to shore (hours) /[days]
3

Maximum volume of oil ashore (m )


3

Average volume of oil ashore (m )

Summer

Transitional

Winter

21

26

33 [1.37]

75 [3.12]

52 [2.17]

387.7

416.5

556.5

116.6

125.0

241.4

A spill from Site B had a much lower probability of shoreline contact, from 1% in summer, to
14% in winter (Table 3-21; Figure 3-20). Winter is predicted to be the worst-case season, with
the greatest probability of contact, highest shoreline oiling, and shortest time to contact.
Table 3-21
Summary of Predicted Shoreline Contact Probability from 800 m3 HFO
release for any Coastline from Site B (39.1 km from Barrow Island)
Shoreline Statistics
Probability of contact to any shoreline (%)
Absolute shortest time to shore (hours) /[days]
3

Maximum volume of oil ashore (m )


3

Average volume of oil ashore (m )

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Summer

Transitional

Winter

14

128 [5.33]

121 [5.04]

52 [2.17]

535.6

59.6

538.3

178.7

58.1

246.5

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Figure 3-19 Modelling of 800 m3 Surface Release of HFO from Site A Across All Seasons
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Figure 3-20 Modelling of 800 m3 Surface Release of HFO from Site B Across All Seasons

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3.5.2.4.4

Single Spill Trajectory Analysis

The worst-case single spill simulation from the nearshore HFO scenario (Site 2) was selected,
using the predicted maximum onshore volume.
Figure 3-21 shows snapshots of the predicted exposure to hydrocarbons at three, six, 12, and
24 hours after the initial release, which was at 3:00 pm 12 February 2009 for this worst-case
simulation (APASA 2013).
During this period, surface hydrocarbons initially migrated to the south-west of the site for
approximately five hours and then shifted to the north with the reversal of the tides. A large
volume (~96% of the total spilled volume) was indicated to contact the north-western coastline
of Barrow Island within six hours of the spill event.
Following this period, the remaining surface hydrocarbons (<1% of the total spilled volume)
travelled towards the south-west away from any islands or reefs, until completely biodegraded.

3 Hours

12 Hours

6 Hours

24 Hours

Figure 3-21 Predicted Movement of an Oil Spill at 3, 6, 12, and 24 Hours after the Initial
Release (3:00 pm 12 February 2009) for the Worst-case Single Spill Trajectory
Results are based on a 800 m3 surface release of HFO from Site 2 (APASA 2012).

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Fate and Weathering of HFO

The weathering and fate graphs of the worst-case single simulation scenarios from nearshore,
and open ocean are shown in Figure 3-22, Figure 3-23, and Figure 3-24. Both Gorgon and
Jansz MPTS are shown, as their fate graphs are quite different due to distance to the closest
shoreline (58 km and 128 km respectively). For all release sites and scenarios, it can be seen
that only approximately 6% of the lighter fractions of HFO is expected to evaporate.
The modelling for the nearshore release site, 2 km from Barrow Island, predicts that
approximately 95% of the HFO comes ashore within the first day. There is little evaporation or
decay, and no HFO predicted in the water column (Figure 3-22).

Figure 3-22 Predicted Weathering and Fates Graph, as a Function of Percentage, for the
Selected Single Spill Trajectory chosen from the Worst-case Simulation, from Nearshore
Results are based on a 800 m3 surface release of HFO from Site 2 (the initial release was 3:00 pm 12 February
2009).

Figure 3-23 for the Gorgon MPTS release site shows that HFO is predicted to travel along the
waters surface, while experiencing decay, until it becomes coming ashore from approximately
Day 11. The peak load ashore is predicted by Day 13 to 14, after which it drops. This fate
graph does not predict there is any HFO remaining at the surface after about 14 days.
The state at Day 21 indicates approximately 50% of the HFO is ashore, 45% has decayed, and
<6% has evaporated. Decay will continue once the HFO has stranded ashore.

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Figure 3-23 Predicted Weathering and Fates Graph, as a Function of Percentage, for the
Selected Single Spill Trajectory chosen from the Worst-case Simulation, from Gorgon
MPTS
Results are based on a 800 m3 surface release of HFO from Gorgon (the initial release was 7:00 am 26 May 2005).

Figure 3-24 for the Jansz MPTS release site (128 km from closest shore) predicts that the HFO
will travel along the waters surface, while experiencing decay. It begins to come ashore after
Day 18, and appears to reach peak loads at Day 20 and then plateau.
The fate graph predicts that approximately 45% of the HFO remains at the surface, with the
proportion ashore seeming to plateau at about Day 20; however, more surface HFO could come
ashore depending on currents and local conditions. The surface HFO will continue decaying
over time, leaving progressively less HFO to possibly wash ashore.
In summary, weathered HFO may still come ashore following the 21 days modelled after the
spill. Release sites closer to shore are likely to result in the bulk of HFO the stranding ashore,
with no remaining surface HFO to possibly strand ashore later.

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Figure 3-24 Predicted Weathering and Fates Graph, as a Function of Percentage, for the
Selected Single Spill Trajectory chosen from the Worst-case Simulation, from Jansz
MPTS
Results are based on a 800 m3 surface release of HFO from Jansz (the initial release was 11:00 am 11 May 2005).

3.5.3

Chemical Spill Scenarios

There are three types of credible non-hydrocarbon spill scenarios, as summarised in Table 3-4.
Further detail on these is given in the sections below.
3.5.3.1

Hydrotest Fluid Scenario

Unplanned dewatering of pipelines, resulting in the discharge of the hydrotest fluid to the ocean,
has the potential to occur due to a wet buckle or as contingency dewatering; e.g. following a
cyclone, and prior to resuming pipelay. The chemicals contained in hydrotest fluid are selected
to meet the chemical approval criteria specified in Appendix 2, which aims to minimise
environmental impact while still meeting technical specifications.
The planned discharge of chemically treated sea water was modelled to investigate
environmental impacts. This is described in detail in Section 6.9.2.2. In summary, modelling
was undertaken based on a hydrotest discharge of 120 000 m3 and 220 000 m3, which are the
full volumes of the Gorgon and Jansz pipelines respectively (APASA 2012). The chemical used
during the modelling was a glutaraldehyde, modelled at a biocide threshold concentration of
1.98 ppm. This value is considered representative of any chemical type, as the model only
considered the discharge characteristics and physical conditions of the receiving water but not
the chemical interactions or decay, and is representative of the 96-hour LC50 of all the three
biocides selected for use (Hydrosure having the lowest value) (see Table 6-11).
For this reason, the modelling result is used to evaluate the potential impacts from the
discharges from the MEG and Utility Pipelines and the infield pipelines. Based on the dilution
factors and the much smaller volume that will be discharged from these pipelines compared to
the volume modelled (see Section 6.9.2), it can be concluded that the discharge will be diluted
to the no effect concentration within a few hundred metres of the discharge location. Similarly,
the discharge from the Production pipelines is expected to undergo similar mixing and

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dispersion. Beyond the vicinity of the discharge, dilution will be sufficiently high to reduce
concentrations to levels below which they will not cause any environmental harm.
If an unplanned discharge of hydrotest fluid occurs, this fluid will have to be replaced in the
pipeline. Therefore, the net volume of hydrotest fluid discharge will increase.
3.5.3.2

MEG Spill Scenario

Accidental release of MEG may occur during bulk transfer. With the use of dry-break and
breakaway couplings, the maximum credible spill scenario from a bulk MEG transfer is 0.3 m3.
This is the maximum quantity of MEG held in the transfer hose.
3.5.3.3

Wellbore Fluid

Dropped objects during installation of subsea infrastructure on the subsea tree may damage the
debris cap. This may lead to a limited release of wellbore fluids.
The composition of the wellbore fluid will be a MEG/brine mixture (approximately 80:20). The
estimated maximum volume is 1 m3.

3.5.4

Non-Credible Spill Scenario Identification

The scenario identification process conducted in Section 3.5.2.1 and the risk assessment
described in Section 6.10 identified that the risks to existing infrastructure listed in Table 3-22
were not credible scenarios.
Table 3-22 Justification of Non-credible Scenarios
Scenario

Justification

Unplanned
condensate release
due to damage to
Apaches East Spar
Pipeline

The routing of Gorgon and Jansz offshore pipelines from Barrow Island to their
respective field locations requires crossing the existing Apache East Spar pipeline
as well as the Halyard Umbilical. Loss of containment from the East Spar pipeline
and Halyard Umbilical during installation is not considered possible as the
crossing has been designed with minimum vertical separation distance of 300 mm
in accordance with the requirements of AS 2885 (Standards Australia 2010). This
is achieved by the installation of concrete mattresses either side of the East Spar
pipeline and Halyard Umbilical to form a bridge for the crossing of the Gorgon and
Jansz pipelines and umbilicals. As there is no direct contact between the Gorgon
and Jansz pipelines and umbilicals with the East Spar pipeline and Halyard
Umbilical, damage leading to loss of containment is not considered a possible
scenario during installation of the crossing.
Furthermore, during rock installation, rock impact energies are below the impact
energy capacities of the East Spar pipeline and Halyard Umbilical. Consequently,
damage leading to loss of containment is not considered a credible scenario
during installation of the crossing.
Further details regarding mechanical protection and safety or integrity elements of
pipeline installation are discussed in the NOPSEMA-approved Safety Case
(Chevron Australia 2012a).

Unplanned
condensate release
due to damage to
subsea tree during
tie-in

Condensate release from damage to either Gorgon or Jansz subsea trees is not
considered a credible risk during these activities due to a minimum of two layers
of control present:
all subsea tree valves are closed
Surface Controlled Subsea Safety Valve (SCSSV) is closed
two set and tested crown plugs used
wellbore (or kill weight) fluid used.
Details are contained in the Gorgon Drilling and Completions Environment Plan
(Chevron Australia 2013c) and JanszIo Drilling Environment Plan (Exxon-Mobil
2011).

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Scenario
Unplanned
condensate release
due to damage to
existing wells

3.6

Justification
Several existing subsea wells are located in the vicinity of the proposed pipeline
and umbilical route (see Section 4.5.1). However, due to their distance (the
closestRosella-1 and Salsa-1are located approximately 700 m and 1000 m
respectively from the Gorgon pipelines and umbilical), a dropped object impact
associated with these wells is not considered a credible scenario.

Event Response Activities

Event response activities appropriate to the nature and scale of the installation activity
operations (as detailed in Section 3.0), and the EMBA of credible unplanned events associated
with the activity (as detailed in the OSORP [Chevron Australia 2013a]), were selected through
an environmental scoping process. The scoping process identified and assessed all known
event response activities against these criteria:
applicability of the response activity to a range of credible unplanned events (as detailed in
the OSORP [Chevron Australia 2013a]), including the potential effectiveness of the activity in
managing the environmental risks associated with each unplanned event and the
documented evidence supporting the applicability assessment
practicability of the response activity; i.e. is it reasonably practicable to implement the activity
to manage the environmental risks associated with each unplanned event?
acceptability of the response activity in relation to the potential environmental impact caused
by the implementation of the response activity.
The scoping process also identified and assessed other factors that have the potential to
contribute to the effectiveness of the detailed event response activities. These factors included:
the capability of Chevron Australia to enact the response activity at both a direct and
administrative level and also the capability of the response equipment and personnel
required to effectively manage each unplanned event
the timeframe by which it can be reasonably expected the event response activity could be
implemented
the detailed procedures required to effectively implement the event response activity and the
person, organisation, or authority responsible for implementing each event response activity.
The outcomes of the scoping process are detailed in the OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a).
The environmental risk assessment, demonstration of ALARP, acceptability, and performance
objectives, standards, and measurement criteria for response activities are all contained in the
OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a).

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4.0

Description of Environment

To assess the existing marine and terrestrial environments of the Gorgon Project area, a variety
of detailed scientific surveys and studies have been undertaken. The Gorgon Project area
includes the natural, cultural, and socioeconomic environment that may be affected by planned
activities, associated unplanned events, and event response activities.
The EMBA by unplanned activities has been identified by spill modelling, as described in
Section 3.5. The outermost presence of oil for every scenario, fuel type, season, and low
threshold parameters have been used to define the EMBA.
This EMBA covers a considerably larger physical area than that of planned activities (i.e. the
pipeline construction corridor), as shown in Figure 3-9 to Figure 3-21. For this reason, this
section has been split into the planned activity area (termed the pipeline construction corridor),
and unplanned events and response activities (i.e. the greater EMBA). Because of the large
extent of the entire EMBA, it has been further divided (in Section 6.0) into areas of similar
values and sensitivities to enable a systematic description of environment and more specific
consequence and severity.
The areas identified within the EMBA, and a brief description of each, are listed in Table 4-1.
The particular values and their sensitivities to the activity have been identified along with a
description and justification for their relative value, for each of these locations in accordance
with the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009,
specifically 13(2)(b), and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations,
specifically 13(2)(b).
Table 4-1 Description of EMBA Areas
EMBA
Gascoyne and
Carnarvon Canyon
Area

Area Description

Ningaloo Area

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This Area falls within the North-west Marine Bioregion and extends west
from the western boundary of the Ningaloo Marine Park (Commonwealth
Waters) and the Central West Integrated Marine and Coastal
Regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA) Province. The northern boundary
of this area is defined by the extent of the Gascoyne Commonwealth
Marine Reserve, with the southern boundary defined by the Abrolhos
Commonwealth Marine Reserve. The western boundary is defined by
the greater EMBA perimeter.
Provincial bioregions intercepting the Area include Central Western
Province, Central Western IMCRA Province, Central Western IMCRA
Transition, Central Western Transition, and Northwest Province.
Mesoscale bioregions intercepting the Area include Ningaloo and Central
West Coast.
This area is exclusive of any coastal habitats.
Water depths in this area can reach approximately 6000 m.
This Area falls within the North-west Marine Bioregion and extends from
Carnarvon in the south to the north-eastern tip of the Exmouth peninsula,
including the Muiron Islands, and west of the western boundary of the
Ningaloo Marine Park (Commonwealth Waters).
Provincial bioregions intercepting the Area include Central Western
IMCRA Province, Central Western IMCRA Transition, Central Western
Transition, Northwest Province, and Northwest IMCRA Province.
Mesoscale bioregions intercepting the Area include Pilbara (offshore),
Pilbara (nearshore), and Ningaloo.
Water depths in this area can exceed 500 m.

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EMBA
Exmouth Gulf Area

Area Description

Pilbara Coast Area

Barrow and
Montebello Islands
Area

Dampier Archipelago
Area

Port Hedland Area

Eighty Mile Beach


Area

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This Area falls within the North-west Marine Bioregion and is defined by
the breeding, calving, and foraging grounds of the Dugong defined in the
DotE National Conservation Atlas (SEWPaC 2013b) and includes the
bordering intertidal zones. It excludes the area defined as Ningaloo.
Provincial bioregions intercepting the Area include the Northwest IMCRA
Province.
Mesoscale bioregions intercepting the Area include Pilbara (offshore)
and Pilbara (nearshore).
Water depths in this area can reach approximately 10 m.
This Area falls within the North-west Marine Bioregion and extends from
the Exmouth Gulf Area in the south, to the south-western boundary of
the Proposed Dampier Archipelago Marine Park in the north, from the
Western Australian coast out to the limit of State Waters, excluding the
Barrow and Montebello Islands Area.
Provincial bioregions intercepting the Area include Northwest IMCRA
Province and Northwest Province.
Mesoscale bioregions intercepting the Area include Pilbara (offshore)
and Pilbara (nearshore).
Water depths in this area can reach approximately 10 m.
This Area falls within the North-west Marine Bioregion and is defined to
the west, north, and north-east by the boundaries of the Montebello
Commonwealth Marine Reserve, to the south-west by the
Montebello/Barrow Islands Marine Reserves boundary and to the south
and south-east by the Pilbara Coast Area and Dampier Archipelago Area
boundaries.
Provincial bioregions intercepting the Area include Northwest IMCRA
Province and Northwest Province.
Mesoscale bioregions intercepting the Area include Pilbara (offshore)
and Pilbara (nearshore).
Water depths in this area can reach approximately 150 m.
This Area falls within the North-west Marine Bioregion and is defined by
the south-western boundary of the Proposed Dampier Archipelago
Marine Park, including the WA coastline, with the north-eastern and
eastern boundaries defined by the Dampier Commonwealth Marine
Reserves northern and eastern boundaries.
Provincial bioregions intercepting the Area include the Northwest IMCRA
Province.
Mesoscale bioregions intercepting the Area include Pilbara (offshore)
and Pilbara (nearshore).
Water depths in this area can reach approximately 70 m.
This Area falls within the North-west Marine Bioregion and extends from
the eastern boundary of the Dampier Archipelago Area to the west to the
western boundary of the Eighty Mile Beach Commonwealth Marine
Reserve to the east and is bounded by State Waters and the WA coast
to the north and south respectively.
Provincial bioregions intercepting the Area include the Northwest IMCRA
Province.
Mesoscale bioregions intercepting the Area include Pilbara (offshore)
and Pilbara (nearshore).
Water depths in this area can reach approximately 70 m.
This Area falls within the North-west Marine Bioregion and is defined by
the Eighty Mile Beach Commonwealth Marine Reserve boundaries with
the exception that the southern boundary extends to the south to include
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EMBA

Area Description

Offshore Area

Argo-Rowley Terrace
Area

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State Waters and the 220 km stretch of coastline and adjacent intertidal
mudflats along Eighty Mile Beach.
Provincial bioregions intercepting the Area include the Northwest IMCRA
Province.
Mesoscale bioregions intercepting the Area include Northwest Shelf,
Canning, Eighty Mile Beach, Pilbara (offshore), and Pilbara (nearshore).
Water depths in this area can reach approximately 70 m.
This Area falls within the North-west Marine Bioregion and includes all
offshore areas outside the other EMBA sub-areas with the western
boundary being defined by the greater EMBA perimeter. It excludes all
State Waters and any coastal habitats.
Provincial bioregions intercepting the Area include the Northwest IMCRA
Province.
Mesoscale bioregions intercepting the Area include Northwest Shelf,
Canning, Eighty Mile Beach, Pilbara (offshore), Pilbara (nearshore), and
Ningaloo.
Water depths in this area can range from approximately 1000 to 3000 m.
This Area falls within the North-west Marine Bioregion and is defined by
the boundary of the Argo-Rowley Terrace Commonwealth Marine
Reserve to the south and west, and by the greater EMBA perimeter to
the north and east.
Provincial bioregions intercepting the Area include Timor Province,
Northwest IMCRA Province, and Northwest Transition.
Mesoscale bioregions intercepting the Area include the Northwest Shelf.
Water depths in this area can reach approximately 6000 m.

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Figure 4-1 EMBA Areas

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Source of Information
Information in this section is derived from a variety of desktop sources, technical field surveys,
and through stakeholder engagement. The North-west Marine Region Bioregional Plan
(SEWPaC 2012c) was also considered in the compilation of baseline information, including the
identification of environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic receptors and their values.
A detailed description of the existing environment is provided in the documents described in
Table 4-2, and as per surveys and monitoring described in the following subsections.
Table 4-2 Key Documents Characterising Baseline Environmental State
Document

Summary of Information

Source

Draft Environmental Impact


Statement/Environmental
Review and Management
Programme for the Proposed
Gorgon Gas Development

Baseline of the existing environment, including the


physical, ecological, social, and economic
environment.

Chevron
Australia 2005

Gorgon Gas Development and


Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:
Terrestrial and Subterranean
Baseline State and
Environmental Impact Report

Baseline of the ecological elements of Barrow Island.


This report includes further information on fauna,
habitat, ecological communities (subterranean fauna,
drainage line vegetation, and mangroves),
groundwater, and landforms (caves, fossils, cliffs,
and gorges).

Chevron
Australia
2012b

Gorgon Gas Development and


Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline: Longterm Marine Turtle
Management Plan

Baseline of marine turtles on Barrow Island,


including population and known turtle nesting
beaches.

Chevron
Australia
2009a

Gorgon Gas Development and


Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:
Coastal and Marine Baseline
State and Environmental Impact
Report: Offshore Feed Gas
Pipeline System and Marine
Component of the Shore
Crossing

Baseline of the ecological elements in the vicinity of


the proposed activities, which includes defining and
mapping the hard and soft corals, non-coral benthic
macroinvertebrates, macroalgae, seagrass,
demersal fish, surficial sediment characteristics,
water quality (turbidity and light), and deposited
surficial sediment characteristics.

Chevron
Australia
2010d

Gorgon Gas Development and


Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline: PostDevelopment Coastal and
Marine State and
Environmental Impact Survey
Report, Year1: 2011/2012

Provides a comparison between pre- and postdevelopment (i.e. after completion of the dredging
associated with the construction of the MOF and
LNG Jetty) marine environmental state for the
following ecological elements: hard and soft corals,
non-coral benthic macroinvertebrates, macroalgae,
seagrass, mangroves, fish, and surficial sediments.

Chevron
Australia 2012c

Management Plan for the


Ningaloo Marine Park and
Muiron Islands Marine
Management Area

Provides background data on ecological values for


the Ningaloo Marine Park region, including water
and sediment quality as well as shoreline habitats in
the area.

CALM 2005

North-west Marine Bioregional


Plan: Bioregional Profile

Describes the marine environment and conservation


values (protected species; protected places and key
ecological features) of the North-west Marine
Bioregion.

DEWHA 2008a

Management Plan for the


Montebello/Barrow Islands
Marine Conservation Reserves
20072017

Provides management direction for a 10-year period


for the Montebello Islands Marine Park, Barrow
Island Marine Park, and Barrow Island Marine
Management Area. Key ecological and social values
are identified and long-term management targets

CALM 2007

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Document

Summary of Information

Source

and key management strategies are set.


Government-prepared
resources

EPBC Act Protected Matters Report, factsheets, and


area specific environmental management plans
prepared by various government agencies

See Section
8.0 References

Third-party resources

Management plans commissioned or prepared by


other parties, i.e. port authorities, other resource
companies etc.

See Section
8.0 References

4.1

Regional Overview

The Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA) is an ecosystem-based


classification of Australias marine and coastal environments that has been developed by the
Commonwealth Government as a regional framework for planning resources development and
biodiversity protection (DEH 2006). The IMCRA divides Australias oceans into five marine
regions with 41 provincial bioregions, which are biogeographical areas defined by similar
ecological characteristics.
The pipeline construction corridor crosses the North-west Marine Region, which encompasses
the Commonwealth Waters from the WA/Northern Territory border to Kalbarri, south of Shark
Bay (SEWPaC 2012c). In 2009, Areas for Further Assessment were identified in the North-west
Marine Region. Areas for Further Assessment are not the proposed boundaries for new marine
reserves. Instead, they are intended to aid further analysis of information at a more detailed
scale and assist in the design of new marine reserves (SEWPaC 2010). A Marine Bioregional
Plan for the North-west Marine Region has been released (DEWHA 2008a), which aims to
strengthen the operation of the EPBC Act in the region by improving the way the marine
environment is managed and protected. The plan outlines the conservation values of the
region, the associated pressures affecting those values, the priorities and strategies to address
the pressures, and useful advice for industry planners looking to undertake activities in the
region.

4.1.1

Marine and Coastal Protected Areas

Pipeline Construction Corridor


The pipeline route overlaps these protected areas:
North-west Marine Region marine reserve, but occurs outside other designated marine
protected areas
MontebelloBarrow Islands Marine Conservation Reserves.
The Montebello Islands Marine Park and the Barrow Island Marine Park are vested as marine
parks due to the presence of high ecological values and the reliance of the primary social
values (e.g. pearling, nature-based tourism, recreational and commercial fishing) on the
maintenance of these ecological values. The remainder of the area is vested as a marine
management area on the basis of the different balance of ecological and social values (CALM
2007).
The Gorgon and Jansz pipeline and umbilical route will traverse the marine management area,
but is outside the marine parks (see Figure 4-2).
The Montebello Islands complex consists of 265 distinct, low-lying islands and islets composed
of limestone and cross-bedded sandstones. The islands are generally irregular with convoluted
coastlines comprising a mixture of lagoons, channels, intertidal embayments, barrier and
fringing reefs, intertidal rocky and occasionally sandy shores, and shallow limestone platforms

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that are exposed to open ocean conditions. The islands may be capped with sand dunes up to
40 m high, although most are characterised by bare rocky terrain (CALM 2007).
The MontebelloBarrow Islands Marine Conservation Reserves are located between 60 and
100 km off the north-west coast of WA, approximately 1600 km north of Perth (CALM 2007).
The MontebelloBarrow Islands Marine Conservation Reserves comprise:
the Montebello Islands Marine Park, which includes the waters around the Montebello
Islands
the Barrow Island Marine Park, encompassing Biggada Reef, which is one of two examples
of significant fringing reef that occur in the Reserves, as well as Turtle Bay, a significant
aggregation/breeding area for Green Turtles
the Barrow Island Marine Management Area, which includes waters surrounding Barrow
Island and some of the waters around the Lowendal Islands.

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Figure 4-2 MontebelloBarrow Island Marine Conservation Reserves

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Greater EMBA
Marine and coastal areas of international, Commonwealth, and State conservation significance
have been identified within the greater EMBA. These are listed in Table 4-3 and their values
are described throughout Section 4.0.
Table 4-3 Areas of Conservation Significance within the EMBA
EMBA

Recognised Conservation Areas within EMBA

Gascoyne and Carnarvon


Canyon Area

Commonwealth:
Gascoyne Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Carnarvon Canyon Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Marine National Park Zone (International Union for Conservation of
Nature [IUCN] II)
Habitat Protection Zone (IUCN IV)
Multiple Use Zone (IUCN VI)

Ningaloo Area

International:
Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area
Commonwealth:
Ningaloo Marine Park (Commonwealth Waters)
Marine National Park Zone (IUCN II)
Recreational Zone (IUCN IV)
State:
Ningaloo Marine Park
Muiron Islands Marine Management Area
Cape Range National Park
Jurabi and Bundegi Coastal Parks
Bundera Sinkhole
Cape Range Subterranean Waterways

Exmouth Gulf Area

Commonwealth:
Exmouth Gulf East wetlands
Learmonth Air Weapons Range Saline Coastal Flats

Pilbara Coast Area

State:
Part of the Greater Sandy Islands Nature Reserve

Barrow and Montebello


Islands Area

Commonwealth:
Montebello Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Multiple Use Zone (IUCN VI)
State:
Montebello Islands Marine Park
Barrow Island Marine Park
Barrow Island Marine Management Area
Lowendal Islands Nature Reserve

Dampier Archipelago Area

Commonwealth:
Dampier Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Marine National Park Zone (IUCN II)
Special Purpose Zone (IUCN VI)
State:
Dampier Archipelago Marine Park (proposed)
Dampier Archipelago Island Reserves

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EMBA
Port Hedland Area

Recognised Conservation Areas within EMBA


Part of the Greater Sandy Islands Nature Reserve
Commonwealth:
De Grey River
Leslie Salt Fields System

Eighty Mile Beach Area

International:
Ramsar listed
Commonwealth:
Eighty Mile Beach Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Multiple Use Zone (IUCN VI)

Offshore Area

Nil

Argo-Rowley Terrace Area

Commonwealth:
Argo-Rowley Terrace Marine Reserve
Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Marine National Park Zone (IUCN II)
Multiple Use Zone (IUCN VI)
State:
Rowley Shoals Marine Park

4.1.2

Key Ecological Features

Within the North-west Marine Region, a number of key ecological features have been identified
(see Figure 4-3). Key ecological features are elements of the Commonwealth marine
environment that are considered to be of regional importance for either a regions biodiversity or
its ecosystem function and integrity (Commonwealth of Australia 2012).
Pipeline Construction Corridor
As can be seen from Figure 4-3, the pipeline and umbilical route traverses two key ecological
features:
Ancient Coastline: The shelf of the North-west Marine Region contains several terraces and
steps, which reflect changes in sea level that occurred over the last 100 000 years. The
most prominent of these features occurs as an escarpment along the North West Shelf and
Sahul Shelf at a depth of 125 m. Parts of the ancient coastline, particularly where it exists as
a rocky escarpment, are thought to provide biologically important habitats in areas otherwise
dominated by soft sediments (Commonwealth of Australia 2012).
Continental Slope Demersal Communities: The Northwest Province, between North West
Cape and Montebello Trough, has more than 500 fish species, 76 of which are endemic.
The slopes of the Timor Province and the Northwest Transition also contain more than
500 species of demersal fish, of which 64 are considered endemic. The demersal fish
species occupy two distinct demersal community types (biomes) associated with the upper
slope (water depth of 225 to 500 m) and the mid-slope (7501000 m) (Commonwealth of
Australia 2012).
Greater EMBA
The greater EMBA includes a number of additional key ecological features as listed in Table
4-4.

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Table 4-4 Key Ecological Features within the EMBA


EMBA

Key Ecological Features within EMBA

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon Canyon Area

Canyons on the slope between the Cuvier Abyssal Plain and the
Cape Range Peninsula (enhanced productivity, aggregations of
marine life, and unique sea floor feature).
Exmouth Plateau (unique sea floor feature associated with internal
wave generation).
Continental slope demersal fish communities (high species diversity
and endemism the most diverse slope bioregion in Australia with
more than 500 species found with more than 64 of those species
occurring nowhere else).

Ningaloo Area

Commonwealth Waters adjacent to Ningaloo Reef

Exmouth Gulf Area

Nil

Pilbara Coast Area

Nil

Barrow and Montebello


Islands Area

Ancient coastline (a unique sea floor feature that provides areas of enhanced
biological productivity) is represented in this reserve.

Dampier Archipelago
Area

Nil

Port Hedland Area

Nil

Eighty Mile Beach Area

Nil

Offshore Area

Glomar Shoals
Ancient coastline at 125 m depth contour

Argo-Rowley Terrace
Area

Canyons linking the Argo Abyssal Plain with the Scott Plateau
(unique sea floor feature with enhanced productivity and feeding
aggregations of species)
Mermaid Reef and the Commonwealth Waters surrounding Rowley
Shoals (an area of high biodiversity with enhanced productivity and
feeding and breeding aggregations).

Source: DotE Commonwealth Marine Reserve Factsheets

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Source: Commonwealth of Australia 2012

Figure 4-3 Key Ecological Features of the North-west Marine Region

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4.2

Physical Marine Environment

4.2.1

Meteorology

The southern portion of the North West Shelf, including Barrow Island, is characterised by an
arid, subtropical climate. The summer season occurs from October to March, with mean daily
maximum temperatures reaching 34 C, and mean daily minimum temperatures averaging
20 C. During winter (JuneAugust), mean daily maximum temperatures reach 26 C, with
mean daily minimum temperatures of 17 C. The months of April, May, and September are
considered a transition season during which either the summer or winter weather regime may
predominate or conditions may vary between the two (Chevron Australia 2005).
The region experiences high relative humidity that remains fairly constant throughout the year.
The early period of the day experiences an annual average of about 65% relative humidity, with
afternoon periods experiencing between 47% and 59% (Chevron Australia 2005).
Rainfall in the region is highly seasonal. Lower rainfall and humidity are typically associated
with the Southeast Monsoon, in contrast to the high levels of rainfall and humidity associated
with the Northwest Monsoon (Commonwealth of Australia 2008). The historic annual average
rainfall for Barrow Island is 320 mm. However, rainfall varies significantly from year to year and
is dependent on rain-bearing low-pressure systems, thunderstorm activity, and the passage of
tropical cyclones (Chevron Australia 2005).
Seasonal movement of atmospheric pressure systems dictates wind patterns on the North West
Shelf. From October to March, the prevailing non-storm winds are from the south-west, west,
and north-west at an average speed of less than 10 knots. From June to August, winds are
generally lighter and more variable in direction (Commonwealth of Australia 2008). The
seasonally averaged wind condition in the North West Shelf is shown in Figure 4-4
The mean ambient wind speed around Barrow Island during the summer period is 6.6 m/s, and
the maximum summer wind speed is 16.2 m/s (Kellogg Joint Venture Gorgon [KJVG] 2008).
The dominant wind directions during summer are from the south-west and west. During winter,
winds approach from the east, south, and south-west and have a mean speed of 5.8 m/s and a
maximum speed of 19.4 m/s. The wind prevails from the south-west for more than 50% of the
time (APASA 2009). In general, wind speeds are <10 m/s for more than 90% of the time, but
rarely fall below 1 m/s (2.2% of the time). Peak winds on Barrow Island occur in the range of 32
to 44 m/s and are associated either with very strong breezes or storms (APASA 2009).
Cyclones are episodic events in the North-west Marine Region, usually occurring from
November to April. Cyclones typically form in the Timor and Arafura Seas. Initially, they
generally travel in a south-westerly direction, but their tracks become more variable as they
travel further south (MetOcean Engineers 2006). Under extreme cyclone conditions, winds can
reach more than 250 km/h (APASA 2009). On average, four cyclones pass within 400 nm of
Barrow Island each year (MetOcean Engineers 2006).

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Figure 4-4 Seasonally Averaged Winds in the North-west Marine Region


4.2.1.1

Air Quality

There is no specific air quality data available for the offshore area north-west of Barrow Island
where the installation activities will be undertaken. Barrow Island is the closest location for air
quality monitoring for both the pipeline construction corridor and the greater EMBA.
Current atmospheric emissions on Barrow Island are associated with existing oil field operations
and include emissions from diesel and gas engines, the local power station, ground-based flare,
and crude oil storage and transportation. The Central Power Station, which consists of two
2.5 MW gas turbines fuelled by low pressure gas supply, is currently the main source of power
generation for Barrow Island. Products of combustion are the most significant emissions from
the turbines, with oxides of nitrogen being the predominant pollutant (Chevron Australia 2006a).
As the emission levels for NOx, SOx, H2S, and particulates from the existing Chevron Australia
Operations on Barrow Island and the proposed Gorgon Gas Development all fall within
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guidelines for the immediate (local) area, they will have a negligible impact on the regional air
quality levels. The potential impact of the Gorgon Gas Development on regional air quality was
investigated using CSIROs The Air Pollution Model (TAPM) to model peak ozone
concentrations as part of the Draft EIS/ERMP (Chevron Australia 2005). Results of this
modelling indicated that the maximum one-hour ozone concentration increased only slightly with
the inclusion of emissions from the proposed Gorgon Gas Development, and are predicted to
be below the ambient air quality National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM) standard
for ambient ozone (Chevron Australia 2006a).
Existing industrial activities that emit significant quantities of related contaminants to the
proposed LNG plant include the Woodside onshore gas treatment facility on the Burrup
Peninsula including the domestic gas plant, LNG, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facilities;
and Rio Tintos power station at Parker Point near Dampier. Deposition of atmospheric
pollutants can occur through both wet and dry mechanisms. Wet deposition or acid rain
describes the deposition of acidic pollutants through rainfall. The opportunity for potential acid
rain deposition and impact is remote for Barrow Island because of the dry climate and prevailing
winds over a vast marine receiving environment. When precipitation occurs, it tends to be
during the summer and autumn months and is often associated with cyclones. These large
rainfall events occur over short periods of time, which significantly dilute wet deposition rates
(Chevron Australia 2006a).
Dry deposition refers to the fall-out of gases and particulates to the ground surface without any
interaction with water. Dry deposition tends to occur close to the source of pollution particularly
in dry climates, but depends upon prevailing weather conditions; dry deposition dominates in
dry climates. The dominant mechanism on Barrow Island is dry deposition for both the
terrestrial and aquatic environments.

4.2.2

Oceanography

Surface water temperatures off Barrow Island vary between 22 C and 31 C. Over the portion
of the pipeline route on the outer continental shelf (depths 80150 m), the waters become
strongly stratified in summer. In winter, the temperature stratification collapses due to surface
cooling and consequent overturning. These conditions exist for the shelf edge in about 100 m
of water, where near-surface temperatures range from about 22 to 30 C and near-bottom
temperatures range from 20 to 29 C. The mean temperature for depths between 200 and
250 m is approximately 10 C (Chevron Australia 2005). Beyond 500 m water depth, water
temperatures range from a summer peak of approximately 10 C to a winter low of about 4 C
(GUFT 2006).
The major surface currents in the North West Shelf region flow towards the poles, away from
the equator. The major surface currents influencing the region include the Indonesian
Throughflow, the Leeuwin Current, the South Equatorial Current, and the Eastern Gyral Current.
Below the regions surface currents, there are a number of subsurface currents, the most
important of which are the Leeuwin Undercurrent and the West Australian Current. These
subsurface currents flow towards the equator, in the opposite direction to the surface currents.
The Leeuwin Undercurrent and the West Australian Current are derived from waters in the seas
to the south of Australia, known as the Subantarctic Mode Water Body. Figure 4-5 shows the
main surface and subsurface currents in the North West Shelf region.

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Source: Commonwealth of Australia 2008

Figure 4-5 Surface and Subsurface Currents in the Region


The North-west Marine Region has some of the largest tides along a coastline adjoining an
open ocean in the world. Tides increase in amplitude from south to north, corresponding with
the increasing width of the shelf (Holloway 1983 in Commonwealth of Australia 2008). Tides in
the Region can be broadly categorised as semidiurnal (i.e. two high tides and two low tides per
day) with a spring/neap cycle (Commonwealth of Australia 2008).
The prevailing oceanic conditions in the proposed installation area are governed by a
combination of sea and swell waves. Sea waves are shorter period waves generated by local
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winds, whereas swell waves are generated by distant storms (Chevron Australia 2005). Local
wind-generated seas have variable wave heights, typically ranging from 0 to 4 m under nontropical cyclone conditions (APASA 2009). Typically, wave heights at Barrow Island are within
the range 0.2 m to 0.5 m, with peak periods of two to four seconds (RPS MetOcean 2008).
Internal waves are a striking characteristic of many parts of the north-west region. They are
associated with highly stratified water columns and are generated between water depths of
400 m and 1000 m where bottom topography results in a significant change in water depth over
a relatively short distance (Commonwealth of Australia 2008).
Regionally and nationally unique, the Exmouth Plateau is a deep-sea plateau in tropical waters.
The plateau is a very large topographic obstacle that may modify the flow of deep waters by
generating internal tides and may contribute to upwelling of deeper water nutrients closer to the
surface, thus serving an important ecological role (Department of the Environment, Water,
Heritage and the Arts [DEWHA] 2008a).

4.2.3

Water Quality

4.2.3.1

Turbidity

The waters of the North West Shelf are generally very high in quality, with very low background
concentrations of metals and organic chemicals and only localised elevations of some
contaminants near the coastal industrial centres and ports (e.g. Dampier). North West Shelf
surface waters are typically low in nutrients with upwelling of deeper nutrient rich waters
suppressed by the dominance of the Indonesian Throughflow and Leeuwin Current. The
concentrations of metals are low by world standards, with only localised elevations of some
metals reported, all of which were adjacent to industrial centres and ports (Wenziker et al.
2006).
In shallow, nearshore coastal waters on the west coast of Barrow Island, turbidity and
concentrations of suspended sediments are generally low (<5 mg/L) and indicative of clear
water environments. There are low levels of sediment deposition (below the limits of instrument
detection) and any deposition that occurs is temporary and rapidly resuspended by waves and
tidal flow (Chevron Australia 2010d). In deeper water, fine sediments are often resuspended by
ground swell and these deeper areas can be turbid near the seabed (Chevron Australia 2005).
Wave activity is important in contributing to local resuspension of sediments, resulting in
elevated turbidity and suspended sediment concentrations. Extreme weather events, such as
tropical cyclones, also have a strong influence on water quality. Short periods of elevated
suspended sediment concentrations, reduced light levels, and elevated light attenuation as a
consequence of increased turbidity in the water column, generally coincide with the passage of
tropical cyclones. Seabed light levels are primarily influenced by depth and there are seasonal
patterns in the daily average light levels (Chevron Australia 2010d).
Water column profiles consistently demonstrate that the water column on the west coast is well
mixed with little evidence of stratification, which is indicative of an offshore environment with
limited influence from surface water run-off and groundwater inflow, combined with good
flushing and mixing by tidal and atmospheric forcing (Chevron Australia 2010d).
4.2.3.2

Salinity

Water salinity varies between 34.4 g/L and 36.3 g/L around the North West Shelf (Wenziker et
al. 2006). Surface salinity may be elevated in summer due to evaporation. Cyclone events may
also increase or decrease salinity to varying water depths depending on the rate of vertical
mixing and level of rainfall, respectively.

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Bathymetry and Sea Floor Topography

The water depth across the Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System ranges from 12.5 m at the HDD
exit to 200 m in the Gorgon gas field and 1300 m in the JanszIo gas field (see Figure 4-6).
The bathymetry in the region is characterised by these features (GUFT 2009):
Continental shelf A broad, flat to gently undulating sea floor with areas of moderate relief in
water depths of less than about 175 m. Overall sea floor slopes are less than 2 and local
relief is minimal.
Shelf break A transitional zone between the continental shelf and the upper continental
slope that extends from 175 m to 300 m water depth. There are several distinct sea floor
features within the shelf break area, including numerous large-scale sediment wave
bedforms and prominent sea floor scarps. The overall slope in the shelf break region is
approximately 1, but slopes on scarp faces range from 25 to 60.
Continental slope Extends from 300 m to 1200 m water depth and is divided into an upper,
middle, and lower slope based on distinctive changes in seabed gradient and seabed
morphology. At the base of the Upper Continental Slope, maximum seabed slopes of up to
80 can be found. Average slopes in the Upper Continental Slope are 4 to 5, while the
average slope of the Middle and Lower Continental Slopes are more benign (2 to 5).
Kangaroo Syncline Extends seaward from water depths greater than 1200 m; average sea
floor slopes are less than 1.
The Gorgon gas field lies near the edge of the continental shelf at a water depth of
approximately 200 m. The seabed along the majority of the Gorgon pipeline and umbilical route
on the continental shelf is gently sloping, with areas of moderate relief comprising rock and reef
outcrops.
The JanszIo gas field lies beyond the continental slope, on the western flank of the Kangaroo
Syncline in water depth of approximately 1300 m. The seabed along the Jansz pipeline and
umbilical route between the gas fields to 1000 m water depth is predominantly flat and
featureless with a gentle slope up. However, in the continental slope approximately 75 km from
Barrow Island, the Jansz pipeline and umbilical route has to cross a steep scarp area that is
approximately 100 m high. At the top of the scarp, the Jansz pipeline and umbilical route will
cross areas of undulating seabed (Gully Region) to the continental shelf. The seabed along
most of the Jansz pipeline and umbilical route on the continental shelf in water depths of less
than 175 m is gently sloping with areas of moderate relief.

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Figure 4-6 Seabed Profile along the Jansz Pipeline Route


The bathymetry for the greater EMBA is displayed on all spill modelling figures in Section 3.5.

4.3.1

Seabed Sediments

4.3.1.1

Pipeline Construction Corridor

State Waters
Within State Waters, seabed sediments consist predominantly of sands, with lower proportions
of mud and gravel compared to the east coast of Barrow Island. There was no indication of
marked differences in the characteristics of surficial sediments at sites in the MDF and areas at
risk of Material or Serious Environmental Harm and at Reference Sites not at risk of Material or
Serious Environmental Harm (Chevron Australia 2010d).
Sediment samples were collected from State Waters on the west coast of Barrow Island in the
vicinity of the Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System during September and October 2009.
Analysis of these samples revealed that the sediment samples were generally dominated by
medium sands (particles 250500 m), followed by fine sands (particles 62250 m), with
generally no silt or clay content, and very little gravel content.
Analysis of the physical characteristics of the sediments indicated that the TOC, TIC, NH3-N,
NOx-N, TKN and total phosphorus in the sediments were low. The sediments contained low
levels of metals (Ag, Al, As, Cd, Co, Cr [III and VI], Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, V, and
Zn) that were generally below the limit of reporting ( LOR), and none of the results exceeded the
relevant Interim Sediment Quality Guideline (ISQG)-Low trigger levels. The concentrations of
PAHs, TPHs, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX), organochlorine pesticides,
and organophosphorous pesticides in samples were below their respective LOR (Chevron
Australia 2011a).
Whilst tributyltin (TBT) and dibutyltin (DBT) were below the LOR (0.5 g Sn/kg), monobutyltin
(MBT) was detected in some samples. MBT is a breakdown product of TBT and over time it
further degrades to form inorganic tin (IV) (CSIRO 2006). However, the median value of MBT
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(0.5 g Sn/kg) was less than the provisional trigger value (1.0 g Sn/kg), which was calculated
from the concentrations in samples collected at Reference Sites on the east coast of Barrow
Island. The median (non-normalised) concentration of oil and grease was 250 mg/kg (Chevron
Australia 2011a).
Given that samples were below the LOR for potential contaminants and that ISQG-Low trigger
values and provisional trigger values were not exceeded, the marine surface sediments in the
vicinity of the Feed Gas Pipeline route on the west coast of Barrow Island can be considered
low risk in terms of contamination under the Sediment Quality Guidelines (Australian and New
Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and Agriculture and Resource Management
Council of Australia and New Zealand [ANZECC] 2000).
Existing sediment quality data (nutrient and metal concentrations) are below the established
ISQG trigger values (ANZECC and ARMCANZ 2000). Oil and grease concentrations varying
from <100 to 490 mg/kg have been recorded in seabed samples from the east coast of Barrow
Island (Chevron Australia 2010), comparable to results from preliminary sediment quality data
collected (RPS Bowman Bishaw Gorham 2007).
Commonwealth Waters
The seabed sediments on the Gorgon and Jansz gas fields and the deeper areas of the
installation corridor comprise soft sediments of varying grain size. Along the installation
corridor, the grading of sediments is related to water depth, with sediments becoming finer and
having increasing clay-sized particle content at increasing water depth (IRC Environment 2005;
GUFT 2009a). The thickness of sediment layers varies, ranging from more than 5 m in the
proximity of the gas field to a very thin patchy veneer, or absence, over large areas of seabed
(Chevron Australia 2005).
In the continental slope scarp crossing, the Jansz pipeline route crosses through areas of
ancient debris associated with slope failures of the submarine escarpment (GUFT 2009a).
Seabed sediment samples collected in the area indicated that the steep scarp face consists
mainly of over-consolidated silt materials.
Greater EMBA
The information provided on seabed sediments for the pipeline construction corridor above can
also be applied to the greater EMBA Areas adjacent to the corridor. Where literature was
available, more specific information for select EMBA Areas is provided below.
4.3.1.2

Ningaloo Coast and Muiron Islands

The sediments of the Ningaloo Marine Park and the Muiron Islands Marine Management Area
are generally characterised by calcareous sands in the shallow lagoon and by calcareous fine
sands and silts in the deeper offshore waters. The quality of marine sediments within the
nearshore water of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area is described as high and generally
undisturbed. The exception is localised and low level contamination (e.g. of heavy metals and
TBT) in some areas of relatively high boat usage (e.g. southern Bills Bay) (Department of
Conservation and Land Management [CALM] 2005a).
The sediment quality of the reserves is high and generally undisturbed, and is essential to the
maintenance of a healthy ecosystem. Little information is available on the sediment quality of
the reserves; however, due to the low level of industrial and coastal development, the absence
of significant catchment related inputs and the relatively low level of boating activity, it is likely
the sediments of the reserves are in an undisturbed condition (CALM 2005a).
4.3.1.3

Montebello Islands Area

The sediments of the Montebello Islands and surrounding region are generally described as
being in pristine condition, with the exception of some areas of seabed that have been impacted
by industrial activity (e.g. drilling) and subsequent contamination with pollutants such as heavy
metals; however, such impacts have been characterised as small and localised. The risk from
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industrial activity to overall sediment quality surrounding the Montebello Islands is described as
low (CALM 2007).
4.3.1.4

Offshore Area

Water quality data for the INPEX Browse development (URS 2010) located north-east of the
pipeline corridor identified that:
Total Suspended Solids, from samples taken north-west of the proposed well locations, were
relatively low with 3.7, 5.0, and 3.8 mg/L-1 concentration reported for near-surface, middepth, and near-seabed locations, suggesting turbidity is likely to be low.
All offshore samples had no detectable traces of petroleum hydrocarbons.
Metals including mercury, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, and copper were not detected above
the laboratory limit of reporting.

4.4

Ecological Environment

The ecological environment of the Gorgon Project area and greater EMBA Area is described in
the following section and is divided into key categories:
subtidal habitats (Section 4.4.1)
shoreline types (Section 4.4.2)
marine mammals (Section 4.4.3)
marine reptiles (Section 4.4.4)
fish and sharks (Section 4.4.5)
birds (Section 4.4.6)
terrestrial fauna (Section 4.4.7).
Information has been sourced from various repositories, , with specific sources referenced
throughout this section. The Matters of NES search, in particular, was conducted for the
pipeline construction corridor and the greater environment that may be affected (EMBA) by
unplanned activities, under the EPBC Act (Figure 4-7). The complete NES search list is
contained in Appendix 2 of the OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a), along with oil spill sensitivity
ranking and presence/activity in the EMBA by season.

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Figure 4-7 Matters of National Environmental Significance Search Area, as indicated by Spill Modelling

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4.4.1

Subtidal Habitats

Subtidal habitat includes benthic primary producers, such as coral reef, seagrass, and
macroalgae communities, subtidal rock pavements, soft-substrate communities, and benthic
macroinvertebrates.
The subtidal habitats found within the Gorgon Project area are described below, with detail on
individual subtidal habitats for the greater EMBA Area described in subsequent sections.
4.4.1.1

Pipeline Construction Corridor

State Waters
The seabed and benthic habitat in the vicinity of the HDD exit alignment and along the pipeline
route were surveyed between May and August 2009, and in September 2009 and March 2010.
The surveys covered the area at risk of Material and Serious Environmental Harm (within the
MDF) and Reference Sites not at risk of Material or Serious Environmental Harm (located north
and south of the MDF). The results of the surveys are presented in the Coastal and Marine
Baseline State and Environmental Impact Report: Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System and
Marine Component of the Shore Crossing (Chevron Australia 2010d).
The benthic habitats in State Waters were characterised by limestone platform covered with a
veneer of unvegetated sand. Corals were present in low abundances and only sparsely
scattered colonies of species such as the hard coral Turbinaria spp. were recorded. Turbinaria
is a widespread and common genus, which is well represented in Barrow Island waters where it
is found outside coral habitats in benthic macroinvertebrate-dominated assemblages. The MDF
and the areas at risk of Material or Serious Environmental Harm do not contain any significant
areas of coral habitat or coral assemblages (Chevron Australia 2010d).
Macroalgal assemblages represent the dominant ecological element in the shallow waters on
the west coast of Barrow Island near the HDD exit alignment (see ). Macroalgae coverage was
37 3% in the immediate vicinity of the HDD exit alignment and 10 2% in the wider area.
Macroalgal taxa recorded during surveys in the vicinity of the MDF in State Waters included
Caulerpa sp., Dictyopteris sp., Galaxaura sp., Halimeda sp., Halimeda cuneata, Sargassum sp.,
and unidentified Phaeophyceae. All the macroalgal taxa recorded at sites in the MDF and in
areas at risk of Material or Serious Environmental Harm were common within the local area and
region (Chevron Australia 2010d).
Small sparse patches of seagrass occur on sand veneers at a few locations in shallow waters
on the west coast of Barrow Island and at low levels of percentage cover, growing in mixed
assemblages with macroalgae and occasionally benthic macroinvertebrates. The seagrass
species recorded at sites in the MDF and in areas at risk of Material or Serious Environmental
Harm were well represented elsewhere in Barrow Island waters (Chevron Australia 2010d).
The benthic habitats in the vicinity of the Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System in State Waters
were characterised by unvegetated or bare sand. Macroalgae were the dominant ecological
element, although average cover of macroalgae was <0.5% (Chevron Australia 2010d). These
ecological elements are mostly found near the HDD exit alignment (see Figure 4-8).
Commonwealth Waters
Geophysical and geotechnical surveys, using techniques such as echo sounder, sub-bottom
profilers, side-scan sonar, and ROV, were carried out along the Gorgon and Jansz pipeline and
umbilical route. Surveys of benthic habitats targeting specific areas of interest along the route
were then carried out based on the results of these surveys.
The substrate along the installation corridor from the State Water boundary to water depth of
approximately 50 m was found to be dominated by bare sand (see Figure 4-9). Sand was the
dominant substrate in most of the observations (approximately 90%) along the installation
corridor. Limestone pavement with a shallow sand veneer was the next most common

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substrate encountered, dominating the substrate in less than 10% of observations. Reef (low
and high profile) was the dominant substrate in less than 5% of observations (RPS 2010).
Towed video surveys were also conducted at the inner reef area (approximately 40 m water
depth), the outer reef area (approximately 5055 m water depth), and the area between them.
The majority of the pipeline corridor in this area is classified as unvegetated, in terms of the
dominant ecological element observed (RPS 2010). The inner reef rises several metres above
the surrounding seabed and is characterised by areas of exposed rocky platform reef and areas
of upstanding reef. The platform reef supports scattered corals and sponges; however, this reef
is too deep to support well-developed benthic primary producer assemblages. The reef
appears to be part of a linear series of reefs that run northsouth; side-scan sonar data
revealed features of a similar profile approximately 5 km south of the installation corridor
(Chevron Australia 2005). The outer reef comprises limestone and supports encrusting
sponges and scattered deepwater coral (Chevron Australia 2005). Black coral, Cirrhipathes sp.,
was observed at nine locations along the outer reef. In locations where black coral was
observed, it was present as a subdominant taxa in areas dominated by sponges and other
benthic macroinvertebrates (RPS 2010).
Further offshore in the Gorgon gas fields, at approximately 200 m water depth, the seabed
comprises soft bioturbated sediments. The benthos in this area is well below the photic zone so
there are no marine macrophytes (Chevron Australia 2005). Similarly, during an ROV survey in
the Gully Region along the Jansz pipeline route in approximately 250 m water depth, the
seabed was found to be dominated by silty mud with little evidence of life (see Figure 4-10)
(RPS 2009).
To determine the type of benthic habitat present in the deeper area, five transects, which
ranged from 558 to 714 m water depth, were filmed along the proposed pipeline corridor. An
additional transect was also run along a narrow depth band between 643 m and 656 m water
depth, following a hard outcropping area of the scarp (see Figure 4-11). The substrate most
commonly found in this deeper water comprised soft sedimentssand, silt, and mud. However,
these habitat types are widespread in the region and are not considered to be of regional
significance due to their ubiquity and the sparseness of biota supported (RPS 2009). The steep
scarp face was found to comprise mainly over-consolidated silt materials, mostly devoid of
marine growth, with occasional sparse communities of benthic invertebrates including soft
corals, bryozoans, and colonial ascidians (see Figure 4-11). These over-consolidated silt
sediments provide structural diversity to an otherwise flat benthos. They are of higher
conservation significance than the soft sediment habitats found in the area as they are less
widespread and support more abundant biota. However, based on the high resolution
bathymetry data from the area, these hard scarp features probably stretch at least 10 km to the
north and 5 km to the south of the proposed pipeline route (RPS 2009).

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Figure 4-8 Dominant Ecological Elements in the Vicinity of the Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System in State Waters
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Figure 4-9 Dominant Ecological Elements in the Vicinity of the Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System in Commonwealth Waters
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Source: RPS 2009

Figure 4-10 Benthic Habitat at the Gully Region


Note: N1K is the route option selected for the Jansz pipelines

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Source: RPS 2009

Figure 4-11 Benthic Habitat at the Scarp Region


Note: N1K is the route option selected for the Jansz pipelines

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Greater EMBA
Detail on individual subtidal habitats for the greater EMBA Area is described in the subsequent
sections.
4.4.1.2

Coral Reefs

Coral reef habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-5.
Table 4-5 Coral Reef Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

N/A Area does not include coral habitat

N/A

Ningaloo Area

Ningaloo Reef is the largest fringing barrier coral reef, and the second
largest coral reef system in Australia. The Ningaloo Coast and
Muiron Islands encompass a series of interconnected habitats, from
the continental shelf and slope communities of the Commonwealth
Waters to the reef and onshore ecosystems of Ningaloo Reef.
The reserves are characterised by a high diversity of hard corals.
The most diverse coral communities in the reserves are in the
relatively clear water, high-energy environment of the fringing barrier
reef and low-energy lagoonal areas to the west of North West Cape.

CALM
2005a

Exmouth Gulf
Area

The western shore comprises dune-backed beaches and supports


hard corals south of North West Cape to the Bay of Rest. Intertidal
and subtidal fringing coral communities and patch reefs are found
around the islands of the Exmouth Gulf. Corals may also exist as
sparse coral colonies or bombora in some locations, rather than
extensive coral communities.

CSIRO and
DEC2006

Pilbara Coast
Area

Development of subtidal patch reef occurs along the leeward sides of


many islands on the inner shelf of the West Pilbara (between the
Dampier Archipelago and Exmouth Gulf) and on topographic high
areas of the rock pavement of the sea floor. Regionally they are
poorly studied to date, but available information indicates that they
are species-rich and very variable in their coral assemblages.

Wilson and
Ralph 2012

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Undisturbed intertidal and subtidal coral reefs and bomboras with a


high diversity of hard corals. Coral reef communities occur
throughout the reserves. The best-developed communities are in the
relatively clear water and high-energy conditions of the fringing reefs
to the west and south-west of the Montebello Islands, and bomboras
and patch reefs in the more turbid and lower-energy waters along the
eastern edge of the Montebello Islands. The most significant coral
reefs around Barrow Island are Biggada Reef on the west coast,
Dugong Reef and Batman Reef off the south-east coast, and along
the edge of the Lowendal Shelf on the east side of Barrow Island.

CALM 2007

Dampier
Archipelago Area

Intertidal and subtidal reef systems, bomboras and pavements with a


high diversity of hard corals. Coral communities occur throughout the
proposed reserves. The most diverse coral areas in the proposed
reserves are found on the seaward slopes of Delambre Island,
Hamersley Shoal, Sailfish Reef, Kendrew Island, and north-west
Enderby Island.

CALM
2005b

Port Hedland
Area

From Depuch Island to Port Hedland there are offshore non-emergent


offshore reef chains. Offshore reefs can be found from Cape
Cossigny to the De Grey River.
Turtle Island is present in the eastern end of the region, offshore from
the De Grey River, and is surrounded by a shallow reef.

CSIRO et
al. 2006

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Description

Source

Eighty Mile Beach


Area

No coral communities have been identified in the literature available.


The Area is dominated by sandy beaches and shoals.

Hale and
Butcher
2009

Offshore Area

N/A Area does not include coral habitat

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

Intertidal coral reef communities are a major feature of the Rowley


Shoals Marine Park. Subtidal coral communities are dominated by a
rich diversity of hard corals. The Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef, and
Seringapatam Reef have coral fauna that are very different from the
coral fauna observed in waters adjacent to the Australian mainland.

DEC 2007

4.4.1.3

Seagrass and Macroalgae

Macroalgae are very common components of marine environments in the shallow waters of the
Pilbara Region. They are important primary producers, trapping light energy from the sun and
making it available to the ecosystem. They also provide important habitat for molluscs, sea
urchins, sea stars, crabs, and fish. The region also contains ecologically significant seagrass
habitat that supports diverse fauna. Seagrass and macroalgae habitat for each EMBA area is
described in Table 4-6.
Table 4-6 Seagrass and Macroalgae Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

N/A Area does not include seagrass or macroalgae habitat

N/A

Ningaloo Area

Macroalgal and seagrass communities are patchily distributed, but are


important primary producers within the reserves in the Area.
Macroalgal meadows in the reserves are generally found on the
shallow limestone lagoonal platforms. Macroalgal beds play an
important role in primary production and provide important habitat for
vertebrate and invertebrate fauna.
Intertidal areas surrounding the Muiron and Sunday Islands and the
North West Cape are dominated by limestone pavements (supporting
macroalgal communities and an assemblage of molluscs and
crustaceans), limestone reefs (supporting hard corals), and areas of
bare sand.

CALM 2005a

Exmouth Gulf
Area

Seagrass is found in the Area in low abundance.

Department
of Fisheries
2006

Pilbara Coast
Area

Information on seagrass distribution in this Area is limited; however, it


is thought to be patchily distributed along the coastal region between
Exmouth Gulf and Port Hedland. This is based on surveys conducted
of the Onslow area by Chevron Australia and the reasonable
concentrations of dugongs found throughout this Area.
Macroalgae, in contrast, are very common components of marine
environments in the shallow waters of the Pilbara Region. Seagrass
and macroalgae habitats vary seasonally in response to water
temperature, day length, reproductive cycles, physical disturbance, and
regrowth.

Chevron
Australia
2010

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EMBA

Description

Source

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Macroalgae meadows are a dominant feature of the subtidal habitats in


this Area and are most commonly found on shallow limestone
pavement in depths of 5 to 10 m. It is estimated that macroalgae
meadows make up 40% of the benthic habitats of the
Montebello/Barrow Islands Marine Conservation Reserve and make
the major contribution to primary production. Abundant macroalgae in
the region include Phaeophytes (brown macroalgae) such as
Sargassum, Dictyopterus, Dictyota, Cystoseira, and Padina;
Chlorophytes (green macroalgae) such as Halimeda, Codium, and
Caulerpa; and Rhodophytes (red macroalgae) such as Hydrolithon and
Laurencia.
Seagrasses occur within the photic zone throughout the
Montebello/Barrow Island region and, although widespread, they
generally form sparse communities interspersed between the
macroalgae in the Barrow Island region. The most common species
are Halophila ovalis and Syringodium isoetifolium. Less common
species include Cymodocea angustatus, Halodule uninervis, Thalassia
hemprichii, and Thalassodendron ciliatum.
Only small sparse patches of seagrass occur on sand veneers at a few
locations in shallow waters off the west coast of Barrow Island and at
low levels of percentage cover, growing in mixed assemblages with
macroalgae and occasionally benthic macroinvertebrates. The
dominant seagrass species recorded in west coast Barrow Island
waters were S. Isoetifolium, Halophila ovalis, and Halophila spinulosa,
which are regarded as ephemeral coloniser species. Therefore, the
cover and presence of these seagrasses is likely to be different over
time and between locations. Less common species include
Cymodocea angustatus, Halodule uninervis, Thalassia hemprichii, and
Thalassodendron ciliatum.

Bowman
Bishaw
Gorham
(BBG) 2005a;
RPS BBG
2007; CALM
2004; CALM
2007;
Chevron
Australia
2013a;
Chevron
Australia
2012c

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

Extensive macroalgal and seagrass communities occur within the


proposed reserves in this Area. Macroalgae dominate submerged
limestone reefs and also grow on stable rubble and boulder surfaces in
the Dampier Archipelago/Cape Preston region. These communities
are most commonly found on shallow limestone pavement in depths
less than 10 m.
Seagrass occurs in the larger bays and sheltered flats of the region.

CALM 2005b

Port Hedland
Area

It is assumed this receptor has not been identified as a value/sensitivity


in this area, as no information could be found in available literature.

N/A

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

May exist, but have not been identified as a value in the available
literature

N/A

Offshore Area

N/A Area does not include seagrass or macroalgae habitat

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

It is assumed this receptor has not been identified as a value/sensitivity


in this area, as no information could be found in available literature.

N/A

4.4.1.4

Subtidal Rock Pavement

It is assumed that subtidal rock pavement has not been identified as a value/sensitivity, as no
information could be found in available literature in any areas of the greater EMBA.
4.4.1.5

Soft-Substrate Communities

Soft-substrate communities include burrowing crustaceans and polychaete worms that live
between the sediment particles, and epifaunal and sessile benthic species (such as sea fans
and sea pens) that live on the surface of the substrate, as well as sea cucumbers and other
non-photosynthesising marine fauna.
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Soft-substrate communities for each EMBA area are described in Table 4-7.
Table 4-7 Soft-Substrate Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

N/A Area does not include soft-substrate habitat

N/A

Ningaloo Area

Soft sediment communities have been recorded in the Area in the lowenergy depositional environments found in the deeper offshore waters
of the west coast and in the more protected environments of Exmouth
Gulf.
Although typically bare of vegetation, soft sediment communities are
characterised by a surface film of microorganisms that are a rich
source of food for the high diversity of invertebrates found there.
These invertebrates are found both living on the surface and burrowing
into the substrate, where their burrowing activities facilitate aeration
through the turnover of sediment. The existence of healthy soft
sediment communities also helps stabilise the substrate. Where a
stable substrate is not maintained, higher levels of turbidity may result
and lead to smothering of adjacent areas.
The abundance of invertebrate life found on soft sediment communities
also provides a valuable food source for resident and transient
invertebrate and invertebrate fauna. Soft sediment communities are
extremely important from a biodiversity conservation perspective
because of the high diversity of infauna and epifauna (particularly
invertebrates) found in these habitats.

CALM 2005a

Exmouth Gulf
Area

No information provided on soft-substrate communities in the available


literature.

N/A

Pilbara Coast
Area

Soft substrate (i.e. sand and silt habitats) is the most common habitat
within and adjacent to the Area. Soft substrate in this area is typically
unvegetated and low in diversity, although it can support seagrass
communities and diverse faunal assemblages. Silt habitats are
commonly associated with sheltered areas, while sand habitats more
typically occur offshore. These habitats offer little structural diversity
and are dominated by detrital-based faunal food webs. Their habitat
value is generally dependent on oxygenation levels through the
sediment profile, particle size, wave energy, and the amount of organic
matter in the sediments. Silt sediments in particular may be organically
enriched and support a high density of organisms that exploit this
nutrient source. Burrowing organisms, such as polychaetes, molluscs,
and crustaceans, live within these sediments, while often complex and
irregular assemblages of species live on the surface. Surface-dwelling
species range from very small crustaceans and molluscs to larger
echinoderms and a range of sessile organisms, such as sponges,
corals, sea whips, and sea squirts. Small and/or juvenile fishes may
aggregate where the structure of these benthic communities offer
protection, while larger animals, such as rays, dugongs, and turtles
feed on invertebrates in these habitats.

CALM 2007

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Silt habitats are commonly associated with sheltered locations in the


Area, such as nearshore waters adjacent to mangroves, while sand
habitats more typically occur offshore. These habitats offer little
structural diversity and are dominated by detrital-based faunal food
webs. Their habitat value is generally dependent on oxygenation
levels through the sediment profile, particle size, wave energy, and the
amount of organic matter in the sediments. Silt sediments in particular
may be organically enriched and support a high density of organisms

CALM 2007

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EMBA

Description

Source

that exploit this nutrient source. Burrowing organisms, such as


polychaetes, molluscs, and crustaceans, live within these sediments,
while often complex assemblages of species live on the surface.
Surface-dwelling species range from very small crustaceans and
molluscs to larger echinoderms and a range of sessile organisms, such
as sponges, corals, sea whips, and sea squirts. Small and/or juvenile
fishes may aggregate where the structure of these benthic
communities offer protection, while larger animals, such as rays,
dugongs, and turtles feed on invertebrates in these habitats.
Soft sediment habitats are widespread in deeper offshore areas
throughout the region and these fine sands, silts, and clays are
expected to support diverse infaunal assemblages. The east coast of
Barrow Island is characterised by less stable, coarser sediments.
These sediments are affected by wave energy and currents, and tend
to be relatively mobile. Pavement habitats between Barrow Island and
the mainland are covered by a sediment veneer that appears to
periodically move, exposing areas of pavement reef. Sessile benthic
organisms that require hard substrates for attachment, such as
gorgonians, are frequently seen emerging through a shallow veneer of
sand. These mobile sand sheets are generally of lower habitat value
to infauna and are less likely to support diverse infaunal assemblages.
Dampier
Archipelago
Area

The Area contains extensive sand and silt substrates that support a
variety of invertebrate species both in and on the sediments. Subtidal
soft-bottom communities consist of silt or sand and comprise 57%
(approximately 122 100 ha) of the major marine habitats of the
proposed reserves in the Area. These communities are typically bare,
but may have seasonal vegetation or permanent patches of seagrass
or macroalgae. Silt habitats occur in the sheltered areas of the
nearshore region of the Archipelago, while sand occurs more offshore.
Soft-bottom communities often support a rich variety of infauna that live
in the substrate such as polychaete worms, molluscs, and crustaceans.
They also support surface dwellers that live above or on the substrate
such as flathead, rays, flounder, crabs, bivalve molluscs, gastropods,
or sea snails, sea urchins, and sea stars. Inhabitants may also include
filter-feeding invertebrates such as sponges, corals, sea whips, and
sea squirts. Important nursery grounds for juvenile fish may occur
where algal beds are formed, while seagrasses provide an important
food source for turtles and dugongs.

CALM 2005b

Port Hedland
Area

No information provided on soft-substrate communities in the available


literature.

N/A

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

No information provided on soft-substrate communities in the available


literature.

N/A

Offshore Area

N/A Area does not include soft-substrate habitat

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

No information provided on soft-substrate communities in the available


literature.

N/A

4.4.1.6

Benthic Macroinvertebrates

Pipeline Construction Corridor


State Waters
The seabed in the vicinity of the HDD exit alignment and along the pipeline route was surveyed
between May and August 2009, and in September 2009 and March 2010. Sessile benthic
macroinvertebrates (sponges, hydroids, sea pens, sea whips, gorgonians, and ascidians) were
present in relatively low abundances, mostly near the HDD exit alignment (see Figure 4-8). All
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the sessile benthic macroinvertebrate taxa recorded at sites in the MDF and in areas at risk of
Material or Serious Environmental Harm were also recorded at Reference Sites and were well
represented elsewhere in Barrow Island waters (Chevron Australia 2010d).
The infauna community around the HDD area was surveyed in 2006 (RPS BBG 2007). A total
of 406 individuals from 15 sample sites were recorded. The infauna assemblages comprised
nine phyla of varying abundance, with Annalida (polychaete worms) and Arthropoda
(Crustacea, predominantly Amphipods) being the most species-rich and numerically dominant
phyla.
When compared to samples from the east coast of Barrow Island (RPS BNG 2007), mean
species richness on the east coast (39.6 2.36) was more than double that of the HDD area
(15.5 1.43). The mean abundance of individuals in the east coast samples was more than
three times that of the HDD site, with an average of 85 individuals compared to an average of
27 individuals at the HDD site (RPS BBG 2007).
Commonwealth Waters
All invertebrate assemblages in the proposed installation areas are associated with habitats that
are widely distributed in adjacent areas of the coast and regionally. None of the invertebrate
assemblages are considered to be of high conservation significance (Chevron Australia 2005).
The proposed feed gas pipeline route crosses large expanses of bare sediments and localised
high profile reef in 4050 m water depth (see Section 4.3). The reefs support filter-feeding
invertebrates including sponges, gorgonians, black corals, sea whips, ascidians, and
bryozoans. However, benthic macroinvertebrate cover was sparse at most of the surveyed
sites (RPS 2010).
An ROV survey was conducted in the vicinity of the East Spar pipeline at approximately 25 m
water depth, where the Gorgon and Jansz pipelines will cross. The seabed in the area was
found to be dominated by coarse to medium sand. Rock berms covered the East Spar pipeline
at approximately 30 m intervals. The rocks berms support sparse filter-feeding assemblages,
dominated by sea whips, gorgonians, and sponges. The pipeline corridor was commonly
colonised by benthic communities very similar in appearance to those observed on the rock
berms. These benthic communities are very widespread in the region and are not considered to
be of regional significance (RPS 2009).
The soft sediments on the seabed near the Gorgon gas fields at approximately 200 m water
depth are heavily bioturbated, indicating an active infauna assemblage. This assemblage type
is typically dominated by polychaete worms and crustaceans that burrow into the sediment,
together with larger demersal fish and crustaceans. This assemblage is probably very widely
distributed in similar depths along the edge of the continental shelf. For example, the infaunal
assemblages at the East Spar facilities off the west coast of Barrow Island, in 8090 m water
depth, are similarly dominated by polychaete worms and crustaceans (Kinhill 1999 cited in
Chevron Australia 2005). This is similar to most infaunal assemblages of northern Australia
(Long and Poiner 1994 cited in Chevron Australia 2005).
An ROV survey in the Gully Region along the Jansz pipeline route in approximately 250 m water
depth found that there were some areas of scattered rubble with associated sparse benthic
invertebrates, including sponges and gorgonians (see Figure 4-10). Where harder consolidated
sediment was present, sparse patches of crinoids (feather stars) and occasional sparse
communities of other benthic invertebrates, including sponges and gorgonians, were found
(RPS 2009).
Surveys conducted in the Scarp Region found that the soft sediment in the area was often
marked by burrow holes made by unidentified organisms (thought to be small fish or
crustaceans) and supported some benthic life, including solitary sea pens, holothurians, and
hydroids (RPS 2009). Soft corals were found to be most abundant at depths between
approximately 550 m and 700 m, with Alcyonian soft corals being the most common taxa
identified. At these sites, the soft corals were found in mixed communities with bryozoans,
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sponges and hydroids (see Figure 4-11). Notably, the benthic invertebrate communities found
in deepwater hard substrate habitats were more sparse and patchy than those found in shallow
nearshore areas (RPS 2009).
Benthic surveys conducted at 18 sites in depths ranging from 212 m to more than 1300 m,
showed that no epifauna were recorded from the majority of samples (63%), and infauna, where
present, were in low abundance, with low richness and diversity. A total of 148 individuals from
36 infaunal taxa were recorded. Less than 14% of taxa had an abundance of ten or more
individuals. Most taxa (58%) were in low abundance, with three individuals or fewer over the
entire survey. Approximately 19% of samples contained no infauna (IRC Environment 2005).
Infaunal composition was very similar at most sites. The few differences between samples were
driven by the presence of single individuals of taxa unique to one sample. No two sites could
be statistically separated on a pair-wise basis based on their infaunal communities. However,
significant relationships were evident between water depth and infaunal abundance, richness,
and diversity, and there was a correlation between sediment properties and community
similarity between sites. In general, abundance, richness, and diversity decreased with
increasing water depth. Grain size parameters, particularly larger grain sizes, also appeared to
influence the distribution of infaunal communities; a more diverse community was found at the
shallowest site, which also had coarser sediments. In contrast to the general trend, highest
diversity was recorded at one of the deepest sites where infauna should have been most
depauperate. High diversity at this site is explained in terms of heterogeneous sediment size,
recognised as an important factor maintaining diversity in the deep sea (IRC Environment
2005).
Greater EMBA
Benthic macroinvertebrate presence for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-8.
Table 4-8 Benthic Macroinvertebrates by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

It is assumed this receptor has not been identified as a


value/sensitivity in this area, as no information could be found in
available literature.

N/A

Ningaloo Area

The high invertebrate faunal diversity of the reserves in this Area is


poorly described, particularly in deeper waters, but comprises
tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate species.
However, the deeper waters are thought to support a diverse array of
filter-feeding communities and epibenthic crustaceans.

CALM 2005a;
Black et al.
2011

Exmouth Gulf
Area

A diverse variety of macroinvertebrates have been recorded in the


Area.

CSIRO et al.
2006

Pilbara Coast
Area

Known to exist extensively throughout the Area but have not been
identified in available literature as a value of importance.

N/A

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Although the knowledge of the benthic macroinvertebrate


assemblages in the Montebello Islands/Barrow Island region is
generally limited to species lists and distributions of taxa, the
available information suggests that the assemblages are speciesrich. Invertebrate species-richness is considered high in the
Montebello Islands region in particular, with 633 species of molluscs
and 170 species of echinoderms recorded. Deeper limestone reef
areas in the region may support benthic macroinvertebrate
communities that contain diverse assemblages of tubular, digitate,
laminar, branching, globose, and encrusting sponges; hydroids;
gorgonians (sea fans); soft corals (sea whips); colonial and solitary
ascidians; bryozoans and small scleractinian corals (such as
Turbinaria spp.).

Marsh 1993;
Chevron
Australia
2005; CALM
2007; RPS
BBG 2007;
Chevron
Australia
2010d

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EMBA

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Description

Source

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

A diverse marine invertebrate community has been recorded in the


Area and is an important food source for a variety of marine animals
including migratory birds and fishes.

CALM 2005b

Port Hedland
Area

It is assumed this receptor has not been identified as a


value/sensitivity in this area, as no information could be found in
available literature.

N/A

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

Area is characterised by extensive mudflats supporting an


abundance of macroinvertebrates, which provide food for large
numbers of shorebirds.

DotE website:
Eighty Mile
Beach

Offshore Area

It is assumed this receptor has not been identified as a


value/sensitivity in this area, as no information could be found in
available literature.

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

A diverse marine invertebrate community that includes a number of


endemic species has been recorded in the Area.

DEC 2007

4.4.2

Shoreline Types

Shoreline types include mangroves, salt marsh/flats, intertidal mudflats, intertidal sandbars and
shoals, and intertidal rock pavements and rocky shores.
Pipeline Construction Corridor
The shoreline types found within the Gorgon Project area is limited, with the only shoreline
being outside the pipeline construction corridor at the HDD site at the north end of North Whites
Beach. The shoreline area is characterised by intertidal rock pavement as described below.
The seabed off the coast of North Whites Beach is characterised by fine to coarse sand. The
main seabed features are outcropping cemented sediments and prominent sand ripples/ribbon
features that are orientated north-east to south-west. A geotechnical survey undertaken by
Fugro Survey (2005) also indicated small-scale sand waves orientated WSWENE in an area
south-east of the HDD activities. The presence of sand ripples and the patchiness of exposed
sediments indicate a high-energy environment and relatively mobile sand (Fugro Survey 2005).
Closer to shore, the main seabed feature is a limestone reef which extends to the intertidal
zone. This reef limits the development of a sandy beach. There is a notable barrier of beach
rock that discourages turtles from nesting at that end of beach; sediment is deeper close to the
shore; and there appears to be less sediment offshore (at the time of the survey) (Fugro Survey
2005).
Greater EMBA
Detail on individual shoreline types for the greater EMBA Area is provided in the subsequent
sections.
4.4.2.1

Mangroves

Mangrove habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-9.


Table 4-9 Mangrove Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA
Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

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Description
N/A Area does not include mangrove habitat

Public

Source
N/A

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EMBA

Description

Source

Ningaloo Area

Limited mangrove communities occur in the northern half of the


Ningaloo Marine Park with three species of mangroves identified
within the Park. The dominant species is the white mangrove
(Avicennia marina), with the red mangrove (Rhizophora stylosa) and
the ribbed-orange fruit mangrove (Bruguiera exaristata) existing in
limited numbers. While the area of mangals is less than 0.1%
(33.4 ha) of the Park area, they represent a unique community within
the Ningaloo Reef system. The largest mangrove community
(approximately 31 ha) found within Mangrove Bay is characterised by
established trees up to 5 m high. Established mangrove stands can
also be found associated with the Parks tidal creek systems
including a well-developed mangal within Yardie Creek. Mangrove
communities have been highlighted as unexpectedly important for
reef fish communities, increasing the importance of the protection of
the discrete stands.

CALM 2005a

Exmouth Gulf
Area

This Area possesses regionally significant mangroves outside


designated industrial areas. Commercial prawn fisheries in the Area
rely upon the distinctive eastern and southern mangals of the Area.

EPA 2001;
CSIRO et al.
2006

Pilbara Coast
Area

This Area possesses regionally significant mangroves both inside


and outside industrial areas and associated port areas.

EPA 2001

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

This Area possesses regionally significant mangroves. Six species of


mangrove are found in the reserves, with the Montebello Islands
mangrove communities considered globally unique as they occur in
lagoons of offshore islands. No mangroves have been recorded on
the west coast of Barrow Island.

EPA 2001;
CALM 2007;
Chevron
Australia
2005

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

This Area possesses regionally significant mangroves both inside


and outside industrial areas and associated port areas. There are six
species of mangrove found in the proposed reserves and extensive
mangrove communities line more than 50% of the mainland shore.
Many of these communities are considered to be of international
significance.

EPA 2001;
CALM 2005b

Port Hedland
Area

This Area possesses regionally significant mangroves outside


designated industrial areas.

EPA 2001

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

Salt Creek, in Mandora Salt Marsh, contains one of only two inland
mangrove communities in Australia.

SEWPaC
2013d

Offshore Area

N/A Area does not include mangrove habitat

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

N/A Area does not include mangrove habitat

N/A

4.4.2.2

Salt Marsh/Flat

Salt marshes/flats is a coastal ecosystem found in the upper coastal intertidal zone between
land and open salt water or brackish water that is regularly flooded by the tides. It is dominated
by dense stands of salt-tolerant plants such as herbs, grasses, or low shrubs. These plants are
terrestrial in origin and are essential to the stability of the salt marsh in trapping and binding
sediments. Salt marshes play a large role in the aquatic food web and the delivery of nutrients
to coastal waters. They also support terrestrial animals and provide coastal protection.
Salt marsh/flat habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-10.

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Table 4-10 Salt Marsh/Flat Habitat by EMBA Areas


EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

N/A Area does not include salt marsh/flat habitat

N/A

Ningaloo Area

Refer to Mangroves, Section 4.4.2.1

N/A

Exmouth Gulf
Area

Refer to Mangroves, Section 4.4.2.1

N/A

Pilbara Coast
Area

There are extensive areas of salt marsh along the Pilbara coastline
from Exmouth Gulf northward where they typically occupy the upper
intertidal zone, often mixed with scattered mangroves and also
terrestrial vegetation on supratidal islets. There are no areas of
salt marsh listed as significant components of the Pilbara shoreline
other than a general recognition of these habitats as benthic
primary producer habitat.

EPA 2001

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

N/A Area does not include salt marsh/flat habitat

N/A

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

N/A Area does not include salt marsh/flat habitat

N/A

Port Hedland
Area

Salt marshes have been identified in the Area but have not been
considered of significant ecological value in the available literature.

Port Hedland
Port Authority
2013

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

The Mandora Salt Marsh contains temporary and permanent


wetlands in a predominantly arid bioregion (Western Plateau) and
has been recognised as important refugia for biological diversity in
arid Australia.

SEWPaC
2013d

Offshore Area

N/A Area does not include salt marsh/flat habitat

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

N/A Area does not include salt marsh/flat habitat

N/A

4.4.2.3

Intertidal Mudflats

Landward of the mangrove zone, areas of bioturbated mudflats with samphire communities
typically extend across the tidal flats to the hinterland margin, or merge with the extensive
cyanobacterial algal mat and salt flat areas along the north-west of WA. These high tidal
mudflat areas occur in the upper or higher sections of the intertidal zone and hence are not
regularly inundated by tides.
Intertidal mudflat habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-11.
Table 4-11 Intertidal Mudflat Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

N/A Area does not include intertidal mudflat habitat

N/A

Ningaloo Area

Refer to Mangroves, Section 4.4.2.1

N/A

Exmouth Gulf

Refer Mangroves, Section 4.4.2.1

N/A

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EMBA

Description

Source

Pilbara Coast
Area

Muddy tidal flats are a conspicuous feature of the intertidal zone


along the Pilbara coastline and are typically associated with lowenergy depositional environments such as embayments protected
from waves behind headlands, islands, and shoals, in the estuaries of
the rivers and creeks, and also as narrow banks of mud lining tidal
creek banks.

Wells and
Walker 2003

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

The intertidal sand/mudflat communities are primary producers with


an abundant invertebrate fauna, which provides a valuable food
source for shorebirds.

CALM 2007

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

The intertidal sand and mudflat communities of the proposed


reserves are primary producers and have an abundance of
invertebrate life, which provides a valuable food source for
shorebirds.

CALM 2005b

Port Hedland
Area

The intertidal sand and mudflat communities of the proposed


reserves are primary producers and have an abundance of
invertebrate life, which provides a valuable food source for
shorebirds.

CSIRO et al.
2006; EPA
2001

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

Eighty Mile Beach represents the greatest extent of continuous


intertidal mudflat in excellent condition within the Northwest (IMCRA)
bioregion. In addition, Mandora Salt Marsh contains an important
and rare group of wetlands within the arid North-west Bioregion. In
particular, the peat mound springs can be considered both
bioregionally rare and outstanding examples of this wetland type in
WA.

SEWPaC
2013d

Offshore Area

N/A Area does not include intertidal mudflat habitat

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

N/A Area does not include intertidal mudflat habitat

N/A

Area

4.4.2.4

Intertidal Sandbars and Shoals

Shoals and sandbars are generally linear landforms within or extending into a body of water,
typically composed of sand, silt, or small pebbles. The grain size of the material comprising a
sandbar is related to the size of the waves or the strength of the currents moving the material,
but the availability of material to be worked by waves and currents is also important. These
structures can have a significant influence on the localised salinity levels and in turn the ecology
of the area.
Intertidal sandbar and shoal habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-12.
Table 4-12 Intertidal Sandbar and Shoal Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

N/A Area does not include sandbar and shoal habitat

N/A

Ningaloo Area

N/A Area does not include sandbar and shoal habitat

N/A

Exmouth Gulf
Area

It is assumed this receptor has not been identified as a


value/sensitivity in this area, as no information could be found in
available literature.

N/A

Pilbara Coast

Refer to Intertidal Mudflats, Section 4.4.2.3

N/A

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Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Description

Source

Area
Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

It is assumed this receptor has not been identified as a


value/sensitivity in this area, as no information could be found in
available literature

N/A

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

N/A Area does not include sandbar and shoal habitat

N/A

Port Hedland
Area

It is assumed this receptor has not been identified as a


value/sensitivity in this area, as no information could be found in
available literature

N/A

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

It is assumed this receptor has not been identified as a


value/sensitivity in this area, as no information could be found in
available literature

N/A

Offshore Area

N/A Area does not include sandbar and shoal habitat

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

N/A Area does not include sandbar and shoal habitat

N/A

4.4.2.5

Intertidal Rock Pavement and Rocky Shores

Intertidal rock pavement and rocky shores are associated with high stress environments, with
periods of desiccation, predation, and sometime strong wave energies.
Intertidal rock pavement habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-13.
Table 4-13 Intertidal Rock Pavement and Rocky Shore Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

N/A Area does not include intertidal rock pavement and rocky shore
habitat

N/A

Ningaloo Area

The Ningaloo fringing reef forms an almost continuous barrier for


300 km, enclosing an offshore lagoon that varies in width from a
couple of hundred metres to up to 7 km. It represents one of the
largest and structurally complex fringing reefs in the world. A 2011
study by Kobryn et al. (2011) mapped 762 km2 of the Ningaloo Reef.
The study area was found to comprise 7.6% coral, 51.5% algae, and
41% sand and limestone pavement.
Intertidal areas surrounding the Muiron and Sunday Islands and the
North West Cape are dominated by limestone pavements supporting
macroalgal communities and an assemblage of molluscs,
crustaceans, limestone reefs supporting hard corals, and areas of
bare sand. Nearshore, there are numerous small low sandy and
limestone islands, with surrounding rock platforms and coral
communities in the lower littoral zone.

CALM 2005a

Exmouth Gulf
Area

The eastern side of the Exmouth Gulf comprises low limestone


islands with muddy beaches and rock pavement shores, the value of
which has not been identified in the available literature.

CSIRO et al.
2006

Pilbara Coast
Area

Limestone rocky shores, built of Late Pleistocene biogenic or coastal


limestone of coralgal or aeolian origins, are a feature of shores and
islands in the Pilbara, the value of which has not been identified in
the available literature.

Wells and
Walker 2003

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EMBA

Description

Source

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Rocky shores predominate on most islands of the reserves and


provide habitat for a variety of intertidal organisms, which in turn
provide food for shorebirds.

CALM 2007

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

Rocky shores are a major shoreline habitat of the proposed reserves


and provide shelter for a variety of intertidal organisms, which in turn
provide a valuable food source for shorebirds.

CALM 2005b

Port Hedland
Area

Rocky shores have been identified in this area, the value of which
has not been identified in the available literature.

CSIRO and
DEC 2006

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

It is assumed this receptor has not been identified as a


value/sensitivity in this area, as no information could be found in
available literature

N/A

Offshore Area

N/A Area does not include intertidal rock pavement and rocky shore
habitat

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

N/A Area does not include intertidal rock pavement and rocky shore
habitat

N/A

4.4.3

Marine Mammals

The following sections provide details on marine mammalsincluding dugongs, whales, and
dolphinsfor both the pipeline construction corridor and the greater EMBA. The tables
highlight ecologically significant habitats at a regional scale and species of key conservation
significance, rather than provide a comprehensive survey list. For the full list of EPBC listed
species in the greater EMBA, refer to Appendix 2 of the OSORP.
4.4.3.1

Dugong

Dugongs (Dugong dugon) are considered Specially Protected under Schedule 4 of the Wildlife
Conservation Act 1950 (WA) and are listed as migratory species under the EPBC Act (Cth).
Pipeline Construction Corridor
Dugongs are generally known to occur in shallow water (510 m) that support the seagrasses
(Halodule and Halophila) on which they feed. However, dugongs are not expected to frequent
the locations where the proposed installation activities will occur, owing to the absence of welldeveloped seagrass habitats (Chevron Australia 2005).
Greater EMBA
Dugong habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-14.
Table 4-14 Dugong Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dugongs.

SEWPaC
2013b

Ningaloo Area

Area provides foraging, breeding, calving, and nursing habitat in the


shallow protected lagoonal environments fringing the coast and the
offshore islands, though dugongs have not been sighted in the
comparatively large or dense concentrations seen in the Exmouth
Gulf or Shark Bay Areas.

SEWPaC
2013b; CALM
2005a

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Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Description

Source

Exmouth Gulf
Area

Seagrass meadows in the Area provide key habitat for foraging,


breeding, calving, and nursing dugongs. Utilisation level is high and
year round.

SEWPaC
2013b

Pilbara Coast
Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dugongs.

SEWPaC
2013b

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Frequently recorded in the shallow, warm waters in the vicinity of the


Montebello Islands, Lowendal Islands, and Barrow Shoals, where
they feed on seagrass meadows and algae, though dugongs have
not been sighted in the comparatively large or dense concentrations
seen further south in the Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay Areas.

SEWPaC
2013b; CALM
2007

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

Low level numbers of dugongs have been recorded in the Dampier


Archipelago / Cape Preston region, particularly in the shallow, warm
waters in bays and between islands, including at East Lewis Island,
Cape Preston, Regnard Bay, Nickol Bay, and west of Keast Island.

SEWPaC
2013b; CALM
2005b

Port Hedland
Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dugongs.

SEWPaC
2013b

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dugongs.

SEWPaC
2013b

Offshore Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dugongs.

SEWPaC
2013b

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dugongs.

SEWPaC
2013b

4.4.3.2

Whales

Pipeline Construction Corridor


The EPBC Act database (DEWHA 2009a) lists six whale species that are protected under the
migratory provisions of the Act, with two of the species having the threatened status of
endangered/vulnerable (see Table 4-15). There are no known feeding or breeding areas for
these listed species within the pipeline construction corridor (see Figure 4-12), so these species
are likely to be transient through the area.
However, the main pipeline route will traverse the Humpback Whale migration route (see Figure
4-12). Humpback Whales migrate annually between their feeding grounds in Antarctic waters
and their calving grounds in Pilbara/Kimberley waters from June to October (Chevron Australia
2005). Northbound Humpback Whales tend to remain in, or within, 200 m water depth, while
southbound whales tend to come closer to Barrow Island and generally occur between 50 m
and 200 m water depth (Jenner et al. 2001). It is likely that the installation vessels will
encounter Humpback Whales, particularly during the whales migration period.

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Table 4-15 Whales Likely to be in the Vicinity of the Proposed Installation Area
Common
Name
Blue
Whale

Scientific
Name
Balaenoptera
musculus

Status
WA1,2

Cth3

1, EN

E, M

Distribution and Habitat

Humpback
Whale

Megaptera
novaeangliae

1, VU

V, M

Killer
Whale

Orcinus orca

Antarctic
Minke
Whale,
Darkshoulder
Minke
Whale

Balaenoptera
bonaerensis

Brydes
Whale

Balaenoptera
edeni

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Cosmopolitan species that range from polar to


tropical waters
Breed during winter and early spring, probably
in deep water adjacent to tropical island
groups
Most migrate annually to Antarctic waters in
early summer
Key feeding area in WA is the Perth Canyon
(NovemberMay) where the main prey is
Euphausia recurva, the dominant euphausiid
of WA found between latitudes 25 S and
35 S (between Shark Bay and Albany)
Not known to use the proposed installation
area for feeding, breeding, or resting
Feed primarily in summer in Antarctic waters
south of about 55 S
Known calving area in WA is the southern
Kimberley between Broome and the northern
end of Camden Sound
Migrate annually from Southern Ocean
summer feeding grounds to subtropical winter
calving grounds
Known to pass through the Barrow Island
region between June and October on their
annual migration
Prefer oceanic, pelagic, and neritic (relatively
shallow waters over the continental shelf)
regions, in both warm and cold waters
Recorded from all states, with concentrations
reported around Tasmania with frequent
sightings in South Australia and Victoria
No key localities and calving or breeding
areas are known within continental Australian
waters
Recorded from all States, but no territories
Occupy primarily offshore and pelagic
habitats within cold temperate to Antarctic
waters between 21 S and 65 S
No known movement patterns, but known to
migrate between the summer Antarctic
feeding grounds and winter subtropical to
tropical breeding grounds
Two formsa large offshore form (some
seasonal movement) and a smaller inshore
form (largely sedentary)
Occur in tropical and temperate waters (from
the equator to ~40 S)
Mate all year (inshore form) and
autumn/winter (offshore form)
Exact breeding/calving areas not identified

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Common
Name
Sperm
Whale

Scientific
Name
Physeter
macrocephalus

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Status
WA1,2

Cth3

P4

Distribution and Habitat

Tend to inhabit offshore areas with a water


depth of >600 m; uncommon in waters
<300 m deep
Females and young male Sperm Whales are
restricted to warmer waters, generally north of
approximately 45 S. Older males travel to
and from colder waters and to the edge of the
Antarctic pack ice
Key localities in WA include the area between
Cape Leeuwin and Esperance close to the
edge of the continental shelf

Source: DEWHA (2009a, 2009b); DEC (2010)


Note:
1
Status under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (WA): 1 = Listed on Schedule 1 Fauna that is rare or is
likely to become extinct; = Not listed under Specially Protected Fauna
2
Status on DPaW Current Threatened and Priority Fauna Ranking: VU = Vulnerable; EN = Endangered; P4 =
Priority Four: Taxa in need of monitoring
3
Status under the EPBC Act (Cth): V = Vulnerable; E = Endangered; M = Migratory

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Source: Jenner et al. (2001)

Figure 4-12 Humpback Whale Migration Route

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Greater EMBA
Whale habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-16.
Table 4-16 Whale Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Coral Reef Description

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

Humpback Whale: Area provides important migratory habitat for both


the northern and southern migratory routes. Usage level is seasonally
high. (Listed species)
Pygmy Whales: Important migratory habitat. Usage level is
seasonally high.

SEWPaC
2013b

Ningaloo Area

Humpback Whale: Area provides important migratory habitat for both


the northern and southern migratory routes. Usage level is seasonally
high. (Listed species)
Pygmy Whales: Area provides important migratory habitat. Usage
level is seasonally high.
Other Marine Mammals: These species have been sighted in the
Area, but are not resident or regular visitors and do not congregate in
large numbers:
Blue Whale
Sperm Whale
Minke Whale
Killer Whale

SEWPaC
2013b;
Environment
Australia
2002

Exmouth Gulf
Area

Humpback Whale: Area provides important migratory habitat for both


the northern and southern migratory routes. It is a particularly
important resting habitat for whales due to its northward facing
embankment, which provides shelter from the prevailing weather.
Usage level is seasonally high. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b

Pilbara Coast
Area

Humpback Whale: Area provides important migratory habitat for both


the northern and southern migratory routes. Usage level is seasonally
high. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Humpback Whale: Area provides important migratory habitat for both


the northern and southern migratory routes. Usage level is seasonally
high. Female Humpback Whales and their calves use the sheltered
water to the west of Trimouille Island in the Montebello group as a
resting area during their southerly migration to feeding grounds in
Antarctica. (Listed species)
Other Marine Mammals: These species have been recorded in the
Area, but are not considered regular visitors and may use migration
paths that pass through the marine reserves:
Blue Whale (Listed species)
Sperm Whale (Listed species)
Minke Whale
Killer Whale
Short-Finned Pilot Whale
False Killer Whale
Brydes Whale
Sei Whale (Listed species)
Pygmy Blue Whale
Fin Whale (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b; CALM
2007

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EMBA

Coral Reef Description

Source

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

Humpback Whale: Area provides important migratory habitat for both


the northern and southern migratory routes. Usage level is seasonally
high. Females occasionally give birth in the waters of the Dampier
Archipelago, although the main calving area is further north. Adult
Humpback Whales and their young also frequent the Archipelago on
their southern migrations in early spring, and Mermaid Sound is a
significant resting area for females with their calves. (Listed species)
Other Marine Mammals: Eight species of toothed whale and four
species of baleen whale have been recorded from the proposed
reserves. However, it is likely that, aside from the Humpback Whale,
most of the whale species only occasionally visit the area.

SEWPaC
2013b; CALM
2005b

Port Hedland
Area

Humpback Whale: Area provides important migratory habitat for both


the northern and southern migratory routes. Usage level is seasonally
high. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

Humpback Whale: Area provides important migratory habitat for both


the northern and southern migratory routes. Usage level is seasonally
high. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b

Offshore Area

Humpback Whale: Area provides important migratory habitat for both


the northern and southern migratory routes. Usage level is seasonally
high. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

Pygmy Whales: Area provides migratory habitat. Usage level is


seasonally high.
Other Marine Mammals: Based on known distributions, it is likely that
the waters surrounding the Area are visited by a variety of toothed and
baleen whales. Humpback Whales pass close to the Rowley Shoals
on their annual migration to calving grounds off the Kimberley coast.

SEWPaC
2013b; DEC
2007

4.4.3.3

Dolphins

The EPBC Act database (DEWHA 2009a, 2009b; Chevron Australia 2005) lists two dolphin
species that are protected under the migratory provisions of the Act (see Figure 4-12) that may
occur in the proposed installation area. It is likely that dolphins will be encountered in the
proposed installation area, especially in the nearshore area close to Barrow Island.
Other species of dolphins may also occur in the region (DEWHA 2009a); however, they are
most likely to be transient or occasional visitors to the proposed installation area (Chevron
Australia 2005).
Table 4-17 Dolphins Likely to be in the Vicinity of the Proposed Installation Area
Common
Name
Spotted
Bottlenose
Dolphin

Scientific
Name
Tursiops
aduncus

Status
WA1,2

Cth3

Distribution and Habitat

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Restricted to inshore areas such as bays and


estuaries, nearshore waters, open coast
environments, and shallow offshore waters
including coastal areas around oceanic islands
Abundant on the shallow Rowley Shelf,
including Barrow Island, but mostly found in
very shallow water adjacent to the east coast of
Barrow Island

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Common
Name
IndoPacific
Humpback
Dolphin

Scientific
Name
Sousa
chinensis

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Status
WA1,2

Cth3

P4

Distribution and Habitat

Inhabit shallow coastal, estuarine, and


occasionally riverine habitats, in tropical and
subtropical regions, generally in water depths of
less than 20 m
Known to occur along the northern coastline,
extending to Exmouth Gulf on the west coast
(25 S), and the Queensland/New South Wales
(NSW) border region on the east coast (34 S)
of Australia
Abundant on the shallow Rowley Shelf,
including Barrow Island, but mostly found in
very shallow water adjacent to the east coast of
Barrow Island

Note:
1
Status under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (WA): 1 = Listed on Schedule 1 Fauna that is rare or is
likely to become extinct; = Not listed under Specially Protected Fauna;
2
Status on DPaW Current Threatened and Priority Fauna Ranking: VU = Vulnerable; EN = Endangered; P4 =
Priority Four: Taxa in need of monitoring
3
Status under the EPBC Act (Cth): V = Vulnerable; E = Endangered; M = Migratory

Greater EMBA
Dolphin habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-18.
Table 4-18 Dolphin Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dolphins.

SEWPaC
2013b

Ningaloo Area

These dolphin species have been recorded in the Area:


Bottlenose Dolphin: most common species inhabiting the Area
Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphin (Listed species)
Common Dolphin
Spinner Dolphin (Listed species)
Spotted Dolphin
Rissos Dolphin.
These dolphins inhabit a wide geographic region and are not specific to
this Area.

SEWPaC
2013b;
Environment
Australia
2002

Exmouth Gulf
Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dolphins.

SEWPaC
2013b

Pilbara Coast
Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dolphins.

SEWPaC
2013b

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

These dolphin species have resident populations or are abundant


within the Barrow Island Area:
Bottlenose Dolphin
Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphin (Listed species)
Common Dolphin
Spinner Dolphin (Listed species

SEWPaC
2013b; CALM
2007

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EMBA

Description

Source

Striped Dolphin.
Less common inhabitants include:
Spotted Dolphin
Rissos Dolphin
Rough-toothed Dolphin
The dolphins inhabit a wide geographic region and are not specific to
this Area.
Dampier
Archipelago
Area

Five species of dolphin have been recorded in the proposed


conservation reserves in this Area. However, it is likely most of the
dolphin species only occasionally visit the area.

SEWPaC
2013b; CALM
2005b

Port Hedland
Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dolphins.

SEWPaC
2013b

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dolphins.

SEWPaC
2013b

Offshore Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dolphins.

SEWPaC
2013b

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for dolphins.

SEWPaC
2013b

4.4.4

Marine Reptiles

The following sections provide details on marine reptilesincluding sea snakes and turtlesfor
both the pipeline construction corridor and the greater EMBA. The tables highlight ecologically
significant habitats at a regional scale and species of key conservation significance, rather than
provide a comprehensive survey list. For the full list of EPBC listed species in the greater
EMBA, refer to Appendix 2 of the OSORP.
4.4.4.1

Sea Snakes

Pipeline Construction Corridor


There are 14 protected species of sea snake listed under the EPBC Act that may inhabit the
proposed installation area (DEWHA 2009a); these are:
Horned Sea-snake (Acalyptophis peronii)
Short-nosed Sea-snake (Aipysurus apraefrontalis)
Dubois Sea-snake (Aipysurus duboisii)
Spined-tailed Sea-snake (Aipysurus eydouxii)
Olive Sea-snake (Aipysurus laevis)
Stoke Sea-snake (Astrotia stokesii)
Spectacled Sea-snake (Disteira kingii)
Olive-headed Sea-snake (Disteira major)
Turtle-headed Sea-snake (Emydocephalus annulatus)
North-western Mangrove Sea-snake (Ephalophis greyi)
Fine-spined Sea-snake (Hydrophis czeblukovi)
Elegant Sea-snake (Hydrophis elegans)
Sea-snake (Hydrophis ornatus)
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Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Yellow-bellied Sea-snake (Pelamis platurus).


Sea snakes are generally common in waters around the west coast of Barrow Island (Chevron
Australia 2005) and may be found within the vicinity of the offshore feed gas pipeline at some
time during the installation program. Although they are highly mobile and can cover large
distances, many species are restricted to relatively shallow coastal waters. Cogger (1975)
stated that most sea snakes have shallow benthic feeding patterns and are rarely found in water
depths exceeding 30 m. However, very little is known about the distribution of the individual
species of sea snakes in the region.
Greater EMBA
The seas of tropical Australia support significant and diversified sea snake fauna, with a strong
endemic component. Of the 55 species of sea snake recorded worldwide, 32 species are
recorded from tropical Australia and nearly 50% of these are endemic (Cogger 2000). Sea
snake habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-19.
Table 4-19 Sea Snake Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

Known to occur in this area but no specific species have been


identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

Ningaloo Area

Known to occur in this area but no specific species have been


identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

Exmouth Gulf
Area

The Short-nosed Sea-snake is endemic to Western Australia, and has


been recorded from Exmouth Gulf to the reefs of the Sahul Shelf in
the eastern Indian Ocean.

SEWPaC
2013e

Pilbara Coast
Area

Known to occur in this area but no specific species have been


identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Known to occur in this area but no specific species have been


identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

Dampier
Archipelago Area

Known to occur in this area but no specific species have been


identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

Port Hedland
Area

Known to occur in this area but no specific species have been


identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

Eighty Mile Beach


Area

Known to occur in this area but no specific species have been


identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

Offshore Area

Known to occur in this area but no specific species have been


identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

Known to occur in this area but no specific species have been


identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

4.4.4.2

Marine Turtles

Pipeline Construction Corridor


The EPBC Act database (DEWHA 2009a) lists five marine turtle species that are likely to occur
in the construction corridor (see Table 4-20).
Barrow Island is a regionally important nesting area for Green Turtles and Flatback Turtles,
whilst Hawksbill Turtles nest at low densities around the Island (Chevron Australia 2005).

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Green Turtles are the most abundant marine turtle species on the west coast of Barrow Island,
with the Island listed as a major nesting site for the species (Bowman Bishaw Gorham 2005b).
Turtle surveys have shown that Green Turtle nesting and track activity on North Whites Beach
(the offshore feed gas pipeline landfall site) is significantly lower than other beaches because
the shallow sand and limestone reef, including a large limestone shelf along the waterline, make
the beach unsuitable for nesting (Pendoley 2005; Pendoley Environmental 2008). Whites
Beach, approximately 500 m south of North Whites Beach, is commonly used as a nesting site
and is deemed significant because the Green Turtle nesting densities are higher than other
beaches on the west coast, including Perched Beach and North Whites Beach. The nesting
period for Green Turtles on the west coast of Barrow Island is between November and February
(Pendoley 2005), with numbers peaking during December and January (Bowman Bishaw
Gorham 2005b). Green Turtle hatchlings emerge from the nests from summer to early autumn.
Green Turtles nesting at Barrow Island migrate to foraging grounds that extend from Legendre
Island in the Dampier Archipelago to waters in the southern Kimberley (Pendoley 2005).
Migration data from tag recovery have found that Green Turtles tagged at Barrow Island have
been reported as far south as Kalbarri and as far north as eastern Indonesia, suggesting a wide
distribution off the Western Australian coastline (DPaW Turtle Tagging Database). These data
also show Green Turtles foraging in shallow water <25 m deep, with more than 25% of time
spent in waters <10 m deep (Chevron Australia 2009a).
Barrow Island is not considered a regionally important nesting site for Hawksbill Turtles. The
estimated size of the Hawksbill Turtle reproductive population at Barrow Island is 100 per year,
which is smaller than the reproductive populations at the Lowendal Islands and the Montebello
Islands (1000 and 1300 respectively; Pendoley 2005). Hawksbill Turtle nesting on Barrow
Island typically occurs in low numbers on beaches that are small, shallow and characterised by
coarse-grained sand or coral grit interspersed with rocks and beach wrack (Pendoley 2005).
Although their peak nesting period is between October and November, Hawksbill Turtles have a
seasonally diffuse nesting cycle and individuals may nest at any time throughout the year
(Pendoley Environmental 2008). Surveys from 1999 to 2008 did not record any Hawksbill Turtle
nests at North Whites Beach (although one set of tracks was recorded in that period) (Pendoley
Environmental 2008).
Table 4-20 Marine Turtles Likely to be in the Vicinity of the Proposed Installation Area
Common
Name
Green
Turtle

Scientific
Name
Chelonia
mydas

Status
WA1,2

Cth3

1, VU

V, M

Distribution and Habitat

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Forage in shallow benthic foraging habitats


(<25 m) such as tropical tidal and subtidal coral
and rocky reef habitat or inshore seagrass beds
Nest on the west coast of Barrow Island between
November and February
Internesting turtles also frequent shallow waters
and rest on sandy beaches during the breeding
season
Most migrate away from the area after breeding,
although some appear to be resident at Barrow
Island, remaining near the Island during the
winter
Resident turtles browse on the nearshore
macroalgal-dominated platform reefs all along the
west coast of Barrow Island when the sea is calm

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Common
Name
Hawksbill
Turtle

Scientific
Name
Eretmochelys
imbricata

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Status
WA1,2

Cth3

1, VU

V, M

Distribution and Habitat

Flatback
Turtle

Natator
depressus

1, VU

V, M

Loggerhead
Turtle

Caretta
caretta

1, EN

E, M

Leatherback
Turtle

Dermochelys
coriacea

1, VU

E, M

Nest in low numbers on Barrow Island on


beaches that are small, shallow and
characterised by coarse-grained sand or coral grit
interspersed with rocks and beach wrack
Spend the first 510 years drifting on ocean
currents
Once Hawksbill Turtles reach 3040 cm curved
carapace length, they settle and forage in tropical
tidal and subtidal coral and rocky reef habitat
Nest on the east coast of Barrow Island; have
been known to move along the entire length of
the Kimberley coast from Quondong Point to
waters north of the Holothuria Banks and
extending nearly halfway to Timor Leste
Turtles leaving Barrow Island are confined to the
inner continental shelf waters, typically 30 to
<70 m deep
Occur in the waters of coral and rocky reefs,
seagrass beds, and muddy bays throughout
eastern, northern, and western Australia
In WA, nest from Shark Bay to the North West
Cape, with major nesting at Dirk Hartog Island,
Muiron Island, and the beaches of North West
Cape
A highly pelagic species that ventures close to
shore mainly during the nesting season
Forage throughout the water column, from close
to the surface to depths of more than 1200 m, all
year round in Australian waters
Occur at low densities in WA waters
No major nesting has been recorded in Australia

Source: DEWHA (2009a, 2009b); DEC (2010); Chevron Australia (2009a)


Notes:
1
Status under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (WA): 1 = Listed on Schedule 1 Fauna that is rare or is
likely to become extinct ; = Not listed under Specially Protected Fauna;
2
Status on DPaW Current Threatened and Priority Fauna Ranking: VU = Vulnerable; EN = Endangered
3
Status under the EPBC Act (Cth): V = Vulnerable; E = Endangered; M = Migratory

Greater EMBA
The sandy beaches of the Muiron Islands and in the vicinity of Cape Vlaming on the North West
Cape are important breeding areas for Loggerhead, Green, and Hawksbill Turtles. The
macroalgal communities surrounding the Muiron Islands are likely to be important feeding areas
for Green Turtles (CALM 2005a). Marine turtle habitat for each EMBA area is described in
Table 4-21.
Table 4-21 Marine Turtle Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA
Gascoyne

Description
Loggerhead Turtle: The known geographic distribution marginally

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

EMBA

Description

and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

overlaps this Area; however, the Loggerhead Turtle is predominantly


found in the Ningaloo Area to the east. (Listed species)
Hawksbill Turtle: The known geographic distribution marginally
overlaps this Area; however, the Hawksbill Turtle is predominantly found
in the Ningaloo Area to the east. (Listed species)

2013b

Ningaloo
Area

Loggerhead Turtle: High level utilisation of Area for nesting and


internesting. (Listed species)
Green Turtle: High density and most common turtle with important
nesting habitat in the Area, particularly at North and South Muiron Island
and the North West Cape. (Listed species)
Hawksbill Turtle: Significant nesting and internesting habitat with major
rookeries along the Ningaloo and Jurabi coast. The Hawksbill Turtle
population is significant as the populations in Western Australia
represent the largest remaining population in the Indian Ocean. (Listed
species)
Flatback Turtle: Nesting and internesting habitat with high utilisation of
beaches with high dune height. (Listed species)
Leatherback Turtle: Occasional foraging. Low utilisation. (Listed
species)
Olive Ridley Turtle: Occasional foraging. Low utilisation. More
significant foraging grounds located in the north-east Kimberley area.

SEWPaC
2013b;
Environment
Australia
2002

Exmouth
Gulf Area

Loggerhead Turtle: High level utilisation of Area for nesting and


internesting. Distribution is mainly along the Ningaloo coast; however, it
does extend down into the top of the Exmouth Gulf. (Listed species)
Green Turtle: High density and most common turtle with important
nesting habitat in the Area, particularly at North and South Muiron Island
and the North West Cape. Distribution is mainly along the Ningaloo
coast; however, it does extend down into the top of the Exmouth Gulf.
(Listed species)
Hawksbill Turtle: Significant nesting and internesting habitat with major
rookeries along the Ningaloo and Jurabi coast. The Hawksbill Turtle
population is significant as the WA populations represent the largest
remaining population in the Indian Ocean. Distribution is mainly along
the Ningaloo coast; however, it does extend down into the top of the
Exmouth Gulf. (Listed species)
Flatback Turtle: Nesting and internesting habitat with high utilisation of
beaches with high dune height. Present everywhere within the Exmouth
Gulf. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b

Pilbara
Coast Area

Loggerhead Turtle: Low level utilisation of the Area for nesting,


internesting, and foraging. (Listed species)
Green Turtle: High utilisation of foraging habitat, particularly around the
string of islands between Cape Preston and Onslow, inshore of Barrow
Island. (Listed species)
Hawksbill Turtle: Nesting, internesting, and foraging habitat used yearround. Sholl Island is major Hawksbill Turtle rookery. (Listed species)
Flatback Turtle: Nesting, internesting, and foraging habitat with high
utilisation of beaches with high dune height. Foraging is predominantly
around the string of islands between Cape Preston and Onslow, inshore
of Barrow Island. (Listed species)
Leatherback Turtle: Occasional foraging. Low utilisation. (Listed
species)

SEWPaC
2013b

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Loggerhead Turtle: Low level utilisation of Area for nesting and


internesting. (Listed species)
Green Turtle: Major location for foraging, mating aggregations, nesting,
and internesting in high density numbers. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b;
CALM 2007

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EMBA

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Description

Source

Hawksbill Turtle: Significant nesting and internesting habitat particularly


at Varanus Island, Lowendal Island Group, and Barrow Island. The
Hawksbill Turtle population is significant as the WA populations
represent the largest remaining population in the Indian Ocean. (Listed
species)
Flatback Turtle: Major location for foraging, mating aggregations,
nesting, and internesting in high density numbers. The highest density
of Flatback Turtle nesting occurs on the east coast of Barrow Island.
(Listed species)
Dampier
Archipelago
Area

Loggerhead Turtle: Low level utilisation of the Area for nesting,


internesting, and foraging. (Listed species)
Green Turtle: High utilisation of nesting, internesting, and foraging
habitat around the Dampier Archipelago, with particularly high nesting
activities on Legendre and Huay Islands. The intertidal habitat is
important for juvenile Green Turtles. (Listed species)
Hawksbill Turtle: Nesting, internesting, and foraging habitat Delambre
Island, Rosemary Island, and other Dampier Archipelago islands
including Legendre Island. Suitable habitat adjacent to reef. Very
important Hawksbill Turtle nesting location from nest emergence. (Listed
species)
Flatback Turtle: Nesting and internesting habitat with variable usage
levels from low to high density nesting activities on Intercourse,
Legendre, and Huay Islands. (Listed species)
Leatherback Turtle: Low level utilisation of the Area for nesting,
internesting, and foraging. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b;
CALM
2005b

Port Hedland
Area

Loggerhead Turtle: High level utilisation of the Area for foraging all year
round, particularly De Grey River area to Bedout Island. (Listed species)
Green Turtle: High level utilisation of the Area for foraging all year
round, particularly De Grey River area to Bedout Island. (Listed species)
Hawksbill Turtle: High level utilisation of the Area for foraging all year
round, particularly De Grey River area to Bedout Island. (Listed species)
Flatback Turtle: Nesting, internesting, and foraging habitat with
moderate usage levels particularly at North Turtle Island and to a lesser
degree west of Cape Lambert. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

Flatback Turtle: A large population of Flatback Turtles forage in waters


adjacent to and nest on Eighty Mile Beach, but at a low density spread
along the coast. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b

Offshore
Area

Loggerhead Turtle: Distribution marginally overlaps this Area to the


south-east. (Listed species)
Green Turtle: Distribution marginally overlaps this Area to the southeast. (Listed species)
Hawksbill Turtle: Distribution marginally overlaps this Area to the southeast. (Listed species)
Flatback Turtle: Distribution overlaps this Area to the south-east.
(Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

Loggerhead Turtle: Important foraging area for the Loggerhead Turtle.


(Listed species)
Green Turtle: Recorded at the Rowley Shoals; however, these reefs are
not known to be regionally significant turtle habitats. (Listed species)
Hawksbill Turtle: Recorded at the Rowley Shoals; however, these reefs
are not known to be regionally significant turtle habitats. (Listed species)

SEWPaC
2013b;
DEC 2007

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

4.4.5

Fish and Sharks

Pipeline Construction Corridor


The proposed installation area is situated within the North-west Marine Region, which includes
all Commonwealth Waters from offshore Kalbarri in Western Australia to the Western
Australian/Northern Territory border. Most of the Regions species are tropical, and are found in
other parts of the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean (DEWHA 2008a).
Four species of shark (see Table 4-22) under the EPBC Act may inhabit the proposed
installation area (DEWHA 2009a). The world largest fish, the Whale Shark, congregates
annually off Ningaloo Reef, approximately 150 km south-west of Barrow Island. Whale Sharks
may pass through the deeper waters off Barrow Island occasionally; however, they do not
aggregate there given the apparent absence of upwelling or other habitats thought to encourage
aggregations (Chevron Australia 2005).
Pipefish, pipehorses, and seahorses protected under the EPBC Act, are widely distributed in
Western Australian waters, but the distribution of individual species within the Region is little
known. The EPBC database lists 30 species of pipefish and seahorses that may potentially
occur within the proposed pipeline installation area. Hippocampus histrix and Phoxocampus
belcheri are the only listed species recorded from Barrow Island (Chevron Australia 2005). The
distribution of the other protected species is known only from a few records from the Pilbara
Region. Pipefish and seahorses are expected to be widespread through the shallower benthic
habitats of Barrow Island; however, the proposed pipeline installation area does not include any
spatially restricted habitats and is not expected to be of particular significance to these species
(Chevron Australia 2005).
The Region is associated with important populations of demersal fish species, including
commercial species such as snappers, emperors, and groupers, which are distributed across a
number of distinct depth ranges, specifically areas of the upper slope (225500 m) and mid
slope (7501000 m). Over 508 fish species have been identified on the slope in this area, and
64 of these species are endemic (DEWHA 2008a).
Demersal fish surveys in macroalgal, soft sediments with sessile non-coral benthic
macroinvertebrates, and unvegetated sand communities were undertaken in March 2009 and
February/March 2010, in the vicinity of the offshore feed gas pipeline system in State Waters.
The offshore feed gas pipeline system sites were characterised by the families Scombridae,
Nemipteridae, and Carangidae. During the first survey in March 2009, a total of 698 individuals
from 58 species and 28 families were recorded; in February/March 2010, 1266 individuals from
71 species and 31 families were recorded. The highest number of species observed on a single
deployment in 2009 was 25 compared to 32 in 2010, both at soft sediment with sessile benthic
macroinvertebrates sites (Chevron Australia 2010d).
The most numerically abundant species observed in 2009 were Yellowstripe Scad (Selaroides
leptolepis), Northwest Threadfin Bream (Pentapodus porosus), Mackerel (Scombridae spp.),
Barred Yellowtail Scad (Atule mate) and Threadfin Pearl Perch (Glaucosoma magnificum). In
2010, the most numerically abundant species were Yellowstripe Scad, Rusty-spotted Toadfish
(Torquigener pallimaculatus), Northwest Threadfin Bream, Threadfin Emperor (Lethrinus
genivittatus), and Whiting (Sillago spp.). The most common species observed during the 2009
survey were Scombridae spp.), Starry Triggerfish (Abalistes stellatus), Northwest Threadfin
Bream, Yellowstripe Scad, Barred Yellowtail Scad, and Threadfin Bream (Nemipterus spp.).
The most common species observed during the 2010 survey included Scombridae spp., Rustyspotted Toadfish, Largescale Saury (Saurida undosquamis), Sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates),
and Razorfish (Iniistius sp.). The relative abundance or composition of the demersal fish
assemblages recorded at sites in the MDF and in areas at risk of Material or Serious
Environmental Harm were common within the local area and Region (Chevron Australia 2010d).
Small pelagic fish (e.g. members of the family Myctophidaelantern fish) are believed to
comprise a significant proportion of the fish biomass throughout the Region, feeding on pelagic
phytoplankton and zooplankton and providing a food source for a wide variety of predators
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Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

including large pelagic fish, sharks, seabirds, and marine mammals. Large pelagic fish such as
tuna, mackerel, swordfish, and marlin are also found in the Region, mainly in oceanic waters but
occasionally on the North-west shelf. The Region also contains a rich variety of chondrichthyan
fish (sharks, skates, and rays), which occupy a broad range of shallow and deep water habitats,
as well as being distributed throughout the water column (DEWHA 2008a).
Table 4-22 Protected Sharks Likely to be in the Vicinity of the Proposed Installation Area
Common
Name
Whale
Shark

Scientific
Name
Rhincodon
typus

Status
WA1,2

Cth3

V, M

Distribution and Habitat

Dwarf
Sawfish,
Queensland
Sawfish

Pristis
clavata

P1

Oceanic and coastal, tropical to warmtemperate pelagic shark


Main known aggregation site is off Ningaloo
Reef, where each autumn between 200 and
400 Whale Sharks appear
Also known to occur on the North West
Shelf, including the offshore islands of the
Montebello/Lowendal/Barrow Island region
Usually inhabit shallow (23 m) coastal
waters and estuarine habitats between
Cairns around the Cape York Peninsula in
Queensland, across northern Australian
waters to the Pilbara coast in WA
Use estuarine habitats as nursery areas,
with immature juveniles remaining in these
areas up until three years of age
Unclear how far offshore the adults travel

Shortfin
Mako, Mako
Shark

Isurus
oxyrinchus

An offshore species found in tropical and


warm temperate seas in waters generally
over 16 C and occurring from the surface to
depths of at least 150 m

Longfin
Mako

Isurus
paucus

Thought to be deep dwelling and tropical,


mostly offshore and oceanic waters
Rarely reported in Australia

Source: DEWHA (2009a, 2009b); McGrouther (2010); National Conservation Council of NSW (2009); DEC (2010)
Notes:
1
Status under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (WA): = Not listed under Specially Protected Fauna;
2
Status on DPaW Current Threatened and Priority Fauna Ranking: P1 = Priority One: Taxa in need of
monitoring
3
Status under the EPBC Act (Cth): V = Vulnerable; E = Endangered; M = Migratory

Greater EMBA
Detail on fish and shark species found within in the greater EMBA is provided in the following
section. The table highlights ecologically significant habitats at a regional scale and species of
key conservation significance rather than provides a comprehensive survey list. For the full list
of EPBC listed species in the greater EMBA, refer to Appendix 2 of the OSORP.
Fish and shark habitat for each EMBA area is described in Table 4-23.

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Table 4-23 Fish and Shark Habitat by EMBA Areas


EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne
and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

Area not identified as providing significant habitat for sharks and fish.

SEWPaC
2013b

Ningaloo
Area

Whale Shark: Normally oceanic and cosmopolitan in their distribution,


Whale Sharks aggregate in the waters of the Ningaloo Marine Park,
frequently close to the Ningaloo Reef front, both in the lagoon and
outside it. This aggregation behaviour is only known to occur in a few
places in the world. The upwelling of nutrients result in high primary
production and mass spawning of corals also brings about increased
zooplankton production creating ideal foraging grounds for Whale
Sharks. (Listed species)
Other Sharks and Rays: Large sharks, such as the oceanic Whitetipped Shark and Grey Reef Shark and Manta Rays occur in deep
water outside the reef and are likely to be found in Commonwealth
waters also. Manta Rays congregate inside the reef as well as in deep
water, with Ningaloo Reef being an important area for Manta Rays in
autumn and winter.
Fish: Many species of fish are recorded in large numbers including
Golden Trevally, Yellowfin Tuna, mackerel, marlin, sailfish, Spanish
Mackerel, snappers, sea perches, emperors, lizardfish, and goatfish.

SEWPaC
2013b;
Environment
Australia
2002; CALM
2005a

Exmouth
Gulf Area

Fish and sharks are known to occur in this area, but have not been
identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

Pilbara
Coast Area

The Area provides habitat for a rich diversity of finfish and diverse
marine invertebrate fauna comprising mostly tropical species.

CSIRO and
DEC 2006

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Whale Shark: Whale Sharks have been recorded foraging seasonally


in the area, but not at significant densities. (Listed species)
Fish and Invertebrates: This Area supports a higher species richness
of marine fish than most other parts of tropical WA. While a small
number of species are found only in the north-west of the State, most
of the species have relatively wide distributions throughout the IndoWest Pacific region.
The Area also has a high diversity and abundance of invertebrate
species, which is attributed to the wide range of habitats. Invertebrate
fauna comprises tropical species, which are common throughout the
Indo-West Pacific region, as well as north-western Australian endemic
species and northern Australian inshore species, some of which are
rare. The invertebrate fauna is a food source for fish and migratory
birds.

SEWPaC
2013b;
CALM 2007

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

The Area provides habitat for a rich diversity of finfish and a high
diversity of marine invertebrate fauna.

SEWPaC
2013b;
CALM 2005b

Port Hedland
Area

Fish and sharks are known to occur in this area, but have not been
identified as a value in the available literature.

N/A

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

These listed species of fish have a moderate to high level usage of the
Area for foraging, pupping, and nursing:
Freshwater Sawfish (distribution in King Sound and Roebuck
Bay only)
Green Sawfish (distribution in King Sound, Roebuck Bay, and
Camden Sound only)
Dwarf Sawfish (distribution in King Sound, Roebuck Bay, and
Camden Sound only)

SEWPaC
2013b

Offshore

Whale Shark: Whale Sharks have been recorded foraging seasonally

SEWPaC

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Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

EMBA

Description

Source

Area

in the area, but not at significant densities. (Listed species)

2013b

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

Sharks: Area provides important habitat for sharks, which are found in
abundance around the Rowley Shoals relative to other areas in the
region.
Fish: The Rowley Shoals has a rich diversity of fish fauna, consisting
of many species common to the Indo-Pacific region and the tropical
and subtropical waters of WA. Although many of the oceanic dwellers
are also found on the Great Barrier Reef, almost half the species
recorded at the Rowley Shoals have not been recorded from other WA
coral reef environments. The only described species thus far restricted
to the Rowley Shoals/Scott Reef region is Connies Wrasse.

DEC 2007

4.4.6

Seabirds

Seabirds is the collective term used in this document for marine birds, shorebirds, and migratory
birds, all of which have distinctive preferences for foraging and breeding habitat.
Pipeline Construction Corridor
Seabirds may pass through the proposed installation area undertaking foraging activities, but
given the lack of suitable roosting areas, sustained stays in the area are considered unlikely.
Protected seabird species likely to occur within the proposed installation area are listed in Table
4-24.
Table 4-24
Area

Protected Seabirds Likely to be in the Vicinity of the Proposed Installation

Common
Name

Scientific
Name

Southern
Giant Petrel

Macronectes
giganteus

Status
WA1,2

Cth3

1, EN

Distribution and Habitat

Whitebellied SeaEagle

Haliaeetus
leucogaster

Barn
Swallow

Hirundo
rustica

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Occur in Antarctic to subtropical waters, usually


below a latitude of 60 S in the South Pacific
and south-east Indian Oceans, or 53 S in the
regions of Heard Island and Macquarie Island
Throughout the colder months, immatures and
most adults disperse widely, with Antarctic
colonies becoming completely deserted during
winter
Circumpolar winter dispersal, extending north
from 50 S to the Tropic of Capricorn (23 S)
and sometimes beyond these latitudes
Found in coastal habitats (especially those
close to the seashore) and around terrestrial
wetlands in tropical and temperate regions of
mainland Australia and its offshore islands
Generally forage over large expanses of open
water
Forage over all types of country, particularly
surface water, avoiding only thick forest
Feed on small flying insects including flies,
mosquitoes, and midges

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Common
Name
Rainbow
Bee-eater

Scientific
Name
Merops
ornatus

Status
WA1,2

Cth3

Distribution and Habitat

Oriental
Plover,
Oriental
Dotterel

Charadrius
veredus

Bridled Tern

Onychoprion
anaethetus

Fairy Tern

Sterna
nereis
nereis

Roseate
Tern

Sterna
dougallii

1, VU

Egretta
sacra

Found worldwide, but the Montebello Islands is


the largest breeding colony in WA
Foraging occurs at sea, by plunge-diving for fish
Breeding occurs in colonies on coasts and
islands

Whitewinged
Fairy-wren
(Barrow
Island)

Malurus
leucopterus
edouardi

1, VU

Found in tropical and subtropical coastlines


worldwide
Foraging generally occurs at sea, by swooping
at fish close to the surface
Generally prefer rocky, continental islands and
rock stacks, with nesting occurring in rocky
areas, crevices, cliffs, or among rubble and
grasses
Breeding occurs in spring/summer
Have significantly declined in eastern Australia
Present on Barrow Island throughout the year,
with highest counts between November and
April

Generally found inland, inhabiting open


grasslands in arid and semi-arid zones; less
often found in littoral or estuarine environments
Prefer flat inland plains, claypans, playing
grounds, lawn
Feed on insects, foraging in loose flocks often in
association with other waders and waterbirds

Eastern
Reef Egret

Distributed across much of mainland Australia,


and occurs on several nearshore islands,
except Tasmania
Movement patterns are complex and not fully
understood

Found along most of the coast of Australia,


including offshore islands
Foraging occurs day and night, on small fish,
crustaceans, and insects
Nesting occurs year-round, in trees or under
shrubs or rock ledges
There are three sub-species, one of which is
restricted to Barrow Island
Live in social groups and forage on seeds,
beetles, flies, insects, and other invertebrates
Breeding occurs between April and October,
with nests built on the ground from grass,
leaves and roots

Source: DEWHA (2009a, 2009b); DEC (2010); Woodside Energy Limited (2008)
Notes:
1
Status under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (WA): 1 = Listed on Schedule 1 Fauna that is rare or is
likely to become extinct; 2 = Listed on Schedule 2 Fauna presumed to be extinct; 3 = Listed on Schedule 3
Migratory birds protected under an international agreement; = Not listed under Specially Protected Fauna
2
Status on DPaW Current Threatened and Priority Fauna Ranking: EN = Endangered
3
Status under the EPBC Act (Cth): V = Vulnerable; E = Endangered; M = Migratory

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Greater EMBA
The seabird population of the Pilbara Region includes migratory and resident seabirds.
Generally, migratory species visit the Pilbara from the northern hemisphere or close to the
equator and pass through the Region on their way southward, or they may stay in the Pilbara
Region until ready to journey back to breed (Chevron Australia 2005). Resident species remain
in the Pilbara Region throughout the year, but may move around within the Region.
Seabird species found within the greater EMBA are described in Table 4-25. The table
highlights ecologically significant habitats at a regional scale and species of key conservation
significance, rather than provides a comprehensive survey list. For the full list of EPBC listed
species in the greater EMBA, refer to Appendix 2 of the OSORP.
Table 4-25 Seabird Habitat by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Gascoyne
and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

The Area provides important foraging and breeding grounds that are
highly utilised by a diverse number of marine and migratory bird species.
However, most listed species identified have a wider distribution in the
south-west and north-west regions for breeding and foraging.

SEWPaC
2013b

Ningaloo
Area

The Muiron Islands are significant feeding areas for many species of
seabirds and shorebirds, and are important nesting sites for the Wedgetailed Shearwater. Migratory species that are most abundant in summer
and autumn include the Wedge-tailed Shearwater and nine other
migratory bird species that are protected under the ChinaAustralia
Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA) and JapanAustralia Migratory Bird
Agreement (JAMBA) (SEWPaC 2012c). Resident bird species include
the Eastern Reef Heron, the White-bellied Sea Eagle, and the Osprey.
The Area provides important foraging and breeding grounds that are
highly utilised by a diverse number of marine and migratory bird species.
The main rookery areas are concentrated at the bays, points, and
islands in the Area. A large number of the species recorded in the Area
are also listed under international treaties or are of national or state
conservation significance. Some of the species are at the southern limit
of their distribution range, whereas most listed species identified have a
wider distribution in the south-west region for breeding and foraging.

SEWPaC
2013b;
Environment
Australia
2002; CALM
2005a

Exmouth Gulf
Area

The Area provides important foraging and breeding grounds that are
highly utilised by a small number of marine and migratory bird species.
The Wedge-tailed Shearwater, in particular, uses this area; however it
has a greater distribution the south-west and north-west regions for
breeding and foraging.

SEWPaC
2013b

Pilbara Coast
Area

The Area provides important foraging and breeding grounds that are
highly utilised by a small number of marine and migratory bird species.
The Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Fairy Tern, and Roseate Tern in
particular, use this area; however they have a greater distribution in the
south-west and northwest regions for breeding and foraging.

SEWPaC
2013b

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

The Montebello/Lowendal/Barrow Island region has significant rookeries


for 15 seabird species, including the largest breeding colony of Roseate
Terns in WA, which is located on the Montebello Islands. Double Island,
5 km off the east coast of Barrow Island, is a regionally significant
rookery for Bridled Terns and a locally significant rookery site for the
Wedge-Tailed Shearwater (Chevron Australia 2005).
The Area provides very important foraging and breeding habitat for a
high diversity of birds, including a significant abundance of migratory and
breeding seabirds. The Area itself and a large number of the species
recorded in this Area are listed under international treaties or are of
national or state conservation significance.

SEWPaC
2013b; CALM
2007

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EMBA

Description

Source

In particular, the largest breeding colony of Roseate Terns in WA is


located in the Montebello Islands. Barrow Island is also unusual
compared with other sites in the north-western Australia in effectively
acting as a terminus for numerous migratory species.
However, numerous listed species found in this Area have a greater
distribution in the south-west and north-west regions for breeding and
foraging.
Dampier
Archipelago
Area

The Area provides very important foraging and breeding habitat for a
high diversity of birds, including a significant abundance of migratory and
breeding seabirds. The small islands and islets such as Goodwyn
Island, Keast Island, and Nelson Rocks provide important undisturbed
nesting and refuge sites, and Keast Island also provides one of the few
nesting sites for pelicans in WA.
A large number of the species recorded in this area are listed under
international treaties or are of national or state conservation significance.
However, numerous listed species found in this Area have a greater
distribution in the south-west and north-west regions for breeding and
foraging.

SEWPaC
2013b; CALM
2005b

Port Hedland
Area

The Area provides important foraging and breeding habitat that is highly
utilised by various marine and migratory seabirds. However, numerous
listed species found in this Area have a greater distribution in the southwest and north-west regions and along the greater Kimberley coast for
breeding and foraging.

SEWPaC
2013b

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

The Area provides very important foraging and breeding habitat for a
high diversity of birds, including a significant abundance of migratory and
breeding seabirds. The Area itself and a large number of the species
recorded in this Area are listed under international treaties or are of
national or state conservation significance. However, numerous listed
species found in this Area have a greater distribution in the south-west
and north-west regions and along the greater Kimberley coast for
breeding and foraging. Eighty Mile Beach is a listed Ramsar site.

SEWPaC
2013b

Offshore
Area

The Area provides important foraging and breeding habitat that is highly
utilised by various marine and migratory seabirds. Of particular note is
the White-Tailed Tropic Bird, which is only recorded in two locations in
WA.
However, numerous listed species found in this Area have a greater
distribution in the south-west and north-west regions and along the
greater Kimberley coast for breeding and foraging.

SEWPaC
2013b

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

A wide range of seabirds have been observed at the Rowley Shoals.


Bedwell and Cunningham Islands are recognised as important resting
places for northern migrants en route to and from Australia. Large flocks
of unidentified waders have been seen at the Rowley Shoals.
In particular, the Area provides important foraging and breeding grounds
that are highly utilised by the Little Tern and the White-Tailed Tropic
Bird. The Little Tern has a wider distribution along the greater Kimberley
coast; however, the White-Tailed Tropic Bird is only recorded in two
locations in WA.

SEWPaC
2013b; DEC
2007

4.4.7

Terrestrial Fauna

The Matters of NES search (SEWPaC 2013f) found five terrestrial mammals (Burrowing
Bettong, Golden Bandicoot, Spectacled Hare-wallaby, Barrow Island Wallaroo, and Shark Bay
Mouse) and two terrestrial reptiles (Hermite Island Worm-lizard and Airlie Island Ctenotus) of
conservation significance within the coastal/intertidal zone of the greater EMBA Area. Due to

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the mobility of these species and their distribution not being limited to the coastal/intertidal zone,
they are not considered an at risk value and therefore are not described in further detail.

4.5

Socioeconomic Environment

4.5.1

Infrastructure

Infrastructure includes other petroleum development, ports, and harbours.


Pipeline Construction Corridor
Petroleum exploration began in the North West Shelf region in 1953 and the Barrow Island
oilfield, declared commercial in 1964, was the second commercial oilfield in Australia. Since the
late 1960s, and particularly since the 1980s, extensive exploration activities have been
undertaken in the regions offshore areas.
There are a number of oil and gas facilities in the vicinity of the pipeline construction corridor
(see Figure 4-14). Those that may be directly affected by the proposed installation activities
are:
The East Spar Pipeline, which runs from the East Spar field to Varanus Island and is used to
transport gas from the Halyard and Spar development. Production from the Halyard-1 well
commenced in mid-2011. The Spar-2 well is currently being developed and is about 16 km
from the East Spar manifold. If the well is successful, Spar-2 will be tied back to East Spar.
First production is expected from Spar-2 in late 2012
Halyard EHU, which provides well control of the Halyard and Spar development from the
existing John Brookes Platform. The John Brookes, an unmanned platform operated by
Apache, is located approximately 10 km east of the proposed Jansz pipelines and umbilical
Production wells associated with the Gorgon and Jansz development within the Gorgon and
Jansz fields (see Figure 3-2).
Other subsea wells are located further away from the proposed pipeline and umbilical route;
because of their distance they are unlikely to be affected by the proposed installation activities.
For example, the closest subsea wells, Rosella-1 (a Plugged and Abandoned (P&A) well) and
Salsa-1 (a suspended well), are located approximately 700 m and 1000 m respectively from the
Gorgon pipelines and umbilical.
As the pipeline construction corridor is offshore, there is no infrastructure such as ports or
harbours within this area. Several capped exploration and capped wells exist within the wider
corridor.
Greater EMBA
Table 4-26 and Figure 4-13 provide a summary of significant infrastructure by EMBA Area. The
Dampier Archipelago and Port Hedland Areas contain the most significant infrastructure; in
particular, the port facilities at Dampier, Cape Lambert, and Port Hedland, which support major
industrial activities that have key economic benefits to State revenue. Numerous petroleum
activities and associated infrastructure occur offshore in the North West Shelf, as shown in
Figure 4-14. There are also several harbours and boats ramps throughout the EMBA, primarily
used by marine tourism operators or for recreational activities.

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Figure 4-13 Significant Infrastructure by EMBA Area


Table 4-26 Significant Infrastructure by EMBA Areas
EMBA
Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

Description

Source

N/A Area is entirely offshore

N/A

Ningaloo Area

Harbour at Exmouth Tantabiddi (Exmouth west)


Boat ramp at Coral Bay

Department
of Transport
(DoT) 2013

Exmouth Gulf
Area

Boat ramp at Bundegi (Exmouth east)

DoT 2013

Pilbara Coast
Area

Boat ramps at Cossack, Dampier and Karratha


Port and associated infrastructure at:
o Onslow (Onslow Salt salt export)
o Thevenard Island (Chevron Australia crude oil export)
o Airlie Island (Apache Energy crude oil export)

DoT 2013;
DEWHA
2008a

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Port and associated infrastructure at:


o Barrow Island (Chevron Australia crude oil export)
o Varanus Island (Apache Energy domestic natural gas and
crude oil export)

DEWHA
2008a

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

Port and associated infrastructure at:


o Dampier (various resources companies i.e. Rio Tintos Dampier
Salt and Pilbara Iron, Woodside Energy Ltd, Yara Pilbara

DoT 2013;
DEWHA
2008a

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Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


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Description

Source

Holdings Ltd (formerly Burrup Fertilisers) for export of iron ore,


LNG, salt, liquid ammonia etc.)
o Cape Lambert (Walcott Port, Rio Tinto iron ore export)
Harbour and boat ramp at Port Sampson
Port and associated infrastructure at:
o Port Hedland (various resources companies i.e. Rio Tinto, BHP,
etc. for export of iron ore, salt etc.)

Port Hedland
Area

DoT 2013

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

There is no significant infrastructure located in this Area

N/A

Offshore Area

N/A Area is entirely offshore

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

There is no significant infrastructure located in this Area

N/A

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Figure 4-14 Petroleum Activities in the North West Shelf

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4.5.2

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Commercial Shipping

Pipeline Construction Corridor


A review of Australian Ship Reporting (ATSB 2013), a ship reporting system operated by the
Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), estimated that 1200 ships a year (equating to
fewer than four per day) travelled through the vicinity of the pipeline construction corridor in
2008.
Although the proposed Gorgon and Jansz pipeline and umbilical route traverses the shipping
route between the WA coast and Asia, the main shipping routes to and from Port Hedland and
the Port of Dampier are located east of the proposed area (see Figure 4-15).
Greater EMBA
The major shipping lanes within the EMBA Area are shown in Figure 4-15 and include the major
ports at Dampier, Cape Lambert, and Port Hedland and to a lesser degree Broome, Onslow,
and Exmouth.
Dampier is one of the major tonnage ports in Australia with 6457 ships visiting over 2012 2013
with a throughput of approximately 179 million tonnes (DPA 2104). The prime commodities
exported included iron ore, LNG, and salt (DEWHA 2008a).
Port Hedland is also considered one of the most significant ports as it handles large tonnages of
iron ore in addition to salt, manganese, feldspar chromite, and copper (DEWHA 2008). Port
Hedland was rated third busiest port in WA after Dampier and Fremantle with 888 ship visits in
20062007 (DEWHA 2008a).
Cape Lamberts Port Walcott is the third major iron ore port in the north-west and is owned by
Robe River Iron Associates and operated by Pilbara Iron (DEWHA 2008a). Annual ship loading
capacity as at 20062007 was approximately 55 MTPA with expansion plans underway in
recent years.
Table 4-26 lists the ports, facilities, and major industrial developments by EMBA Area.

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Figure 4-15 Shipping Lanes in the Region

4.5.3

Commercial Fishing

Pipeline Construction Corridor


Five Commonwealth managed fisheries intersect the proposal area, as summarised in Table
4-27. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AMFA) is responsible for the efficient
management and sustainable use of Australias Commonwealth fisheries resources.
Some State managed fisheries intersect the proposal area, as summarised in Table 4-28. The
Western Australian Department of Fisheries (DoF) is responsible for managing and licensing
commercial and recreational fishing activities in WA.
Greater EMBA
Due to the broad geographic location of fisheries, the fisheries described as intersecting the
proposal area are also relevant to the greater EMBA Areas, as detailed in Table 4-27 and Table
4-28. The tables list the fisheries that apply to individual EMBA Areas.

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Table 4-27 Summary of Commonwealth Managed Fisheries Intersecting the Pipeline Construction Corridor
Fishery

Area Description

Fishing Activity

Ecological Considerations

Commonwealth Managed Fisheries


North West
Slope Trawl
Fishery

The North West Slope Trawl


Fishery encompasses the
northern waters of WA roughly
between the edge of the
continental shelf to the outer
boundary of the Australian
Fishing Zone (AFZ) (Woodhams
et al. 2012).
Area(s): OSA

Two vessels were active in the fishery in 20092010


and one vessel was active in 20102011 with
approximately 1749 and 1783 hours fishing effort
(respectively), which was approximately 30% lower
than in 20082009, and much less than the peak of
18 600 hours in the 19871988 season (Woodhams
et al. 2012). Woodhams et al. (2012) cite low-high
fishing intensity for this fishery between 2006 and
2011.

The North West Slope Trawl Fishery catches a number of


demersal species although the predominant target
species for the fishery is scampi (Metanephrops
australiensis, M. boschmai, and M. Velutinus). The
species inhabit the seabed and are vulnerable to
disturbance within the benthic environment; scampi catch
rates in the North West Slope Trawl Fishery can decline
quickly in response to fishing, but recover quickly after
the grounds are rested for short periods (Wallner and
Phillips 1995).

Western
Deepwater
Trawl
Fishery

The Western Deepwater Trawl


Fishery boundaries extend from
the 200 m isobath to the
Australian Fishing Zone outer
limits, at depths >1500 m.
Area(s): GCC, NIN, OSA

The level of effort in this fishery has been declining


since 2001, with only two vessels operating in 2010
2011 for a total of 22 days. Despite a total of
11 vessels permitted to fish, the effort and catch are
considered to be well below sustainable levels for
this fishery (Woodhams et al. 2012).
Few fishing grounds have been identified for the
fishery, which has been described as an
opportunistic multispecies fishery, taking a range of
species in low quantities (AFMA 2012).

The permit areas are not considered to represent areas


of particular significance to the fishery. The target
species (and associated habitats) for the fishery are
considered to be well represented outside the permit
area.

Southern
Bluefin Tuna
Fishery

The Southern Bluefish Tuna


Fishery operates within the AFZ
from Cape York Peninsula off
Queensland around to the South
Australia/Victoria boundary
(Woodhams et al. 2012).
Areas: All

The regions of greatest fishing intensity between


2005 and 2011 and the total area fished in 2011,
were concentrated in the Great Australian Bight.
Between the 200910 and 20102011 fishing
seasons, fishing effort approximately doubled for
purse seine fishing (417 to 835 hours); longline effort
also increased from 78 to 106 shots (Woodhams et
al. 2012). There is no commercial or recreational
fishing for Southern Bluefin Tuna in WA (AFMA
2013).

Southern Bluefish Tuna are highly migratory and widely


distributed throughout waters of the southern oceans.
Migrating adults and juveniles use the Leeuwin Current
and subsequently are unlikely to pass through the drilling
areas. Spawning activity occurs over an extensive area
between Java and WA with the southern-most portion of
the area lying within Australias Exclusive Economic Zone
(Phillips and Findlay 2008). This area is largely located
north of the Chevron Permit Areas.

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Fishery

Area Description

Fishing Activity

Ecological Considerations

Western
Tuna and
Billfish
Fishery

The boundaries of the Western


Tuna and Billfish Fishery extend
from Queensland to the west
coast of WA and overlap the
Exmouth Plateau.
Area(s): All

The target species for this fishery include: Broadbill


Swordfish, Bigeye Tuna, Striped Marlin, and
Yellowfin Tuna. In 2010 and 2011 four vessels were
active in the Fishery, largely confined to waters
outside the continental shelf break between
Esperance and Broome. Fishing effort (hooks
deployed) reduced by approximately 40% between
in 2010 and 2011 (Woodhams et al. 2012).

The species that generally comprise the Western Tuna


and Billfish Fishery are pelagic fish that can occupy large
areas of ocean. Whilst the geographical range of these
species may include the Chevron Permit Areas, their
presence is expected to be transient.

Western
Skipjack
Tuna Fishery

The Western Skipjack Tuna


Fishery extends mostly through
the same areas as the Western
Tuna and Billfish Fishery, but
also into the international waters
of the Indian Ocean.
Area(s): All, but currently inactive

Although the Western Skipjack Tuna Fishery has


access to the Chevron Permit Areas, historically
fishing activity has been concentrated outside this
area. No Australian vessels fished in 2010 or 2011
(Woodhams et al. 2012).

Skipjack Tuna is not always present in the AFZ; its


distribution is heavily influenced by interannual variability
in environmental conditions, and recruitment from the
centres of abundance in equatorial regions (Woodhams
et al. 2012).

Definition of Areas: GCC: Gascoyne and Carnarvon Canyon Area; NIN: Ningaloo Area; EG: Exmouth Gulf Area; PC: Pilbara Coast Area; BMI: Pilbara Coast Area; DA: Dampier
Archipelago Area; PH: Port Hedland Area; 80MB: Eighty Mile Beach Area; OSA: Offshore Area; ART: Argo-Rowley Terrace Area.

Table 4-28 Summary of State Managed Fisheries Intersecting the EMBA


Fishery

Area Description

Fishing Activity

Ecological Considerations

The EGPMF uses low opening, otter prawn trawl systems


within the sheltered waters of Exmouth Gulf. In 2011 nine
boats operated for a total effort of 13 221 hours between May
and November.
In 2011, only one vessel was recorded to be operating in the
OPMF during the season, which extended from early May until
the end of October. Areas trawled in 2011 were confined to
nearshore areas of the mainland coast (<30 km from the
shoreline) (DoF 2012b).
In the NBPMF, five boats fished during the 2011 season for an

The target species of this fisheries


(including Banana Prawns [Penaeus
merguiensis] and Endeavour Prawns
[Metapenaeus endeavouri]) inhabit shallow
coastal waters up to approximately 40
50 m in depth. Therefore, the Chevron
Permit Areas are considered to be beyond
the typical depth range for the fisheries
target species.

State Managed Fisheries


Exmouth Gulf,
Onslow, and
Nickol Bay
Prawn Managed
Fisheries

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The Exmouth Gulf Prawn


Managed Fishery (EGPMF)
encompasses the waters of the
north-west side of the Exmouth
Gulf (the south-east side of the
Gulf is closed to trawling). The
Onslow (OPMF) and Nickol Bay
(NBPMF) Prawn Managed
Fisheries operate along the
western part of the North West
Shelf

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Fishery

Area Description

Fishing Activity

Ecological Considerations

Area(s): NIN, EG, PC, OSA, BMI,


DA, PH, 80MB, ART

aggregated total of 253 boat days.

North Coast
Demersal
Fisheries

The North Coast Demersal Fishery


includes the Pilbara Trawl (Interim)
Managed Fishery, the Pilbara Trap
Managed Fishery, and the Pilbara
Line Fishery. The Pilbara Trap
Managed Fishery lies north of
latitude 2144S and between
1149.6E and 120E on the
landward side of the 200 m
isobath and seaward of the 30 m
isobaths.
Area(s): ART, BMI, DA, EG, GCC,
NIN, OSA, PH

There are six licences in the Pilbara Trap Managed Fishery,


which have been consolidated onto three vessels (DoF
2012b). The total annual catch taken by the Pilbara Trap
Managed Fishery has remained relatively consistent since
2006 and within the target catch range.
In 2010 and 2011 the Pilbara Line Fishery experienced similar
catch levels within the target range. The Pilbara Line Fishery
allows boat licensees to operate anywhere within Pilbara
waters (west of North West Cape and north to longitude
120E). There are nine licence holders, who are permitted to
fish for any five-month period within the year.
The Pilbara Trawl Managed Fishery is divided into two zones.
The Chevron Permit Areas overlap the Trawl fishing Area
Zone 1 at fisheries northern edge. Area Zone 1 is currently
closed to fishing.

No species targeted by these fisheries are


known to be unique to Chevron Permit
Areas.

West Coast
Deep Sea
Crustacean
(Interim)
Managed
Fishery

The boundaries of this fishery


include all the waters lying north of
latitude 3424'S (Cape Leeuwin)
and west of the Northern Territory
border on the seaward side of the
150 m isobath out to the extent of
the AFZ.
Area(s): All

The only allowable method of capture is baited pots (traps).


There are seven permit holders in the fishery, with activity only
in very deep waters (150 m1200 m) (DoF 2012a). In 2011
four vessels were in operation (DoF 2012b).

The target catch species occupy benthic


environments and may be slow-growing,
and therefore susceptible to seabed
disturbance. However, target species
have a wide range and are generally
fished from depths that are greater than
the depths in the Chevron Permit Areas.

Mackerel
Managed
Fishery

The Mackerel Managed Fishery in


the Pilbara (Area 2) spans
between 114E and 121E.
Area(s): All

Fishing methods are restricted to near-surface trolling and


handline. Catches within the fishery are reported separately
for three areas, with Area 2 and Area 3 overlapping with the
Chevron Permit Areas. There are currently 21 permits each in
Area 2 and Area 3, with three and nine boats operational,
respectively. Most of the catch from the fishery is taken from
Area 1 in the Kimberley, which reflects the tropical distribution
of the mackerel species.

The main target species in the fishery is


Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus
commerson). Spanish Mackerel is found
throughout tropical and subtropical waters
of the Indo-pacific, from Africa to Fiji. In
Australian waters, it occurs from
Geographe Bay in south-western QA,
throughout northern Australian waters and
down the east coast as far as St Helens in
Tasmania (Kailola et al. 1993).

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Fishery

Area Description

Fishing Activity

Ecological Considerations

Pearl Oyster
Managed
Fishery

The Western Australian pearl


oyster fishery is the only remaining
significant wild-stock fishery for
pearl oysters in the world. It is a
dive fishery, operating in shallow
coastal waters (1020 m water
depth) along the North West Shelf
predominantly in the Exmouth
Gulf, Port Hedland, and Broome
areas (DoF 2012b).
Area(s): ART, DA, 80MB, EG,
NIN, OSA, PC, PH

The Pearl Oyster Managed Fishery is separated into four


zones. The Chevron permit areas overlap with Zone 1, which
extends from North West Cape (including Exmouth Gulf) to
longitude 11930E. There are five license holders in Zone 1.
Fishing has not been reported in Zone 1 since 2009 (DoF
2012b).

Pearl aquaculture has expanded rapidly in


the region, with pearl farms operating
within lease areas in the Dampier
Archipelago, the Montebello Islands,
Lowendal Islands, and Exmouth Gulf. The
nearest pearl farm is located in the
sheltered waters of the Montebello Islands;
however, pearling leases in both the
Dampier Archipelago and the Montebello
Islands are currently not active.
All Chevron communication and interaction
is via the Pearl Producers Association.

Specimen Shell
Managed
Fishery

The Specimen Shell Managed


Fishery covers the entire WA
coastline; however, there is some
concentration of effort in areas
adjacent to population centres
such as Exmouth.
Area(s): All

The Specimen Shell Managed Fishery is a limited entry fishery


with 32 licences in the fishery, with about 11 of these regularly
active. The main methods are by hand by a small group of
divers operating from small boats in shallow coastal waters or
by wading along coastal beaches below the high water mark.
An Exemption has been granted for two licensees to trial the
use of a remote operated underwater vehicle to collect shells
in water depths of 60 to 300 metres (DoF 2012)

The Specimen Shell Managed Fishery


collects individual shells for the purposes
of display, collection, cataloguing,
classification, and sale.
Due to the predominantly coastal
collection of the fishery species, it is
unlikely that the Chevron Permit Areas will
have an impact on the fishery.

Marine
Aquarium Fish
Managed
Fishery

The Marine Aquarium Fish


Managed Fishery operates in
State Waters spanning the WA
coastline from the Northern
Territory border to the South
Australian border.
Area(s): All

During the past three years the fishery has been active in
waters from Esperance to Broome with popular areas being
around the Capes region, Perth and Geraldton and in the area
of Chevron activity, Exmouth and Dampier. In 2011, 10
licences operated in the fishery (DoF 2012).

The fishery has the capacity to target more


than 250 species of finfish, and also takes
coral, live rock, invertebrates, seagrass,
and algae (Smith et al. 2010).
Due to the predominantly coastal
collection of the fishery species, it is
unlikely that the Chevron Permit Areas will
have an impact on the fishery.

Beche-de-mer
Fishery

The WA Beche-de-mer Fishery is


primarily based in the northern half
of the State, from Exmouth Gulf to
the Northern Territory border;
however, fishers do have access
to all WA waters (DoF 2012b).
Area(s): All

Only two licensed vessels fished for beche-de-mer in 2011,


the same as from 2007 to 2010. This represents 33% of the
potential number of vessels that have an endorsement to fish.
Fishing activities are mostly located in the Northern Territory
where the fishing fleet is based (DoF 2012b).

Fishing activity is predominantly in the


Northern Territory, therefore vessels are
unlikely to enter the Chevron Permit
Areas.

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Fishery

Area Description

Fishing Activity

Western
Australian North
Coast Shark
Fishery

The Western Australian North


Coast Shark Fishery is zoned into
three areas with separate levels of
access.
Area(s): ART, BMI, DA, EG,
80MB, NIN, OSA, PC, PH

The area overlapping the Chevron permit areas between


North West Cape and longitude at 120E and all waters south
of latitude 18S has been closed indefinitely, primarily to
protect the breeding stock of Sandbar Sharks.

Ecological Considerations
N/A

Definition of Areas: GCC: Gascoyne and Carnarvon Canyon Area; NIN: Ningaloo Area; EG: Exmouth Gulf Area; PC: Pilbara Coast Area; BMI: Barrow and Montebello Islands Area;
DA: Dampier Archipelago Area; PH: Port Hedland Area; 80MB: Eighty Mile Beach Area; OSA: Offshore Area; ART: Argo-Rowley Terrace Area

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4.5.4

Aquaculture

Pipeline Construction Corridor


There are no aquaculture activities within the pipeline corridor.
Greater EMBA
Significant aquaculture activities in the EMBA Areas are described in Table 4-29.
Table 4-29 Aquaculture Values by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

There are no significant aquaculture activities occurring in the Area.


Refer to the Exmouth Gulf Area for information on the adjacent
coastal aquaculture activities.

N/A

Ningaloo Area

There are no significant aquaculture activities occurring in the Area.

N/A

Exmouth Gulf
Area

Aquaculture development in the Area is largely restricted to the


production of pearls and pearl oysters in the major embayments.
Hatchery production of oysters is of critical importance in this region,
driven by the irregular and unreliable recruitment of both large
species of pearl oysters in the wild.
Pearl hatcheries in Carnarvon and Exmouth supply significant
quantities of Pinctada maxima spat to pearl farms in Exmouth Gulf
and the Montebello Islands, while several hatcheries supply
juveniles of the Blacklip Pearl oyster (Pinctada margaritifera) to the
bioregions developing black pearl farms.

Fletcher and
Santoro 2012

Pilbara Coast
Area

There are no significant aquaculture activities occurring in the Area.

N/A

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

The pearling industry is present in the sheltered waters of the


Montebello and Lowendal Islands. However, the pearling leases in
the vicinity of the Montebello Islands are currently not active.

Fletcher and
Santoro 2012;
Chevron
Australia 2010

Dampier
Archipelago
Area

Current aquaculture activities are limited in this Area; however, there


is potential for future development of aquaculture industries as the
environment will support the culture of pearls, algae, Redclaw
crayfish, and aquarium fishes.
Specifically, the warm water temperatures, high nutrient levels,
protection from wave damage, and relatively shallow water in parts
of the Area provide optimal conditions for the production of pearls
and other aquaculture activities.
A demonstration project culturing marine microalgae for the
production of bio-fuels, omega-3 lipids, and protein biomass has
been established near Karratha. The company is planning for
significant increases in scale and production capability in the future.

Fletcher and
Santoro 2012;
CALM 2005b

Port Hedland
Area

There are no significant aquaculture activities occurring in the Area.

N/A

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

Eighty Mile Beach is a key location for the collection of pearl oysters
(Pinctada maxima) for use in the aquaculture production of pearls.
Significant commercial fishery.

Fletcher and
Santoro 2012

Offshore Area

There are no significant aquaculture activities occurring in the Area.

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

There are no significant aquaculture activities occurring in the Area.

N/A

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4.5.5

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Marine-based Tourism and Recreation

This section includes recreational fishing.


Pipeline Construction Corridor
There is little marine-based tourism and recreational fishing within the construction corridor
owing to its distance from the mainland (approximately 70 km from the closest harbour) and its
relative isolation. Unlike the Montebello Islands, Barrow Island is not a tourism destination for
cruises, charter fishing boats, etc. Barrow Island is a Class A Nature Reserve, and DPaW has
an office on the Island and therefore can control public access.
Greater EMBA
The north-west of Western Australia provides substantial marine-based tourism and recreational
opportunities benefiting the WA community, as summarised in Table 4-30 and Figure 4-16.
Table 4-30 Marine-Based Tourism and Recreation Values by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Source

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

No significant marine-based tourism or recreation values were


identified for the Area.

N/A

Ningaloo Area

Tourism and recreation is a major component of the local economy


with Ningaloo Marine Park being a key tourist destination of local,
state, national, and international significance.
Recorded visits to the Ningaloo Marine Park and the adjoining Cape
Range National Park exceed 80 000 per annum, having doubled in
the last ten years (to 2002). The main activities undertaken by
tourists at Ningaloo Marine Park are snorkelling and diving,
recreational fishing, beach recreation and camping, coral and wildlife
viewing, and wildlife interaction tours. Tourists are keen to see
animals in the wild, such as dolphins and migrating whales, as well
as swim with Whale Sharks.
Figures published in 2005 showed that revenue from accommodation
alone for the Shire of Exmouth was equal to around AUD $10 million
a year and tourism-related income expenditure was estimated to be
around AUD $80 million per year.

Environment
Australia
2002;
Northcote and
Macbeth
2008

Exmouth Gulf
Area

The major tourism values of this Area are considered within the
description of the Ningaloo Area.

N/A

Pilbara Coast
Area

The North West Coast, including Onslow, the Mackerel Islands,


Dampier and the Dampier Archipelago, Karratha, and the Burrup
Peninsula, are key coastal tourism areas. The attractions and
recreation opportunities focus on the marine environment, and
include wildlife appreciation, beach access for boating, recreational
fishing, and swimming, snorkelling, and scuba diving.

CSIRO and
DEC 2006

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Due to the Areas isolation from major mainland centres and a lack of
visitor facilities, visitation levels have historically been low but are
developing.
The Area is becoming an important location for the nature-based
tourism industry, with charter boats taking tourists to the Montebello
Islands to participate in activities such as fishing, diving, wildlife
viewing, island exploring, and surfing.
Other recreational values also include shore and boat-based fishing
opportunities targeting a variety of pelagic and reef finfish species,
mud crabs, and other edible invertebrates.
Most recreational fishing occurs in State Waters with very few

DEWHA
2008a; CALM
2007

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EMBA

Description

Source

recreational fishers visiting the offshore region. Those fishers who do


visit the region are mainly concentrated in the waters off the northeastern end of Trimouille Island and south of the Montebello Group.
Consultation undertaken with Recfishwest indicated that there are no
more than ten recreational vessels per month that would operate
near Barrow Island, and that these vessels would mainly operate
between Easter (around March) and October.
Dampier
Archipelago
Area

In addition to the information provided for the Pilbara Area, local tour
operators offer tours to several historical locations in the Dampier
Archipelago Area, and Point Samson offers safe harbor for
recreational vessels. Accommodation to support tourism in the Area
is increasing to cater for this demand.

CALM 2005b

Port Hedland
Area

There is a growing tourism industry in Port Hedland offering local


tours and fishing charters. In the year ending June 2011, Port
Hedland received 79 000 visitors. Accommodation to support tourism
in the Area is also increasing to cater for this demand.

DRET 2013

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

The Area is a minor tourism location for marine-based activities such


as wildlife appreciation and beach activities. Some accommodation
facilities have been established to support tourism.

Hale et al.
2009

Offshore Area

No significant marine-based tourism or recreation values were


identified for the Area.

N/A

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

The Area is not currently a major hotspot for tourism and recreational
activities; however, it does service some demand. Tourism activities,
such as fishing and diving charters from Broome, and the relatively
undisturbed nature and diversity of the natural environment provides
world-class opportunities for diving, snorkelling, and nature-based
tourism activities. The Area is already a popular offshore fishing
destination, with fishers primarily targeting pelagic and, to a lesser
degree, demersal finfish species.

DEC 2007

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Figure 4-16 Tourism Hotspots in the North-west of WA

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4.5.6

Heritage

This section describes the cultural heritage within the pipeline route, and areas that are within
range of potential affects from unplanned events. Cultural heritage encompasses Aboriginal
cultural heritage and maritime heritage.
Aboriginal cultural heritage includes both
archaeological sites and anthropological sites. Archaeological sites are places where material
associated with past Aboriginal land use remains. Anthropological sites are places of spiritual
importance and significance to Aboriginal people (Department of Aboriginal Affairs [DAA] 2013).
Pipeline Construction Corridor
There are no identified areas of Aboriginal cultural heritage along the pipeline route.
Greater EMBA
The DAA Register of Aboriginal Sites indicates that numerous Aboriginal cultural heritage sites
occur within coastal areas of the WA coastline and islands, including throughout the Pilbara and
Gascoyne regions. These registered sites are summarised in Table 4-31 and include known
and unconfirmed mythological sites, ceremonial sites, skeletal material and burial sites,
engravings and paintings, artefacts, and middens/scatters (DAA 2013).
This register will be used to identify sensitive socioeconomic features when planning spill
response strategies, as per Section 4.2 of the OSORP.
The Matters of NES search (SEWPaC 2013f) combined with the DAA search highlighted that
the Dampier Archipelago Area, Port Hedland Area, Pilbara Coast, and Ningaloo Area are of
particular heritage significance. These coastal environments contain evidence of a long
association (more than 30 000 years) with Aboriginal people (Tourism Western Australia 2013).
Table 4-31 DAA Listed Heritage Sites by EMBA Area
EMBA

Identified Heritage Sites within EMBA

Gascoyne and Carnarvon


Canyon Area

One listed site

Ningaloo Area

60 listed sites within the Area and one site close to the Area.

Exmouth Gulf Area

11 listed sites within the Area and two sites close to the Area

Pilbara Coast Area

99 listed sites within the Area and 29 sites close to the Area

Barrow and Montebello


Islands Area

19 listed sites within the Area

Dampier Archipelago Area

2721 listed sites within the Area and 47 sites close to the Area

Port Hedland Area

401 listed sites within the Area and five sites close to the Area

Eighty Mile Beach Area

25 listed sites within the Area

Offshore Area

No listed sites are recorded in this Area

Argo-Rowley Terrace Area

No listed sites are recorded in this Area

4.5.7

Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks of historic interest and all shipwrecks older than 75 years are protected under the
Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 (Cth), while pre-1900 shipwrecks are protected under the
Maritime Archaeology Act 1973 (WA).

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Pipeline Construction Corridor


Surveys conducted in late 2007/early 2008 along the pipeline route did not reveal the presence
of any shipwreck material (Fugro 2009), nor did a search of the Australian National Shipwreck
Database (DEWHA 2009c) for the pipeline route.
Greater EMBA
An Australian National Shipwreck Database (DEWHA 2009c) search was also conducted for
shipwrecks within the greater EMBA Area; the results are listed in Table 4-32 and shown in
Figure 4-17.
Table 4-32 Australian National Shipwreck Database Search by EMBA Areas
EMBA

Description

Gascoyne and
Carnarvon
Canyon Area

Seventeen shipwrecks are recorded in this Area:

Ningaloo Area

Thirty-nine shipwrecks are recorded in this Area:

Exmouth Gulf
Area

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Cock Of The North


Anxiety
Bertha
Patience
Perseverants Boat
Queen
Gift
Idahlia
Kormoron HSK
Chofuku Maru
Correio Da Azia
Agnes
Bell
Benan
Nellie
Occator
Olive
Pearl
Point Cloats Unidentified
Elizabeth
Ellen
Emma
Fin
Florence
Hawk
Kapala
Lamareaux
Leave
Fairy Queen (inland)

Seagull
Strathmore
Vergo
Wyndham
Crighton
G.G.S.
Just In Time
Star

Lily Of The Lake


Mabel
Magnolia
Ruby
S.S.S.
Sea Queen
Shunsei Maru
Smuggler
Stefano
Unidentified Lugger
Veronica
Wild Wave
Zvir
Don Joseph
Perth
Rapid
Iona
Mary B
Mildura

Three shipwrecks are recorded in this Area:

Cutty Sark
Eclipse

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Hawk

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EMBA

Description

Pilbara Coast
Area

Three shipwrecks are recorded in this Area:

Barrow and
Montebello
Islands Area

Two shipwrecks are recorded in this Area:

Dampier
Archipelago Area

Three shipwrecks are recorded in this Area:

Port Hedland
Area

Three shipwrecks are recorded in this Area:

Eighty Mile
Beach Area

Two shipwrecks are recorded in this Area:

Offshore Area

Nine shipwrecks are recorded in this Area:

Argo-Rowley
Terrace Area

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Cossack
Airlie
Tanami

Silver Star
Yanchep Dredge (inland)
Crown of England
Eddystone
Lorna Doone
Curlew
Beatrice
Gem
Koombana
Korda

Rose

Trial

Solveig

Edith

Tifera

Lady Ann
Marietta
Vianen
Wild Wave (China)

See Taube
Pelsart (Pelsaert)

Four shipwrecks are recorded in this Area:

Alfred
Lively

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Figure 4-17 Known Historic Shipwrecks in the Vicinity of the Greater EMBA Area

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5.0

Methodology for Environmental Risk Assessment and


Management Measures

5.1

Overview

Chevron Australia has prepared the HES Risk Management: ASBU Standardized Operation
Excellence (OE) Process (Chevron Australia 2012d) to assess and manage HES risks, which it
internally requires its employees, contractors, etc. to comply with.
A number of environmental risk assessments have been completed for the Gorgon Gas
Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline. A strategic risk assessment was undertaken
during the preparation of the Draft EIS/ERMP to determine the environmental acceptability of
the Development, and to identify key areas of risk requiring mitigation (Chevron Australia 2005).
This original assessment was then reviewed as part of the development of the Gorgon Gas
Development Revised and Expanded Proposal PER (Chevron Australia 2008), in light of the
changes to the Gorgon Gas Development (described in Section 1.4). The outcomes of these
assessments have been reviewed and considered during the preparation of this Plan.
Additional detailed risk assessments have been undertaken for specific scopes of work within
this Plan, using Chevrons RiskMan2 Procedure (Chevron Corporation 2008).

5.2

Methodology

The main components of the RiskMan2 risk assessment methodology include:


Hazard Identification: Identifying potential hazards that are applicable to Gorgon Gas
Development activities and determining the hazardous events to be evaluated.
Hazard Analysis: Determining the possible causes that could lead to the hazardous events
identified; the consequences of the hazardous events; and the safeguards and controls
currently in place to mitigate the events and/or the consequences.
Risk Evaluation: Evaluating the risks using the Chevron Integrated Risk Prioritization Matrix
(Figure 5-1). The risk ranking is determined by a combination of the expected frequency of
the hazard occurring (likelihood) and the consequence of its occurrence. Note that when
assessing the consequence no credit is given to the hazard controls; hazard controls are
taken into account in determining the likelihood of the event.
Residual Risk Treatment: Reviewing the proposed management controls for each of the
risks identified and proposing additional controls or making recommendations, if required.
The methodologies used are consistent with the approach outlined in the following standards:
Australian Standard/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS) ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management
Principles and Guidelines (Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand 2009)
AS/NZS Handbook 203:2006 Environmental Risk Management Principles and Process
(Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand 2006).
For this Plan, an additional step was taken where inherent risk was determined based on a pretreatment (management/mitigation) scenario. In doing so, it was possible to identify the
effectiveness of the controls that will be implemented on the risk ranking (the residual risk). The
next sections describe the environmental effect of the proposed installation activities on the
environment, assess the inherent risk, identify mitigation measures to reduce these impacts to a
standard which is acceptable and ALARP, and assess the residual environmental risk with
these measures implemented. The results of the risk assessment are summarised in Section
6.0 for each environmental hazard.

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Note: Risk assessment outcomes are based solely on assessment of environmental risks.
Risks to company reputation, regulatory compliance, or community relationships were
considered but not risk assessed.
The risk assessment process comprised the following components that are discussed in more
detail in the following sections:
identification of activities and events and associated aspects with the potential to impact
identified physical, biological, and socioeconomic receptors
identification of physical, biological, and socioeconomic receptors, including any considered
to be sensitive, within the activity locations and associated EMBA (refer to OSORP [Chevron
Australia 2013a]).
quantification of the level of risk associated with the impact
determination of risk acceptance and ALARP.

5.2.1

Identification of Activities and Environmental Hazards

Operational activities and events associated with the pipeline installation were categorised as:
operational tasks
unplanned events
event response activities. These are described in detail in the OSORP (Chevron Australia
2013a).
Operational activities are those that need to be undertaken to fulfil the scope of the petroleum
activity. Operational tasks were identified in consultation with project teams and are described
in Section 3.0.
Unplanned events are those that have the potential to be caused by operational tasks. To
identify unplanned events, credible spill scenarios were identified by assessing operational
tasks and determining likely spill paths. These were then assessed to enable an evaluation of
the potential nature and scale of the event. This information was then used to identify
appropriate event response activities. Unplanned events assessed as credible are described in
Section 3.5.
Event response tasks consist of activities that need to be undertaken to respond to an
unplanned event. Event response activities are described in Section 5 in the OSORP (Chevron
Australia 2013a).
A review of the operational tasks and events outlined in Section 3.0 identified the potential
environmental hazards that could result. These are shown in Table 5-1. For the purposes of
this scoping matrix, the use of vessels, no matter the installation activity they are undertaking,
falls under Support Activities. The installation activity that a vessel is undertaking, falls under
that activity e.g. Pipelay, Trenching.

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Hydrocarbon and
Chemical Spills

Liquid Waste

Solid Waste

Non-Indigenous
Species and
Marine Pests

Underwater Noise

Light Emissions

Atmospheric
Emissions

Benthic
Disturbance

Vessel Movements

Activity

Physical Presence
of Infrastructure

Table 5-1 List of Key Activities and the Environmental Hazards Triggered

Pipeline installation
Seabed
preparation
Pipelay

X
X

Mechanical
trenching
Stabilisation

Umbilical installation
Seabed
preparation
Umbilical lay

X
X

Mechanical
trenching
Stabilisation

Structures installation and tie-ins


Structures
installation and
tie-in

Mudmats /
suction pile

Fall pipe

Side cast

Rock installation

Pre-commissioning
Seawaterwinning

RO Plant

Flooding,
cleaning,
gauging,
hydrotesting,
dewatering

Support activities
Construction
vessels

Ancillary vessels

Helicopters

Site surveys
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X

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5.2.2

Identification of Physical, Biological and Socioeconomic Receptors

The ten key environmental hazards were assessed further and the physical, biological, and
socioeconomic receptors that could be potentially impacted by each hazard within the activity
area were determined. Those receptors with potential for impacts are listed in Table 5-2 for
each hazard. For the biological receptors, some are EPBC Act-listed, as described in the
Gorgon Project EIS/ERMP (Chevron Australia 2005).
An assessment of the environmental impacts on the receptors for each of the hazards is
provided in Sections 6.1 to 6.10. Because the potential environment that may be affected by
hydrocarbon and chemical spills is a much greater physical area, than that for planned activities,
Section 6.10 separates these receptors into EMBA Impact Assessment Areas, and screens in
those receptors identified as values, in order to evaluate the consequence severity.
Spill response activities themselves are assessed in the OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a).

Shoreline habitats
Seabed

Hydrocarbon and
Chemical Spills

Liquid Waste

Solid Waste

Non-Indigenous
Species and Marine
Pests

Underwater Noise

Artificial Light

Atmospheric
Emissions

Benthic Disturbance

Vessel Movements

Receptor

Physical Presence
of Infrastructure

Table 5-2 List of Key Environmental Hazards and the Receptors Potentially Impacted

X
X

Air quality

Sediment quality

Water quality

Benthic primary
producers

Marine mammals

Marine reptiles

Sharks and fish

Birds

Terrestrial fauna

Shipwrecks

Heritage

Commercial fishing

X
X

Recreational
fishing
Tourism and
recreation

Aquaculture

Infrastructure

Commercial
Shipping

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X

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Figure 5-1 Chevron Integrated Risk Prioritization Matrix


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5.3

Determination of As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP)

Residual risk ranking categories were used in the development of this Plan to determine
whether the risks are considered acceptable or whether further mitigation and safeguards are
warranted.
The outcomes from the risk assessments were used to determine whether the residual risks
were acceptable or whether further mitigation was required using standard ranking levels
outlined in the RiskMan2 methodology (Chevron Corporation 2008) and listed in Table 5-3.
This Plan refers to risks that were ranked as either medium or high as requiring the
development and implementation of management measures. Risks that were ranked as low
can possibly be accepted without further mitigation and safeguards. However, where
appropriate, mitigation measures were also developed for low risks, in accordance with Chevron
Corporations OE policy for continuous improvement.
Table 5-3 Risk Levels and Risk Tolerability1
Risk
Level

Risk
Descriptor

1, 2, 3, 4

High

Medium

7, 8, 9, 10
1
2

Low

Description

Additional Risk Reduction

Intolerable

Short-term, interim risk reduction required. Longterm risk reduction plan must be developed and
implemented.

Risk reduction required


unless unreasonable
(ALARP)

Additional long-term risk reduction required. If no


further activity can be reasonably taken,
management approval must be sought to continue
the activity.

Risk reduction required


unless unreasonable
(ALARP)

Risk is tolerable if reasonable safeguards/


management systems are confirmed to be in
place.

Risk reduction not


required

No further risk reduction required. Risk reduction


at management/team discretion.

The term tolerable is synonymous to the term acceptable used in the AS/NZS on Environmental Risk
Management (Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand 2006).
The term Medium as used by the Chevron Risk Matrix is synonymous to moderate as used by Petroleum
(Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations 2012.

Once risks have been assessed against the defined risk criteria, a decision can be made to
either:
tolerate the risk if it is ALARP; or
consider further control options if the risk does not fall within the ALARP range.
The ALARP principle recognises that no industrial activity is entirely risk-free. There is a level of
risk in any situation. Where it can be demonstrated that the cost of further risk reduction is
disproportionate to the benefit gained, the risk is considered ALARP (in accordance with ALARP
criteria below). For the purposes of assessing ALARP using these criteria, cost is considered
to include financial cost, time or duration, effort, and occupational health and safety.
To support risk reduction decisions, the framework developed by the UK offshore oil and gas
industry (Oil and Gas UK [formerly UKOOA] 1999) was used. A summary of the framework is
shown in Figure 5-2.
The framework takes the form of a spectrum of decision bases, ranging from those decisions
dominated purely by engineering concerns to those where company and societal values are the
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most relevant factors. Down the right side of the framework are typical characteristics that
indicate the decision context; these can be used to help determine the context of the specific
decision. Once this level has been identified, reading horizontally across the framework shows
the suggested balance of decision bases to be taken into account in the decision. Some means
of calibrating or checking the decision basis are shown on the left of the framework (NOPSEMA
2012a).
This framework is used to help determine the depth of analysis used to demonstrate ALARP to
ensure the effort expended is proportional to the associated risk. For example, for a risk that is
well-understood and is well-established practice (decision type A), the implementation of
standard measures specified in design codes is sufficient to demonstrate the risk is ALARP.
ALARP and the concept of reasonably practicable are specific to the context of the activity and
its impacts and risks, which means that what is ALARP in one circumstance, may not be ALARP
in another. The specific application of ALARP in respect of each environmental hazard is
therefore discussed in Sections 6.1 to 6.10. (Note: NOPSEMA [2012b] provides an example of
where something can be considered reasonably practicable, in that they note that a risk
reduction measure can be considered as being reasonably practicable if the costs to implement
it are not grossly disproportionate to the reduction in risk achieved. However, there will be other
factors to consider too, depending on the specific circumstances in each case).

Source: UKOOA 1999

Figure 5-2 Risk-related Decision Support Framework


ALARP will be considered to be shown when these criteria are met:
there are no additional reasonably practicable measures available to further reduce the risk;
or
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there are no reasonably practicable alternatives to the activity; or


the cost of implementing further measures is disproportionate to the reduction in risk.
These factors are used to justify ALARP in Sections 6.1 to 6.10.

5.4

Determination of Acceptable

Section 11(1)(c) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment)
Regulations 2009 requires that the Regulator must accept the environment plan if there are
reasonable grounds for believing that the plan demonstrates that the environmental impacts and
risks of the activity will be of an acceptable level.
Section 11(1)(c) of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations 2012
requires that the Minister must accept the environment plan if there are reasonable grounds for
believing that the plan demonstrates that the environmental impacts and risks of the activity will
be of an acceptable level.
For the risk assessment of the pipeline installation, the environmental impact and risk of an
activity was determined to be acceptable if:
the level of residual environmental risk associated with the activity was between 7 and 10 on
the risk matrix
the level of residual environmental risk was assessed as being ALARP
the activity is commonplace in current offshore practice (i.e. benchmarked), is not a current
focus area for improvement by regulators, and is compliant with current industry/Chevron
Australia standards and Australian legislation.
These factors are used to justify acceptability in Sections 6.1 to 6.10.

5.5

Performance Objectives

Chevron Australia is committed to conducting activities associated with the Gorgon Gas
Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline in an environmentally responsible manner, and
aims to implement best practice environmental management as part of a program of continual
improvement to reduce the impacts of the Gorgon Gas Development. To meet this
commitment, objectives have been defined that relate to the management of the identified
environmental risks for the Gorgon Gas Development. These objectives are those in
Condition 23.3 of Statement No. 800, Condition 16.3 of EPBC Reference: 2003/1294 and
2008/4178, and Condition 14.3 of Statement No. 769, and where necessary, additional, more
specific objectives have been developed.
Environmental performance objectives have been developed for each environmental hazard in
Sections 6.1 to 6.10, as defined in the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage
(Environment) Regulations 2009 and Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations
2012.

5.6

Performance Standards

For the purpose of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment)
Regulations 2009, an environmental performance standard is a statement of performance
required of a system, an item of equipment, a person, or a procedure, that is used as a basis for
managing environmental risk for the duration of the activity in accordance with the objectives of
the regulations, as set out in an environment plan accepted under these Regulations. It should

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be noted that a breach of an objective or performance standard constitutes a recordable


incident, the reporting of which is detailed in Section 7.9.
Performance standards are a statement of performance of a system, item of equipment, person
or procedure that outlines how Chevron Australia intends to achieve the detailed performance
objectives for the duration of the activity. For each objective and element of each objective,
Chevron Australia has described a matter (description) that will be measured, and a
quantitative target or, where there is no practicable quantitative target, a qualitative target,
which is to be measured against when assessing whether the objective has been met.
Environmental performance standards have been developed in accordance with the relevant
objective, for each environmental hazard in Sections 6.1 to 6.10. These have been developed
to meet the requirements of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage
(Environment) Regulations 2009, Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations
2012, and Statement No. 800, Statement No. 769, and EPBC Reference: 2003/1294,
2008/4178 and 2005/2184.

5.7

Measurement Criteria

In accordance with the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment)
Regulations 2009 and Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations 2012,
measurement criteria have been developed to determine whether the objectives and
performance standards have been met.
Measurement criteria specific to this Plan have been developed for each environmental hazard
in Sections 6.1 to 6.10.

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6.0

Environmental Risk Assessment, Performance Objectives,


Standards, and Measurement Criteria

This section describes the environmental risks, performance objectives, environmental


performance standards, and measurement criteria developed by Chevron Australia to address
the environmental risks associated with the installation activities described in Section 2.0. The
strategies provide a link between outcomes of the risk assessment and key risk management
requirements.
This section has been structured according to environmental hazard (Sections 6.1 to 6.10).
Each subsection below summarises the following:
A description of the environmental hazard (as per Section 5.2.1)
Source Characterisation a description of how the activities cause impacts to this
environmental hazard, and the scope or magnitude of the source of impact
Potential Impact a description of the physical, biological, and socioeconomic receptors that
could be potentially impacted by each hazard
Mitigation Measures a summary of the key mitigation measures for impacts associated with
the hazard
Risk assessment summary of each activity (derived from risk assessment workshops, using
the Chevron Integrated Risk Prioritization Matrix [Figure 5-1])
Performance Objectives Chevron Australias goal for managing potential environmental
impacts from each activity or unplanned event
Performance Standards a statement of performance of a system, item of equipment,
person, or procedure that outlines how Chevron Australia intends to achieve the detailed
performance objectives
Measurement Criteria a measurable control that details the way in which Chevron Australia
enacts the outlined performance standard
ALARP and Acceptability Demonstration to identify if further risk reduction measures are
required.
The performance objectives, performance standards, and measurement criteria apply to
Project-attributable environmental impacts (and not consequences of natural events or thirdparty impacts). The performance objectives, performance standards, and measurement criteria
apply to the particular Project activity for which they are set.
In the event of an emergency situation where human safety is at significant risk, the
performance objectives, performance standards, and measurement criteria contained in this
Section may not be implemented, and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea
1974 may take precedence.

6.1

Physical Presence of Infrastructure

The proposed activity will result in the physical presence of subsea infrastructure (e.g.
pipelines). This infrastructure will be installed during construction and be in place for the
operational life of the Project. Potential impacts from the presence of infrastructure include
changes to the benthic habitat and potential interference with other users of the area.
The following activities associated with the pipeline installation result in the presence of
infrastructure:
pipeline installation
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umbilical installation
structures installation
rock installation.
These are addressed together below.

6.1.1

Source Characterisation

Installation Activities
The installation of the offshore feed gas pipeline system (pipeline, umbilicals, manifolds,
mattresses, etc.) will result in the physical presence of infrastructure within the construction
corridor for the operational life of the Project.
As described in Section 3.3, a total of six subsea pipeline and two subsea umbilical systems are
to be installed to transport natural gas from the Gorgon and Jansz fields to Barrow Island for
gas processing (see Figure 3-2).
In State Waters, the pipeline lays within the MDF, defined in detail in the Coastal and Marine
Baseline State and Environmental Impact Report: Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System and
Marine Component of the Shore Crossing (Chevron Australia 2010d), which encompasses an
area extending 100 m either side of the outermost design pipeline route (see Section 3.3.1).
Within Commonwealth Waters, the width of the pipeline corridor for the Gorgon and Jansz
offshore pipelines will be approximately 200 m, varying in width along the length of the corridor
to allow for construction of the pipeline with consideration to subsea features and operational
constraints.
Offshore, the pipeline and umbilical route from JanszIo will start in water depths exceeding
1000 m, and initially head south-east, traversing the scarp between the Chrysaor Canyons and
the Gorgon field. Once on the continental shelf, from a water depth of approximately 75 m, the
Jansz pipeline and umbilical route will then continue south-east to Barrow Island (see Figure
3-4).
The Gorgon fields, approximately 130 km off the north-west coast of WA, lie in water depths of
approximately 220 m. The pipeline and umbilical route from the Gorgon fields will head southeast toward Barrow Island converging with the Jansz pipeline and umbilical at approximately
70 m water depth (see Figure 3-4).
The total area of subsea infrastructure will be approximately 26 ha in State Waters and 106 ha
in Commonwealth Waters.
Rock Installation
Rock installation will be conducted by dedicated rock-installation vessels by either the fall-pipe
or side-cast method (see Section 3.4.4). As for other installation activities, this will result in
permanent disturbance to the seabed underneath the rock installed.
As the rocks will be installed by one or more dedicated rock installation vessels, which allows
great accuracy in installing the rocks (see Section 3.4.1), it is unlikely that the impacts will
extend beyond the construction corridor.
Seawater Winning
During the HDD operations, an 18 casing was installed from the landfall to the HDD exit point.
A lift pump will be installed at the land end of the 18 casing and an inlet diffuser or intake will be
installed at the subsea end of the casing (see HDDMMP [Chevron Australia 2010]). This
arrangement will be used intermittently for flooding and pressure testing of the onshore and
offshore pipeline networks.

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6.1.2

Potential Impact

Potential impacts from the presence of infrastructure are primarily the result of changes to the
physical environment through the creation of artificial habitat and modification of existing
habitat, and the possible interference with other uses of the area.
Benthic Primary Producers
The presence of offshore infrastructure has the potential to act as artificial habitat as it
introduces a hard substrate on which organisms can settle. The creation of artificial habitat can
increase the biological productivity of an area, and can be considered of localised benefit.
Alternatively, the level of productivity may not necessarily increase or decrease, but simply
represent a localised change to the community structure.
The pipeline installation activities are proposed to take place in State and Commonwealth
Waters and will be in place for the operational life of the Project. As discussed in Section 4.3,
the MDF in State Waters mostly comprises unvegetated sands with no significant areas of coral
habitat or coral assemblages. In Commonwealth Waters, the seabed within the installation
corridors mostly comprises bare unvegetated sands (see Section 4.3).
Modification of the local habitat through a shift from soft muddy substrate to hard substrate may
lead to an alteration in the faunal and floral assemblages of the benthic environment. This
modification is limited to the relatively narrow pipeline and stabilisation features. The level of
biodiversity may not necessarily increase or decrease, but represents a change in the local
community structure of a small area.
Given the absence of local or regionally significant habitat within the MDF in both State and
Commonwealth Waters and given the limited extent of impact through either an increase in
biological productivity or change to the local community, the impact of the physical presence of
the subsea infrastructure is determined to be low.
Fish and Other Marine Fauna
The presence of offshore infrastructure such as pipelines has the potential to facilitate the
settlement of marine organisms that would otherwise not be present in the area. This
community of organisms can provide for predator and prey refuges, foraging resources for
pelagic fish species, and may support fish aggregations in the same way that reefs do.
Pelagic species and species typically associated with reef structures are known to be attracted
to fixed infrastructure such as pipelines. As such, their presence could be considered to have a
minor positive benefit; however, the presence of infrastructure also needs to be considered a
minor change to the local community structure.
Given that the area of changed habitat is minor in comparison to the regional area, the overall
impact is likely to be low.
There is risk of impingement or entrainment of marine fauna by the intake of the HDD seawaterwinning spread. Larger fauna may be impinged (or trapped) against the external screen, which
may cause some mechanical and physiological stress. Screening prevents the entrainment of
all but the smallest marine fauna.
Commercial Fisheries
There are a number of designated commercial fisheries in the region of the pipeline route
including the OPMF and the Pilbara Demersal Scalefish Fisheries, amongst others (Section
4.5.3). These fisheries use various methods, including demersal and mid-water trawling, trap
fishing, and line fishing.
Fishers will not be subject to exclusion zones around the pipeline for fishing activities, but there
will be no anchoring permitted within 500 m either side of the pipeline.

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Subsea pipelines have the potential for impacting fisheries through the risk of fishing gear
(particularly demersal trawl gear, which is dragged along the seabed) becoming caught on
infrastructure,.
The pipeline installation area traverses areas that are zoned for demersal fishing; however, this
is limited to line and trap fishing as trawling has not been permitted since 1998. A limited
number of vessels operate in the fishery, as outlined in Section 4.5.3, and most of the fishing
catch and effort for this fishery comes from an area north of the activity location. As such, it is
unlikely that these fisheries will operate in the proposed installation area, and therefore impacts
are considered to be low.
Petroleum Activities
There are a number of oil and gas facilities in the vicinity of the proposed installation area (see
Section 4.5.1). Those that may be directly affected by the proposed installation activities are:
The East Spar Pipeline, which runs from the East Spar field to Varanus Island and is used to
transport gas from the Halyard and Spar development.
Halyard EHU, which provides well control of the Halyard and Spar development from the
existing John Brookes Platform. The John Brookes, an unmanned platform operated by
Apache, is located approximately 10 km east of the proposed Jansz pipelines and umbilical
Production wells associated with the Gorgon and Jansz development within the Gorgon and
Jansz fields.
Other subsea wells are located further away from the proposed pipeline and umbilical route;
because of their distance they are unlikely to be affected by the proposed installation activities.
For example, the closest subsea wells, Rosella-1 (a Plugged and Abandoned (P&A) well) and
Salsa-1 (a suspended well), are located approximately 700 m and 1000 m respectively from the
Gorgon pipelines and umbilical.
Shipping
There is potential for any dropped objects to pose a navigation hazard to shipping. As
described in Section 4.5.2, although the proposed Gorgon and Jansz pipeline and umbilical
route traverses the shipping route between WA and Asia, the main shipping routes to and from
Port Hedland and the Port of Dampier are located east of the proposed area (see Section
4.5.2).
A review of ATSB 2013 estimated that 1200 ships a year (equating to fewer than four per day)
travelled through the vicinity of the proposed installation area in 2008.

6.1.3

ALARP Demonstration

To demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with the physical presence of
infrastructure have been reduced to ALARP in accordance with Section 5.3, potential alternative
methodologies were considered including burial of infrastructure below the sea surface, but
these alternatives were rejected due to factors such as substrate type, water depth, and
disproportionate cost.
There are no reasonably practicable additional controls identified for the extent of infrastructure,
as its presence is already limited to pre-identified routes (MDF in State Waters and construction
corridor in Commonwealth Waters).
Chevron Australia does not consider there are any reasonably practicable alternatives to
seawater winning, as the large volume of fluid required to flood pipelines is not available from
other sources on Barrow Island. Chevron Australia considers that appropriate screening of the
seawater intake reduces the risk of fauna entrainment to ALARP.

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6.1.4

Acceptability Demonstration

For the physical presence of infrastructure environmental hazard, the residual risk level was
determined to be at least 8. The physical infrastructure is confined to that required to meet the
needs of the Project, and is confined to the approved construction corridor where there is no
local or regionally significant habitat.
As the area is relatively small, and the impacts from physical presence of infrastructure are so
localised, Chevron Australia considers that the impacts and risk of physical presence of
infrastructure as a result of the Gorgon feed gas pipeline to be acceptable, in accordance with
the criteria described in Section 5.4.

6.1.5

Risk Assessment, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria

The key activities that were assessed as triggering the environmental hazard of physical
presence of infrastructure, were risk assessed and performance objectives, standards, and
criteria were assigned. These are listed in Table 6-1.
Table 6-1 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Physical Presence of Infrastructure
Physical Presence of Infrastructure
Activity

Potential Environmental
Impact

C1

Pipeline installation

Umbilical
installation

Structure
installation

Creation of artificial
habitat and
modification of
existing habitat
Entrainment of
marine fauna
Interference with
other users

L2

RR3

Seawater winning

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Disturbance
confined to
construction
corridor

Disturbance
confined to
construction
corridor

Disturbance
confined to
construction
corridor

Intake screen
Limited velocity of
intake

1. Minimise extent of
infrastructure to
reduce area of
introduced habitat
and minimise
permanent habitat
displacement

Disturbance
confined to
construction
corridor

Performance Standards

Rock installation

Performance
objectives

Mitigations

Measurement Criteria

Pipeline and umbilicals installation,


structures installation, and rock installation
are confined to within the approved MDF in
State Waters, as defined in Coastal and
Marine Baseline State and Environmental
Impact Report: Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline
System and Marine Component of the
Shore Crossing (Chevron Australia 2010d).

As-built records and post


installation survey reports show
that the pipeline is installed as
proposed.

Benthic disturbance is confined to the


construction corridor in Commonwealth

As-built records and post


installation survey reports show

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Physical Presence of Infrastructure


Waters, as defined in Section 3.3.2.

2. Minimise hazards
to navigation from
dropped objects

3. No marine
megafauna
entrainment
during seawater
winning at HDD
site

1-

Dropped objects deemed to pose a hazard


to navigation will be reported to DotE and
retrieved, unless dispensation is granted
from DotE to leave a dropped object in
place.

that the pipeline is installed as


proposed.

Records of dropped
objects and retrieval.
Records of dispensation
from DotE regarding
dropped objects.

If dispensation is provided by DotE to leave


a dropped object in place and it is identified
as posing a potential navigation hazard, the
coordinates will be provided to relevant
stakeholders.

Records showing notification of


dropped object coordinates to
relevant stakeholders.

The HDD seawater winning intake will be


screened to prevent fauna entrainment.

Installation records show


presence of screen on seawater
winning intake.

Screens on seawater intakes will be of


sufficient mesh size and material to exclude
marine megafauna.

Installation records show


material and mesh size of screen
on seawater winning intake.

The external screen surface velocity of the


HDD seawater winning intake will be a
maximum of 0.1 m/s.

Design specifications for HDD


seawater winning spread
showing surface velocity of
intake is <0.1 m/s.

Consequence

2-

Likelihood

3-

Residual Risk

6.2

Vessel Movements

The use of vessels and their associated operations requires vessel movements that have the
potential to result in interaction with marine fauna and other users of the area. The activities
identified to contribute to vessel movements are:
vessels and support activities.

6.2.1

Source Characterisation

Vessel and Support Operations


A number of installation vessels (see Table 6-2) and support vessels will be used for the
duration of the proposed installation activities.
The proposed installation activities traverse the commercial shipping route between southern
WA and Asia; however, the area is located outside the main shipping routes to and from Port
Hedland and Dampier.
During pipelaying, the pipelay installation vessels will be either stationary or will move very
slowly (0.5 knots [a brisk walking pace is approximately 6 knots]) along the selected route
while laying the feed gas pipeline system. Other support vessels also operate at slow speeds,
except when travelling to and from the activity area (Table 6-2).

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Table 6-2 Typical Speeds and Movements of the Installation Vessels


Vessel Type

Speeds and Movements

Pipelay installation vessels

During typical pipelaying conditions, the pipelay vessels move to


another position 12 to 24 m away along a predefined path every
15 minutes. This movement takes approximately three to four minutes
(translated to vessel speed <0.5 knots).

Pipe trenching and mattress


installation vessels

The vessel will be stationary during mattress installation. The vessel


will move not more than 1000 m/h (0.5 knots) while trenching.

Umbilical installation vessels

Typical umbilical lay rate is expected to be 500 to 700 m/h (translated to


vessel speed of <0.5 knots).

Umbilical trenching vessels

During trenching, the vessel is expected to move at a speed of


approximately 150 m/h (<0.5 knots).

Heavy lift and tie-in vessels

The vessels will be stationary during installation and tie-in of structures.

Rock installation vessels

The vessels will move along a predefined placement track at speeds


not exceeding 1800 m/h (<1 knot).

Pre-commissioning support
vessel

The vessel will be stationary during pre-commissioning support.

Seawater Winning
Seawater winning from vessels may be required to flood the MEG and Utility infield pipelines,
typically using a lift caisson over the side of the vessel and a lift pump on the vessel. Seawater
winning may also be required to produce potable water via RO, for flooding the CRA-lined
infield pipelines. If this is not transported by barge to the vessels, RO plants may be installed
on a vessel. These units require seawater intake, and this introduces potential for marine fauna
entrainment. The intake rate is expected to be approximately 5 L/s per unit (for potentially two
units) (see Section 3.4.5.2).

6.2.2

Potential Impact

Impacts associated with vessel movements include collision with marine fauna or changes to
marine fauna behaviour, and interference or collision with other users.
Marine Fauna
The North West Shelf is recognised as potentially containing habitats that support species listed
under the EPBC Act and the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (WA) including whale, shark, and
reptile (turtle) species (see Sections 4.4.3 and 4.4.4).
Vessel movements have the potential to result in behaviour changes of marine fauna such as
whales, or in marine fauna vessel strikes, which can cause serious harm and injury, or in the
worst case, death. However, the installation and support vessels will be either stationary or will
move very slowly (0.5 knots) along the selected route for most of the time. Thus, the risk of
marine fauna vessel strike from these vessels whilst undertaking installation activities is
considered low.
There is a risk of marine fauna vessel strike when vessels are in transit and moving at speeds
greater than five knots. Slow-moving species, such as various whale species and marine
turtles, are most susceptible to vessel strikes as these species have restricted capacity to
rapidly alter course or direction. The ability of these species to avoid an approaching vessel
decreases with increasing vessel speed (Chevron Australia 2009b). Assuming a credible
worst-case scenario of one or two cetacean or turtle deaths from vessel strike over the duration
of the installation period, the environmental impact is considered to be localised and short term
with no significant or long-term effects on population viability, abundance, or distribution. Based
on previous marine construction projects in WA where there have been a limited number of
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reportable marine megafauna mortalities (Chevron Australia 2009b), the likelihood of such
consequence is assessed as seldom, thus the inherent environmental risk is considered as low.
There is a potential risk of injury or death to marine fauna due to entrapment or impingement on
seawater winning intakes. If RO plants are installed, the water intake is approximately 5 L/s;
these RO plants will likely operate in deeper waters.
Other Users
Other users of the activity area include commercial fishers, oil and gas industries, and shipping
industries, as well as tourists and recreational fishers to a lesser extent.
The proposed installation activities traverse the commercial shipping route between southern
WA and Asia, potentially interfering with shipping operations by creating an obstacle to their
movements. The presence of the installation vessels may also limit commercial and
recreational fishing access to the proposed installation area.
The proposed installation area is located outside the main shipping routes to and from Port
Hedland. An estimated 1200 ships a year travelled through the vicinity of the proposed
installation area in 2008 (ATSB 2013) (see Section 4.5.2); this is fewer than four ships passing
through the more than 100 km long pipeline corridor. In comparison, the Dover Strait/Pas-deCalais, one of the worlds busiest international seaways, is regularly used by up to
500 commercial vessels daily (BMT Isis 2009). Given the vast area available outside the
proposed installation area for shipping activities, the potential impacts to commercial shipping
associated with the presence and movements of the installation vessels at any given area are
expected to be localised and temporary. Thus, the environmental risk is assessed as low.
Table 6-3 lists fisheries with access to the proposed area, along with their fishing efforts (see
Sections 4.5.3 for more details). Given the low fishing effort and the vast area available outside
the proposed installation area for fishing activities, the potential impacts to commercial and
recreational fishers associated with the presence and movements of the installation vessels at
any given area are expected to be localised and temporary. Thus, the environmental risk is
assessed as low.
Table 6-3 Fishing Efforts in the Area
Fishery

Fishing Efforts

WA-managed Onslow Prawn Fisheries

One boat for an aggregated total of 97 boat days in 2010, a


decrease compared to 265 boat days (two boats fished) in 2009
(DoF 2011)

Recreational fishing

No more than ten boats a month, mainly operating between


March and October

Recreational boating, diving, snorkelling, surfing, and wildlife observation (e.g. of whales,
dolphins, dugongs, turtles, and birds) also occur within the MontebelloBarrow Islands Marine
Conservation Reserves. However, due to the areas isolation from major mainland centres and
a lack of visitor facilities, visitation remains at a low level (DEC 2007).
Most recreational fishing occurs in State Waters with very few recreational fishers visiting the
offshore region. Those fishers who do visit the region are mainly concentrated in the waters off
the north-eastern end of Trimouille Island and south of the Montebello Group (DEWHA 2008a;
DEC 2007). Consultation undertaken by Chevron Australia with Recfishwest indicated that no
more than ten recreational vessels per month would operate near Barrow Island, and that these
vessels would mainly operate between Easter (around March) and October.

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6.2.3

ALARP Demonstration

To demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with vessel movements have been
reduced to ALARP in accordance with Section 5.3, the additional controls of restricting all
vessels to a speed of <6 knots was considered. However, this would not be practicable due to
the large distances that must be covered during normal transit, support, and resupply activities,
and it was determined that this control would not be implemented.
There are no reasonably practicable alternative methods to the use of vessels for the
installation of an offshore pipeline or for water winning for a vessels RO plant.

6.2.4

Acceptability Demonstration

For the vessel movement environmental hazard, the residual risk level was determined to be at
least 9. All reasonable means to minimise the impacts from vessel movements have been
taken, and the levels are typical of offshore activities undertaken in the North West Shelf region
and elsewhere.
Similar pipeline installation and vessel operation activities have been
conducted in this region.
Given that the activity is temporary and transient and the low speeds at which installation and
support vessels will operate, the impacts from vessel movements are not considered significant
and are within the levels associated with normal vessel operations in the region, and are
therefore considered to be acceptable in accordance with the criteria described in Section 5.4.

6.2.5

Risk Assessment, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria

The key activities that were assessed as triggering the environmental hazard of vessel
movement were risk assessed and performance objectives, standards, and criteria were
assigned. These are listed in Table 6-4.
Table 6-4 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Vessel Movements
Vessel Movements
Activity

Potential
Environmental Impact

Vessels and support


activities

Vessels and support


activities seawater
winning
Performance
objectives
4. Prevent vessel
collisions with
marine
megafauna.

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C1

L2

RR3

Mitigations

Injury to marine
fauna
Changes to
behaviour of
species
Interference
with other users
Collision with
other users

Injury to marine
fauna

Performance Standards

Caution zones
around megafauna
Speed of vessel will
be adjusted when
marine fauna
observed in vicinity
Stakeholder
consultation
Notice to Mariners
Screening on
seawater intake

Measurement Criteria

A caution zone will be established around


observed cetaceans, with a radius of 150 m
for a dolphin and 300 m for a whale in
accordance with EPBC Regulations 2000
Division 8.1.

Completed marine megafauna


sighting forms document
observations and avoidance
measures taken.

If marine megafauna are spotted, vessels

Completed marine megafauna

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Vessel Movements
moving >6 knots will adjust their speed to
<6 knots or adjust their direction to avoid
impacting the animal, if safe to do so.

sighting forms document


observations and avoidance
measures taken.

Any detected injury or fatality attributed to


the Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz
Feed Gas Pipeline of any marine species
(including marine turtles) listed as specially
protected under the provisions of
section 14 (2)(ba) of the Wildlife
Conservation Act 1950 (WA) or the EPBC
Act will be reported in accordance with
Section 7.9.

Suspected injury/mortality of
marine megafauna reported to
regulators as per Section 7.9.

Consultation will be undertaken in


accordance with Stakeholder Consultation
Plan (Chevron Australia 2013b) (Appendix
2).

Consultation records indicate


relevant stakeholders were
consulted during the development
of the Environment Plan (EP) and
relevant stakeholders were notified
prior to commencement of work
scopes.

5. Prevent vessel
collision or
interference with
other marine
users.

6. No marine
megafauna
entrainment
during water
winning from
vessels.
1-

Minimum lighting required for safety and


navigational purposes, in accordance with
the Navigation Act 1912 (Marine Orders
Part 30 [Prevention of Collisions]), is on
board and operational.

Completed Pre-mobilisation Vessel


Audit Checklist and Report
demonstrating safety and
navigational lighting is on board
and operational.

Notice to Mariners is issued prior to work


scopes commencing.

Notice to Mariners lodged with DoT


and/or AMSA.

Seawater-winning intakes will be screened


to prevent fauna entrainment.

Inspection records confirm


presence of screen on seawaterwinning intakes.

Consequence

2-

Likelihood

3-

Residual Risk

6.3

A 24-hour visual, radio, and radar watch will


be maintained for vessels in the vicinity of
the operational area in accordance with
Standards of Training, Certification and
Watchkeeping (STCW95)(1978 STCW
Convention)

All professional mariner


certifications will be
STCW95 compliant.
Completed vessel log
demonstrating watch kept,
as per STCW95.
Details of vessel
interactions with other
users of the area are
recorded in Vessel Log
Book.

Benthic Disturbance

The proposed activity will result in disturbance to the seabed for the duration of the construction
period.
The following activities associated with the pipeline installation have the potential to cause
disturbance to the seabed:
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pipeline installation
umbilical installation
structures installation
rock installation
vessels activities.

6.3.1

Source Characterisation

Pipeline and Umbilicals Installation


The installation of the pipeline and umbilicals will cause disturbance to the seabed by:
pipelay
seabed preparation
mechanical trenching
stabilisation.
Installation of the pipeline will be undertaken using a mechanical trenching system. This will
result in a permanent physical loss of the seabed habitat over which the pipeline system is laid.
This impact is unavoidable, but will be confined to the approved construction corridor:
In State Waters, this is defined as the MDF, which is defined in detail in the Coastal and
Marine Baseline State and Environmental Impact Report: Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline
System and Marine Component of the Shore Crossing (Chevron Australia 2010d) and
described in Section 3.3. The area of permanent infrastructure is approximately 26 ha
(~0.26 km2).
In Commonwealth Waters, the total area of the pipelines and umbilicals, rock berms, and
subsea infrastructure is approximately 106 ha (~1 km2). The width of the pipeline corridor
will be approximately 200 m, varying in width along the length of the corridor to allow for
construction of the pipeline with consideration to subsea features and operational
constraints.
The activities listed above will also cause sediment to be temporarily suspended in the water
column.
Structures Installation
The structures to be installed are subsea production manifolds, the PTSs, spool pieces, and
jumpers (described in detail in Section 3.4.3). These cover a much smaller area of the seabed.
The approximate area of each structure is listed in Table 3-1.
The mudmats or four-pile suction pile foundations will be laid under the manifolds and PTSs.
Structures installation will also cause permanent loss of seabed, and likely temporary
resuspension of sediment.
The installation of structures and tie-in to the wellheads occurs after the pipeline and umbilicals
are laid. Therefore, the impact area is confined to where these pipelines are laid, which is within
the approved MDF in State Waters, and within the approximate boundary stated in Section 3.3
for Commonwealth Waters.
Stabilisation
The main umbilicals will require stabilisation between 12.5 m and 40 m water depth. This
stabilisation may be performed via the placement of concrete stabilisation mattresses or spot
rock dumping the umbilicals at defined intervals. Rock installation may cause a temporary
increase in turbidity in the water column, and is described in further detail below.
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Rock Installation
Rock installation will be conducted by dedicated rock-installation vessels using either the fallpipe or side-cast method (see Section 3.4.4). As for other installation activities, this will result in
permanent disturbance to the seabed underneath the rock installed.
Rock installation also has the potential to resuspend and spread sediments, which will increase
the turbidity in the water column. As the material used for rock installation is very coarse, it is
anticipated that any sediment spill from rock installation activities will be related to suspension of
the local sediment caused by the momentum of the rock materials as they are placed on the
seabed. However, the use of fall-pipe decreases the turbidity (solids) in the upper ambient
water as the whole water column is not mixed by falling rock material; turbidity impacts using
this method are limited to ten metres from the seabed (Nord Stream AG 2009). For the sidecast vessel, open skeleton bucket front-end loaders will be used to load the materials, thus
minimising the loading of fine rock materials.
The potential affected areas and average duration of resuspended sediment concentration
because of rock installation by a fall-pipe vessel was modelled during the construction of the
Nord Stream twin pipelines (gas pipelines that link Russia and the European Union via the
Baltic Sea). The modelling found that although concentrations above 1 mg/L could be expected
within 1.5 km of the disturbed area for approximately 12 hours, sediment concentrations above
10 mg/L only occurred close to the disturbed area for approximately five hours (Nord Stream AG
2009).
This modelling also found that sedimentation as a result of rock installation ranged from 0.1 to
1.0 kg/m2 within 500 m of the source and from 0.01 to 0.1 kg/m2 at 1.5 km distant (Nord Stream
AG 2009). A sedimentation rate of up to 1.0 kg/m2, which is equivalent to 1 mm of sediment
over a square metre, is not expected to be significant in the high-energy waters around the west
coast of Barrow Island where wave activities frequently contribute to local resuspension and
deposition of sediments (see Section 4.2.1).
As the rocks will be installed by one or more dedicated rock installation vessels, which allows
great accuracy in installing the rocks (see Section 3.4.1), it is unlikely that impacts will extend
beyond the MDF.
Trenching
Pipeline and umbilical trenching is described in Sections 3.4.1.3 and 3.4.2.2. The removed
materials are deposited directly on the seabed alongside the trenches. Trenching of the sea
floor will create a temporary plume of suspended sediments, increasing the turbidity in the water
column and potentially impacting upon light-sensitive benthic habitat by directly smothering it
and by attenuating light availability. Increased sediment loading of the water column may
impact marine fauna by clogging or damaging sensitive gill structures, preventing proper egg
and larval development, and potentially interfering with particle-feeding activities. The area
affected by the turbid plumes will depend on the volume of materials disturbed, the rate of
sediments released into the water column, the particle sizes, and the current velocity, among
others.
A turbidity survey was conducted as part of the Wheatstone Project to record variations in the
turbidity levels during trenching operations using a mechanical trenching machine, similar to the
one that will be used for the proposed installation activities. The trenching trial was conducted
offshore from Onslow, WA. The results of the survey found that turbidity levels may exceed
80 Formazin Turbidity Units (FTU) (compared to the maximum background turbidity level of
5 FTU), 50 m from the trench area. However, the average turbidity level 50 m from the trench
area was recorded at approximately 15 FTU. Based on these results, it is anticipated that a
turbid plume may be evident up to 70 m from the trench area depending on environmental
conditions. However, within two hours of ceasing trenching operations, the turbidity level had
returned to background or very close to background level (Chevron Australia 2010i, 2010j). As
trenching will progress at rate of approximately 24 km/day, it is expected that the area adjacent

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to the pipeline corridor will be exposed to a low level of risk from the short-term (a few hours at
any given point) turbidity.
Turbidity measurements were undertaken during the construction of a submarine pipeline from
Pallarenda Beach to Magnetic Island through the Great Barrier Reef. This pipeline construction
used techniques such as backhoes and excavators for intertidal areas, lay barge for subtidal
pipelay, and jetting. The environment through which the pipeline passes is described as
sandy beach, seagrass meadows, silty clay sea floor, coral reef slope, reef and mudflat and
mangrove communities. Turbidity levels 300 m from the construction area were reported to be
generally within 5 NTU of background turbidity levels (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
2009 cited in BHP Billiton 2010). The seabed where the proposed Gorgon and Jansz offshore
feed gas pipelines and umbilicals will pass principally comprises fine soft sediments (see
Section 4.3.1), which are comparable to those present at Magnetic Island, so similar levels of
turbidity may be expected from the jetting operations.
Note: Trenching activities were completed.
Vessel Operations
The installation activities will be undertaken by dynamically positioned (DP) vessels, where the
vessel heading and position are maintained by thrusters that constantly counteract forces such
as waves, currents, and winds. Thruster wash has the potential to physically damage fragile
benthic habitat and resuspend fine sediments on the sea floor, which may result in increased
turbidity or the smothering of sensitive benthos. The impacts from thruster wash will depend on
water depth, seabed material composition, and induced velocity on the seabed (Nord Stream
AG 2009).
The installation vessels will move along a predefined path along the pipeline corridor, thus it is
expected that the impacts from thruster wash will be limited to specific areas along the pipeline
route. As discussed in Section 4.4.1, the MDF in State Waters comprises mostly of
unvegetated sands with no significant areas of coral habitat or Coral Assemblages. In
Commonwealth Waters, the seabed within the installation corridors mostly comprises bare
unvegetated sands with localised sparse coverage of filter-feeding invertebrates at 40 to 50 m
depth (see Section 4.4.1). Impacts from thruster wash is expected to be limited to the shallower
areas and will become negligible as the installation vessels move to deeper offshore waters.
Anchoring
Anchoring is only required by specific vessels:
a dive support vessel to perform survey activities and to attach recovery rigging to each of
the HDD pipeline tails (see Section 3.4.1)
a pipelay vessel to provide additional vessel stability where high pipelay tensions are
required (typically at the HDD tails) by setting up its bow anchor along the pipeline route (see
Section 3.4.1)
an umbilical installation support vessel for disconnecting the temporary seal plugs and
recovering the messenger wire (see Section 3.4.2). Anchoring of the umbilical installation
support vessel (if required) will be undertaken within the MDF and a typical anchor pattern is
shown in Figure 3-5.
The proposed anchor locations are shown in Figure 3-5. The installation activities will typically
be undertaken by DP vessels.
Anchor handling may cause sediment resuspension when the anchor is lowered on the seabed,
when it is dragged through the seabed to achieve holding power, and when it is retrieved from
the seabed (Nord Stream AG 2009). In State Waters, anchoring will only be undertaken within
the MDF around the HDD exit alignment (indicative anchoring areas are shown in Figure 3-5).
If anchoring is required within Commonwealth Waters, it will be undertaken within the
construction corridor. Note: Planned anchoring activities were completed.
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BHP Billiton noted that anchor handling generally generates two short-term (approximately
one hour or less duration) sediment pulses during deployment and recovery, and that indirect
impacts associated with turbidity are limited to the immediate vicinity of the disturbed area (BHP
Billiton 2010). Vessel anchoring also has a direct physical impact on the sea floor. Direct loss
of habitat in the contact area and direct mortality of sessile seabed organisms will be expected
at the anchor locations. Anchor drag caused by inappropriate anchoring can disturb the upper
layers of the seabed sediment and result in localised particle suspension. Such drag can also
cause damage to sensitive seabed communities.

6.3.2

Potential Impact

Impacts associated with disturbance to the seabed include:


permanent loss of seabed habitat in areas where pipeline infrastructure is laid
resuspension of sediment, causing smothering of sensitive benthic biota
physical damage to sensitive subsea habitat
commercial fisheries and petroleum activities.
Seabed
The installation of the offshore feed gas pipeline infrastructure (pipeline, umbilicals, manifolds,
mattresses) will lead to a permanent physical loss of the seabed habitat over which the pipeline
system is laid. This impact is unavoidable, but will be confined to within the construction
corridor. In State Waters, the physical area of the infrastructure within the approved MDF is
approximately 26 ha. In Commonwealth Waters, the total footprint of the pipelines and
umbilicals, rock berms, and subsea infrastructure is approximately 106 ha (~1 km2).
As discussed in Section 4.4.1, the MDF in State Waters mostly comprises unvegetated sands
with no significant areas of coral habitat or Coral Assemblages. Although macroalgae were the
dominant ecological element, average cover of macroalgae, as well as of benthic
macroinvertebrates, was <0.5%. Given the absence of local or regionally significant habitat
within the MDF and the limited extent of the environmental impact to the habitat directly
underneath the offshore feed gas pipeline system, the physical damage will be limited to within
the MDF; thus the environmental impact is considered low.
In Commonwealth Waters, the seabed within the installation corridors mostly comprises bare
unvegetated sands. However, the pipeline route will also cross two reef sections in
approximately 5055 m and 40 m water depths. These reef sections support scattered corals
and sponges; however, they are too deep to support well-developed benthic primary producer
assemblages. Although the reefs support filter-feeding invertebrates including lithophagic
sponges, gorgonians, black corals, sea whips, ascidians, and bryozoans, their cover was sparse
across most of the area surveyed (see Section 4.4.1.6 and 4.4.1.5). To reduce the impacts, the
pipelay corridor is restricted where the routes traverse the reef sections.
Towed video surveys were conducted at the inner reef area (approximately 40 m water depth),
the outer reef area (approximately 5055 m water depth), and the area between them. Most
(89%) of the pipeline corridor in this area is classified as unvegetated, in terms of the dominant
ecological element observed (RPS 2010). The inner reef rises several metres above the
surrounding seabed and is characterised by areas of exposed rocky platform reef and areas of
upstanding reef. The platform reef supports scattered corals and sponges; however, this reef is
too deep to support well-developed benthic primary producer assemblages. The reef appears
to be part of a linear series of reefs that run northsouth; side-scan sonar data revealed
features of a similar profile approximately 5 km south of the installation corridor (Chevron
Australia 2005). The outer reef comprises limestone and supports encrusting sponges and
scattered deepwater coral (Chevron Australia 2005). Black coral, Cirrhipathes sp., was
observed at nine locations along the outer reef. In locations where black coral was observed, it
was present as a subdominant taxa in areas dominated by sponges and other benthic
macroinvertebrates (RPS 2010).
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Further offshore in the Gorgon gas fields, at approximately 200 m water depth, the seabed
comprises soft bioturbated sediments. The benthos in this area is well below the photic zone so
there are no marine macrophytes (Chevron Australia 2005). Similarly, during an ROV survey in
the Gully Region along the Jansz pipeline route in approximately 250 m water depth, the
seabed was found to be dominated by silty mud with little evidence of life (RPS 2009).
To determine the type of benthic habitat present in the deeper area, five transects, which
ranged from 558 to 714 m water depth, were filmed along the proposed pipeline corridor. An
additional transect was also run along a narrow depth band between 643 m and 656 m water
depth, following a hard outcropping area of the scarp (RPS 2009). The substrate most
commonly found in this deeper water comprised soft sedimentssand, silt, and mud. However,
these habitat types are widespread in the region and are not considered to be of regional
significance due to their ubiquity and the sparseness of biota supported (RPS 2009). The steep
scarp face was found to comprise mainly over-consolidated silt materials, mostly devoid of
marine growth, with occasional sparse communities of benthic invertebrates including soft
corals, bryozoans, and colonial ascidians. These over-consolidated silt sediments provide
structural diversity to an otherwise flat benthos. They are of higher conservation significance
than the soft sediment habitats found in the area as they are less widespread and support more
abundant biota. However, based on the high resolution bathymetry data from the area, these
hard scarp features probably stretch at least 10 km north and 5 km south of the proposed
pipeline route (RPS 2009).
Surveys of the inner and outer reef area within the pipeline route were undertaken in 2010. The
inner and outer reef surveys are shown in Figure 6-1 and Figure 6-2 respectively. These figures
illustrate that the pipeline route was chosen to avoid impacting main reef structures.

Figure 6-1 Inner Reef Environmental Features Pipeline Route Survey


(Map reference: G1-TD-V-UPGO-DET0006)

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Figure 6-2 Outer Reef Environmental Features Pipeline Route Survey


(Map reference: G1-TD-V-UPGO-DET0004)

Given the absence of local or regionally significant habitat within Commonwealth Waters and
the limited extent of the environmental impact to the habitat directly underneath the offshore
feed gas pipeline system within the approved construction corridor, the environmental impact is
considered low.
Sediment and Water Quality
The pipeline installation activity is expected to cause local disturbance of the seabed, which will
cause sediments to become suspended in the near-bottom water column. However, this
sediment suspension is expected to be localised and temporary, and will cease when
installation activities are complete. Compared to natural events such as storms and cyclones,
which often cause large amounts of sediment to be lifted into the water column over large
areas, the turbidity generated from the installation activity represents only a minor source of
localised resuspended sediment at any location.
In summary, the environment of the benthic area that will be disturbed is representative of the
surrounding region, and has been shown to contain no significant local or regionally significant
benthic habitats or coral assemblages. The seabed areas to be permanently disturbed are
mostly unvegetated sands, and will be limited to the approved MDF in State Waters and the
construction corridor in Commonwealth Waters. Benthic disturbance from resuspension of
sediments will be temporary and localised.
For the turbidity caused by rock installation, the far-field concentration of 1 mg/L is expected to
be hardly discernible above background levels, given that the normal concentration of
sediments in the water on the west coast of Barrow Island is typically <5 mg/L during normal
weather or higher during stormy conditions (see Section 4.3.1). However, a concentration of
10 mg/L, a value where avoidance reactions of some fish species can be observed (Nord
Stream AG 2009), is expected in the immediate vicinity of the rock installation area. This impact
will cease a few hours after the completion of the works. After the cessation of rock installation
activities, which will last for a few days at a particular location, the sediment concentrations in
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the water are expected to fall below the background level within a few hours; therefore, the
environmental impact is considered very short term.
Given the absence of local or regionally significant habitat within the MDF and the limited extent
of environmental impact to habitat directly underneath the rock structures, the potential
environmental risks of physical damage to benthic habitat in State Waters is considered
minimal. Given the absence of local or regionally significant habitat and benthic fauna within
Commonwealth Waters, and the limited spatial extent of the impacts, the overall environmental
impacts to benthic habitat along the installation corridor is expected to be minor.
Given the relatively localised impacts, lack of sensitive habitat (see Section 4.4.1), and the short
duration of disturbance at a given location, the environmental impacts from elevated turbidity
during trenching operations are expected to be minor.
Marine Fauna
Fish and other mobile fauna (e.g. marine turtles) are unlikely to be at any risk of physical
disturbance caused by the installation of the offshore feed gas pipeline system. Although no
direct impact to mobile fauna is expected, there may be indirect impacts from the loss of a small
area of habitat and food resources. Mobile fauna may avoid the area during the installation
activities, but they are expected to move back into the impacted areas shortly after the
completion of these activities. Thus, the environmental impacts are expected to be localised
and short term and the environmental risk is considered low.
Resident Barrow Island marine turtles browse on the near-shore macroalgal-dominated platform
reefs all along the west coast of Barrow Island when the sea is calm (see Section 4.4.1.3).
Although the rock installation activities will disturb a small portion of the substrate where Green
Turtles may graze, given the very small scale of the losses (the average cover of macroalgae
was <0.5% within the MDF; see Section 4.4.1.3), this is not expected to affect the local
population of these marine turtles except for some minor behavioural changes (e.g. temporary
avoidance).
Given that Green Turtles forage in shallow water <25 m deep, with greater than 25% of time
spent in waters <10 m deep (see Section 4.4.4.2), and the absence of local or regionally
significant habitat along the pipeline corridor (see Section 4.4.1), the turbidity and sedimentation
generated from rock installation activities in Commonwealth Waters is not expected to impact on
Green Turtle feeding behaviour.
Benthic Primary Producers
Settlement of suspended material has the potential for smothering, which could cause the burial
of benthic habitats and fauna. Coarse particles, such as sands and gravels, usually settle back
to the seabed very rapidly, whilst fine particles such as silts and clay may be dispersed over a
greater distance (Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform 2008). Given the
absence of local or regionally significant habitat (see Section 4.4.1) and the sparseness of
benthic fauna within the immediate vicinity of the proposed installation area, no Material or
Serious Environmental Harm is anticipated and the environmental risk is assessed as low.
No significant benthic habitats or areas of coral habitat or Coral Assemblages have been
identified within the MDF (see Section 4.4.1.2), therefore Condition 23.5 (v) of Statement
No. 800, Condition 14.4 (vii) of Statement No. 769, and Condition 16.5 (v) of EPBC Reference:
2003/1294 and 2008/4178 are not applicable. For anchoring, the seabed condition where the
proposed anchoring will take place mostly comprises bare unvegetated sands (see Section
4.4.1) with sessile benthic macroinvertebrate occurring in low abundance. Currie and Parry
(1996) noted that soft sediment communities are able to recover within 14 months of
mechanical disturbance.

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Commercial Fishing
There is a potential indirect impact to commercial fisheries through the potential loss of benthic
primary producers, as explained above. This is detailed in Section 6.1 on physical presence of
vessels.
Maritime Heritage
There is potential for unknown shipwrecks or relics to be disturbed by installation activities.
However, pre-installation surveys have not shown any shipwrecks or relics within the
construction corridor.
Conclusion
In summary, given the absence of local or regionally significant habitat and the limited spatial
extent of seabed-disturbing activity, the potential impacts associated with disturbance to the
seabed are expected to be low.

6.3.3

ALARP Demonstration

To demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with benthic disturbance have been
reduced to ALARP in accordance with Section 5.3, the following reasonably practicable
alternatives for anchoring and rock dumping methodology were considered:
use of anchored vessels over DP system not implemented as anchored vessels do not
meet the technical requirements for the installation
rock size is determined by engineering specifications to ensure pipeline stability.
Regarding the pipeline route, the MDF and construction corridor mostly comprises unvegetated
sands with no significant areas of coral habitat or Coral Assemblages. In Commonwealth
Waters, where the construction corridor traverses two section of reef, the pipeline route was
chosen to follow the low ground and avoid the main reef structures.
The additional control of suspending the pipeline above the seabed was considered. It was
determined that this control would not be implemented due to engineering and pipeline integrity
constraints, as well as presenting a greater navigation hazard.
For benthic disturbance, the residual risk level was determined to be at least 8. All reasonable
means to minimise the impacts from benthic disturbance have been taken, and the levels are
typical of such offshore activities undertaken in the North West Shelf region and elsewhere.

6.3.4

Acceptability Demonstration

Given the absence of local or regionally significant habitat within the construction corridor and
the limited spatial extent of seabed-disturbing activity, the environmental risk associated with
benthic disturbance from installation activities is considered low. As such Chevron Australia
considers that the impacts and risk of benthic disturbance from the Gorgon feed gas pipeline
installation to be acceptable, in accordance with the criteria described in Section 5.4.

6.3.5

Risk Assessment, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria

The key activities that were assessed as triggering the benthic disturbance environmental
hazard were risk assessed and performance objectives, standards, and criteria were assigned.
These are listed in Table 6-5.

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Table 6-5 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Benthic Disturbance
Benthic Disturbance
Potential Environmental
Impact

C1

L2

RR3

Pipeline installation

Umbilical installation

Activity

Structure installation

Rock installation

Vessel and support


activities

Decline in water
quality
Localised
physical damage
to sensitive
subsea habitat
Sediment
resuspension
causing
smothering of
sensitive benthic
biota
Disturbance to
heritage sites

Mitigations

Disturbance will be
confined to the
construction corridors

Disturbance will be
confined to the
construction corridors

Disturbance will be
confined to the
construction corridors

Accuracy of rock
installation
Loading of fines
minimised

10

Performance
objectives

7. Prevent direct
disturbance to
seabed outside
the defined
construction
corridor

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Performance Standards

Use of DP vessels to
reduce unnecessary
thruster wash
DP Vessel
Maintenance System
Anchor watch
Anchoring confined to
construction corridors
Reporting of
shipwrecks or relics

Measurement Criteria

Pipeline and umbilicals installation, structures


installation, and rock installation are confined to
within the approved MDF in State Waters, as
defined in Coastal and Marine Baseline State
and Environmental Impact Report: Offshore
Feed Gas Pipeline System and Marine
Component of the Shore Crossing (Chevron
Australia 2010d).

As-built records and post


installation survey reports
show that the pipeline is
installed as proposed.

Benthic disturbance is confined to the


construction corridor in Commonwealth Waters,
as defined in Section 3.3.2.

As-built records and post


installation survey reports
show that the pipeline is
installed as proposed.

In State Waters, anchoring will be restricted to


within the MDF as defined in Coastal and Marine
Baseline State and Environmental Impact
Report: Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline System and
Marine Component of the Shore Crossing
(Chevron Australia 2010d) (indicative anchoring
locations are detailed in Figure 3-5).

Completed vessel log detailing


anchoring locations

In Commonwealth Waters, anchoring is confined


to the construction corridor as defined in Section
3.3.2.

Completed vessel log detailing


anchoring locations

For vessels that anchor, anchoring will be

Completed vessel log

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Benthic Disturbance
managed in accordance with maritime industry
standard watchkeeping practices, e.g. STCW95.

identifying anchor watch kept

8. Minimise turbidity
generation from
rock installation.

Minimise the loading of fine rock materials by


use of an open skeleton bucket front-end loader
to load the materials.

Work Method Statement for


rock installation includes use
of skeleton bucket

9. Minimise benthic
disturbance
attributable to
thruster wash

DP systems will be maintained in accordance


with the installation vessels preventive
maintenance program to avoid excessive
thruster action.

Records of completed function


tests and maintenance of DP
systems.

Should any shipwreck or relics be discovered


during the proposed activities, DotE Maritime
Heritage Section will be notified, including:
a detailed description of the remains of
the shipwreck or the relic, which may
include sonar images, electronic data,
and/or digital photographs
a description of the place where the
shipwreck or relic is located that is
sufficiently detailed to allow it to be
identified and relocated, including
navigation data and datum information

Record of notification of
shipwreck or relic to DotE

Should any shipwreck or relics be discovered


during the proposed activities, all Project vessels
will be notified of the location.

Record of notification of
shipwreck or relics to Project
vessels.

10.Prevent
disturbance to
shipwrecks or
relics

1-

Consequence

2-

Likelihood

3-

Residual Risk

6.4

Atmospheric Emissions

The use of fuel to power the vessels and ancillary equipment involved in the pipeline installation
activity will result in the generation of exhaust gases and the emission of these gases into the
atmosphere. The activities identified to contribute to the atmospheric emissions are:
vessels and support activities, including vessel operations and helicopters.
Atmospheric emissions from the activity have the potential to cause localised and temporary
decreases in air quality and contribute to the global greenhouse gas (GHG) effect.

6.4.1

Source Characterisation

Vessel and Support Operations


A number of installation and support vessels (see Table 6-2) will be used during the proposed
installation activities. These vessels use diesel fuel to power engines, generators, cranes etc.
As a result, combustion gases (CO2, CO, NOx, SO2, VOCs, and particulate matter) will be
generated.
Activities involved in support operations include helicopter transfer. Personnel transfer to
offshore facilities will be via helicopter from Barrow Island. Helicopters will also contribute to the
emission of atmospheric gases through the use of aviation fuel.
Atmospheric emissions from the vessels and helicopters as a result of fuel consumption will be
produced for the duration of the activity.

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Additionally, vessels may have on board ozone depleting substances (ODS) including halons,
chlorofluorocarbons, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons. ODSs may potentially be used in the
installation vessels air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

6.4.2

Potential Impact

Atmospheric emissions have the potential to result in the deterioration of local and regional air
quality, and, depending on the location and extent, can potentially cause a public health or
nuisance risk and changes to the visual amenity of an area. Where GHGs are emitted, these
may cause impact by their contribution to the incremental build-up of GHGs in the atmosphere.
The use of fuel, specifically the diesel fuel that powers the vessels and related equipment, will
generate gases including carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur, and nitrous oxides and emit these
into the atmosphere. This has the potential to cause a local and temporary decline in the air
quality and result in a negligible increase in the global GHG effects. Aside from the direct
impact to air quality, this can potentially have an impact on other environmental factors including
tourism and recreational aspects of the region.
If allowed to escape, ODSs can damage the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere; the ozone
layer helps filter the suns harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Earth. While no routine
discharges are expected, discharge occurring during maintenance activities or due to accidental
leakages, although unlikely, can add a minor contribution to ozone layer degradation.
Air Quality
Offshore winds will rapidly disperse and dilute atmospheric emissions once they are discharged
into the environment. The impacts on air quality will be localised to the emission point, and can
be expected to be reduced to background levels close to the source. The volumes of fuel
expected to be consumed are comparable with other shipping activities in the region.
The contribution to the global GHG effect will be negligible.
The release of ODSs is unplanned and unlikely. If this does occur, the amounts released will be
negligible and not likely to cause a notable impact on the ozone layer.
Tourism and Recreation
The reduction in air quality could have an impact on tourism and recreation, where there is
value in the pristine and undeveloped nature of the offshore coastal environment or where the
emissions present a health hazard or nuisance. However, the remote offshore location of the
activity, the limited tourism and recreation in the activity area, and the relatively low emissions
that will disperse rapidly (thus not causing a health hazard or nuisance factor), it is unlikely that
atmospheric emissions will have any measurable impact on the tourism and recreational values
of the region.

6.4.3

ALARP Demonstration

To demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with atmospheric emissions have been
reduced to ALARP, in accordance with Section 5.3, the additional control of shut down of
equipment when not critical to operation was considered. Given the scale of emissions and lack
of sensitive receptors, it was determined by the Project that this control would not be
implemented.
The potential alternative of mainland waste disposal of all solid waste possible, with no
incineration on board vessels was considered.
However, due to the distance of Project
activities from the mainland, there would be no net risk reduction as such waste would either be
incinerated or placed in onshore landfill, which in turn generates atmospheric emissions.
Mainland disposal increases costs and vessel movements (and thus further potential
environmental risk) for no tangible environmental benefit.
There are no reasonably practicable alternatives to power generation.

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6.4.4

Acceptability Demonstration

For the atmospheric emissions environmental hazard, the residual risk level was determined to
be at least 9. All reasonable means to minimise the impacts from atmospheric emissions have
been taken, and the levels are typical of such offshore activities undertaken in the North West
Shelf region and elsewhere.
Given that vessels will adopt appropriate standards, and that emission levels are relatively low,
the impacts from vessel emissions are not considered significant and are within levels
associated with normal vessel operations. Similar pipeline installation and vessel operation
activities have been conducted in the North West Shelf region. As such Chevron Australia
considers that the impacts and risk of atmospheric emissions generated through the Gorgon
feed gas pipeline installation to be acceptable.

6.4.5

Risk Assessment, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria

The key activities that were assessed as triggering the atmospheric emissions environmental
hazard were risk assessed and performance objectives, standards, and criteria were assigned
(see Table 6-6).
Table 6-6 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Atmospheric Emissions
Atmospheric Emissions
Activity

Potential Environmental
Impact

Vessels and
support activities

Performance Objectives

11. Minimise atmospheric


emissions

12. No unplanned
discharge of any
ODSs.

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Temporary reduction in
local air quality
Contribution to global
atmospheric
concentrations of GHGs
Depletion of
stratospheric ozone

C1

L2

RR3

Mitigations

Performance Standards

Vessel
Maintenance
System
Adherence to
MARPOL
73/78

Measurement Criteria

Incinerators are certified and


maintained according to
manufacturers specifications, and
volume/type of waste is recorded in
Vessel Garbage Log, where
applicable.

Completed Pre-mobilisation Vessel


Inspection Checklist confirms
incinerator on board survey vessel
is International Maritime
Organization (IMO) approved
(certificate current and sighted),
and incinerator maintained as per
Preventative Maintenance
Schedule.
Vessel Garbage Log confirms
waste volume and type incinerated.

Sulfur content of any fuel oil used will


not exceed 3.5% m/m.

Bunker delivery notes confirm


sulfur content of fuel.

Vessels will comply with the


requirements for ODS specified in
Regulation 12 of Annex VI of MARPOL
73/78, including prohibiting the
deliberate release of ODS.

Reporting records are maintained


the use and disposal of ODS
(including releases from
refrigeration systems) in
accordance with Ozone Protection
and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas
Management Regulations 1995.
Reporting records confirm no
unplanned releases of ODS.

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Atmospheric Emissions
Any personnel handling ODSs are
certified and hold the necessary
permits and licenses required under
the Ozone Protection and Synthetic
Greenhouse Gas Management
Regulations 1995.
1-

Consequence

2-

Likelihood

3-

Residual Risk

6.5

Maintenance records confirm that


only personnel certified with
appropriate permits and licences
required under the Ozone
Protection and Synthetic
Greenhouse Gas Management
Regulations 1995 handle ODSs.

Light Emissions

Artificial lighting will be used for the safe illumination of vessels during the proposed installation
activities, which will occur 24 hours a day. The activities identified to contribute to the light
emissions are:
vessels and support operations, including vessel operations.
Behavioural response to light can alter foraging and breeding activity in turtles, seabirds, fish
and dolphins, conferring competitive advantage to some species and reducing reproductive
success and/or survival in others (Chevron Australia 2005).

6.5.1

Source Characterisation

Vessel and Support Operations


A number of installation and support vessels (see Table 6-2) will be used during the proposed
installation activities. As installation activities are proposed to take place 24 hours a day, the
installation vessels will use on-board lighting to illuminate working areas and to meet the
minimum requirements for safe navigation and vessel functioning.
The lighting of vessels for safe navigation is a requirement of AMSA, and the Prevention of
Collision Convention (Marine Order 30, Issue 7) requirements. Functioning lights are required
on vessels at levels that provide a safe working environment for personnel.
The potential extent of visibility of direct light from the proposed light sources can be assessed.
The maximum line of sight is not only determined by the light source but is also based on the
curvature of the earth and the height at which a light source is located above sea level. In a
study undertaken by Woodside as part of the Browse Environmental Impact Statement to look
at the extent of visibility from fixed platforms, it was determined that the theoretical visibility of
lights at more than 50 m above sea level was 26.6 km (Woodside 2011). Lighting used to
illuminate the working area of the pipelay vessels and the support vessels is generally lower
than 50 m, except for cranes.
Helicopter use is not proposed during night-time hours.

6.5.2

Potential Impact

Lighting associated with pipeline installation has the potential to affect marine fauna, particularly
marine turtles and some seabirds (e.g. shearwaters and gulls). Behavioural responses to light
can alter foraging and breeding activity in turtles, seabirds, fish, and dolphins, conferring
competitive advantage to some species and reducing reproductive success and/or survival in
others.

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Marine Turtles
Within the areas potentially affected by the pipeline installation, the marine fauna most sensitive
to the effects of artificial lighting are marine turtles. The impact and associated management
measures for artificial lighting are discussed in detail in the Long-term Marine Turtle
Management Plan (Chevron Australia 2009a). However, some information is provided here for
context.
The effects on marine fauna of increased artificial lighting depend on the intensity and
wavelength of the light as well as the extent to which light spills into areas that are significant for
breeding and foraging, the timing of overspill relative to breeding and foraging activity, and the
resilience of the affected fauna populations (Chevron Australia 2005).
Within the areas potentially affected by the proposed activities, the marine fauna most sensitive
to the effects of artificial lighting are marine turtles. Elevated light levels on nesting beaches
can be detrimental to marine turtles because it could disrupt visual cues and alter behaviour in
these species, such as:
potentially deter females from nesting (Salmon 2003 cited in Chevron Australia 2009a)
potentially slow swimming and promote aggregation of hatchlings around lit vessels and inwater structures, leading to increased predation risks (Kebodeaux 1994 cited in Chevron
Australia 2009a).
There is little evidence to suggest that light cues influence adult migration while at sea, although
there are anecdotal reports of adult turtles observed near oil platforms feeding on animals
attracted to the platform lights (Kebodeaux 1994 cited in Chevron Australia 2009a).
The installation activities that may potentially affect nesting female turtles and hatchlings are
those conducted close to shore. However, these activities will only occur for a relatively short
period, with the vessels moving further offshore as construction progresses. Additionally, North
Whites Beach, where the offshore pipeline will make landfall, is not considered a significant
turtle nesting beach relative to the rookery at Whites Beach or at other beaches elsewhere on
Barrow Island (e.g. John Wayne, Turtle Bay) because the shallow sand and limestone reef,
including a large limestone shelf along the waterline, make the beach less suitable for nesting
(see Section 4.4.4.2). Due to the greater shielding of adjacent rookeries provided by dunes and
rocky headlands (Chevron Australia 2005) and the relatively small scale of the proposed
installation activities that are conducted close to shore, the environmental impacts associated
with construction lighting is considered localised.
With the implementation of the mitigation measures, assuming that only a small proportion of
the total marine turtle population within the wider Barrow Island waters will be affected and the
scale of the impacts will be smaller, long-term (+5 years) effects are not considered likely and
any impacts to species abundance is expected to be short term, thus the environmental impact
is expected to be incidental. With safeguards in place, given that the construction activities that
are conducted close to shore and will only occur in a relatively short time period, it can be
reasonably assumed that the likelihood of such impacts is considered occasional, thus the
environmental risk is considered low.
Seabirds
Light spill into the ocean can also alter foraging behaviour in some seabirds, such as gulls,
which can in turn confer competitive advantage and have flow on effects to other birds. These
temporary effects would be very localised and unlikely to result in impacts to any species.
The potential for secondary effects from alterations in feeding behaviour will be limited given the
relatively short duration of the offshore construction operations. The resident Wedge-tailed
Shearwaters on Double Island may be affected by construction light, particularly during periods
when offshore construction on the east coast of Barrow Island coincides with breeding activity.
Given the distance of the colony from nearest construction light sources (~15 km) and the
management that will be applied to offshore construction lighting, the number of animals
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potentially impacted would be low. While the probability of the effect is likely, the consequences
of short-term behavioural changes would be minor, with no impact on population viability.
Therefore, the residual risk is low.
Other Listed Marine Fauna
Listed marine fauna in areas immediately adjacent to offshore construction operations, including
dolphins and fish, may be locally affected by light spill from construction vessels or offshore
infrastructure, either directly or through changes to other predator/prey species. These effects
would be temporary at any location and very limited in spatial extent, particularly given the
management that will be applied to minimise light emissions from offshore vessels. The
impacts from artificial lighting are expected to be temporary at any location and very limited in
spatial extent given the measures adopted to reduce light emissions. The consequences would
be minor, with no effects on population viability, hence the residual level of risk is assessed as
low.

6.5.3

ALARP Demonstration

To demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with light emissions have been reduced to
ALARP in accordance with Section 5.3, the alternative of eliminating lighting altogether was
considered.
The total elimination of lights is not considered practicable as it would potentially result in
increased safety and operability hazards, increased potential for failing to comply with
applicable marine legislation and standards, increased potential inability to identify water-borne
hazards, and an inability for the vessel to adequately participate in emergency response
operations (e.g. search and rescue, spill response).
To adequately manage adverse lighting impacts from installation vessels during offshore
construction activities, Chevron Australia has developed the Long-term Marine Turtle
Management Plan (Chevron Australia 2009a), which details the lighting management measures
that are intended to be applied throughout the Projects design, construction, operations, and
decommissioning phases. These measures were developed by taking into account legislation,
regulations, codes, standards, and guidelines aimed to ensure a safe working environment
whilst reducing artificial light impacts on marine turtles, and were developed in consultation with
marine turtle experts and relevant regulatory authorities.
All reasonably practicable alternatives have been implemented; there are no alternatives to
lighting required for navigational and safety purposes.

6.5.4

Acceptability Demonstration

For the light emissions environmental hazard, the residual risk level was determined to be at
least 7. All reasonable means to minimise the impacts from light emissions have been taken,
and the levels are typical of such offshore activities undertaken in the North West Shelf region
and elsewhere.
The implementation of the measures defined in the Long-term Marine Turtle Management Plan
(Chevron Australia 2009a, as amended from time to time) are considered appropriate to ensure
environmental protection whilst at the same time ensuring that safety and operability
requirements comply with applicable marine legislation and standards.
With safeguards in place, given that the construction activities conducted close to shore will only
occur in a relatively short time period, the impacts from vessel lighting are not considered to
pose Material or Serious Environmental Harm. As such Chevron Australia considers that the
impacts and risk of light emissions generated through the Gorgon feed gas pipeline installation
to be acceptable in accordance with Section 5.4.

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6.5.5

Risk Assessment, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria

The key activities that were assessed as triggering the light emissions environmental hazard
were risk assessed and performance objectives, standards, and criteria were assigned. These
are listed in Table 6-7.
Table 6-7 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Light Emissions
Light Emissions
Activity

Vessels and
support activities

Potential Environmental
Impact

C1

Localised
behavioural changes
in species

L2

Performance
Objectives

Performance Standards

13.Reduce the
impact of light
emissions
from vessels
to marine
turtles on
Barrow Island.

Manage lighting in accordance with the Longterm Marine Turtle Management Plan
(LTMTMP) (Chevron Australia 2009a) of which
the key requirements are:
keep artificial lights to the minimum
required to meet navigation and
operational safety requirements
direct artificial lighting away from
Barrow Island and shorelines
minimise light spill from indoor sources
use lighting types that are least
disruptive to turtles where colour
definition is not required for safety or
operational purposes, or use shielded
reduced spectrum lights where
minimal colour definition is required.

1-

Consequence

2-

Likelihood

3-

Residual Risk

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RR3

Mitigations

Manage lighting
management measures in
accordance with the Longterm Marine Turtle
Management Plan
(Chevron Australia 2009a)
of which the key
requirements are
keep artificial lights
to the minimum
required
direct artificial
lighting away from
Barrow Island
minimise light spill
from indoor
sources
use lighting types
that are least
disruptive to turtles
Measurement Criteria

Vessel lighting
management plans
conform with lighting
requirements in the
LTMTMP.
Lighting inspection records
confirm compliance with
lighting requirements in the
LTMTMP.

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6.6

Underwater Noise

The proposed activity will result in the generation of underwater noise for the duration of the
construction period.
Some marine species, particularly cetaceans, are susceptible to the impacts of underwater
noise as they rely on sound to communicate between individuals and to locate prey. Section
4.4.3 outlines the marine mammal species that may be found in the installation area. This
includes Humpback and Blue Whales, both of which are listed under the EPBC Act as
threatened. While Blue Whales are not known to use the installation area, it is likely that
installation vessels will encounter Humpback Whales, particularly during this species migration
period (June to October).
While other potential receptors (including turtles and fish) are known to occur in the installation
area, these species are considered less susceptible to the impacts of underwater noise.
Activities associated with pipeline installation that have the potential to create underwater noise
are:
pipeline installation
umbilical installation
structures installation
rock installation
vessels and support activities.

6.6.1

Source Characterisation

Pipeline and Umbilicals Installation


Specialist trenching equipment, consisting of a mechanical cutting machine, will be used to
lower the umbilicals in a narrow (<5 m wide) trench to a minimum depth of 1 m below the
seabed (see Section 3.4.1). Pipeline trenching is planned to be undertaken using a mechanical
trenching machine; digging arms will be deployed under the pipeline and these, assisted by
suction systems, will excavate the loosened material, which will be deposited adjacent to the
excavated trench (see Section 3.4.2).
Measurement of noise levels created by the trenching of cables into the seabed (by water
jetting) was undertaken at North Hoyle in Wales. The cable trencher measured during the
installation of cables at the North Hoyle wind farm in 2003 gave readings of 123 dB re 1 Pa at
160 m distance, which was interpreted as 178 dB re 1 Pa at 1 m (Nedwell et al. 2003).
Underwater noise measurements were also conducted during the trenching trial of mechanical
trenching equipment similar to the one that will be used for the proposed pipeline trenching.
Noise measurements were taken at 20 m, 30 m, and 50 m in both idle and full trenching mode.
During the full trenching mode, the maximum noise level recorded was 80 dB re 1 Pa at 1 to
2 kHz (Chevron Australia 2010g, 2010h).
Note: Trenching activities were completed.
Structures Installation
Other installation activities that will be carried out include structure installation and tie-in, and
concrete mattress installation (see Section 3.4.3). Apart from engine and machinery noise
emitted from the vessels used for the installation, there is also the possibility of underwater
noise being transmitted from the installation itself; however, these noise levels are not expected
to exceed those from the vessels and therefore have not been considered further.

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Rock Installation
Underwater noise measurements were undertaken during rock placement by a fall-pipe rock
installation vessel in Yell Sound, north of Scotland. Vessel noise was found to be the dominant
source of noise for the measurements made at closer ranges in the frequency band 20 Hz to
50 kHz. It was concluded that there was no evidence that rock placement was contributing to
the noise level, and that some low frequency tonals were present from machinery noise both
while rock placement was not taking place and during rock placement (Nedwell and Edward
2004).
Vessel and Support Operations
A number of support vessels will be used during the proposed installation activities. Most of
these vessels will not be working at the same time at the same location. However, there will be
times where multiple vessels may have to work next to each other. Given that the pipeline
installation vessel is of considerable size and is the largest noise source, the smaller support
vessels will result in a negligible increase in overall noise emissions and thus have not been
considered separately.
Underwater noise measurements were recorded at distances between 0.2 km and 10 km while
Solitaire (the second phase pipelay vessel) was laying two oil pipelines in Yell Sound north of
Scotland at depths between 1 m and 50 m. Measurements were also taken when Solitaire was
operating in deep water to the west of the Shetland Islands (Nedwell and Edward 2004).
Nedwell and Edward (2004) concluded that the vessel noise from Solitaire was dominant in the
frequency band 20 Hz to 50 kHz. The highest noise pressure levels were recorded at a
distance of approximately 400 m and showed an almost linear spectrum ranging from
120 dB re 1 Pa at 50 Hz to 80 dB re 1 Pa at 10 kHz. However, when the pipelay vessel is
resupplied with pipe from another supply vessel (with bow thrusters) noise levels could be
177 dB re 1 Pa rms (Sakhalin 2004; DTI 2004 cited in Entrix 2004).
Noise levels and frequency characteristics depend on vessel size and speed, with variation
among vessels of similar classes. Similar noise levels are observed for medium-sized vessels,
which generate frequencies mainly between 20 Hz and 10 kHz, with source levels between 130
and 160 dB re 1 Pa at 1 m (Richardson et al. 1995), whereas broadband noise of a support
vessel maintaining its position to the drill rig by the bow thrusters was recorded at
182 dB re 1 PA (Woodside 2002).
Helicopter Use
Helicopters will be used for personnel transfer to the installation vessels. Helicopter flyover at
305 m was measured at 108 dB re 1 PA at 45 to 7000 Hz (Simmonds et al. 2004).
Under calm sea conditions airborne sound is totally reflected and does not enter the water;
however, rough seas may provide suitable angles for airborne sound to penetrate the water
surface (Richardson et al. 1995).

6.6.2

Potential Impact

Underwater noise, a result of the installation activities, will reach a maximum of approximately
180 dB re 1 Pa when vessels are holding their location via thrusters. The levels that result
from structure installation, rock dumping, and helicopter movements are all below this
maximum. The levels will be temporary and will reduce with distance as installation activities
progress throughout the installation area (including along the pipeline route).
Noise associated with the proposed installation activities has the potential to impact on marine
fauna (Richardson et al. 1995), including:
behavioural disturbance to marine fauna
injury to marine fauna.

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Cetaceans
Cetaceans, in particular, rely heavily on underwater sounds to communicate and gather
information about their surroundings, and as such are at the greatest risk of impact from noise.
Studies have shown that some whales begin to avoid sounds at exposure levels of 120 dB
received acoustic intensity (Southall et al. 2007 cited in SVT 2010), and more than 80% of the
whales investigated (including Humpbacks), showed avoidance to sounds of 130 dB received
acoustic intensity (Malme et al. 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1988, as cited in McCauley 1994).
Auditory damage (such as irreversible hearing loss due to exposure to intense impulse or
continuous damage) in whales and dolphins is caused by sound pressure levels of
230 dB re 1 Pa. At the levels expected, auditory damage as a result of noise emissions are
not anticipated; however, there is a potential for possible behavioural disturbance by whales
although effects will diminish with distance.
Helicopters generate noise that can result in the disruption of behavioural patterns of marine
fauna, particularly cetaceans. Helicopter noise has the potential to result in behavioural
disturbance of marine fauna. Helicopter noise is low frequency, with dominant frequencies
generally below 500 Hz, which coincides with the hearing frequency of baleen whales
(Richardson et al. 1995). Sharks are unlikely to be significantly impacted by noise sources from
a distance of more than a few body lengths away; however, the low frequency noise generated
by helicopters may coincide with the hearing frequency range of Whale Sharks.
Marine Reptiles
The marine turtle ear is most sensitive to low-frequency sound. Green Turtles can detect limited
sound at a frequency range of 200 to 700 Hz, with high sensitivity to low tones at around
400 Hz, while Loggerhead Turtles are most sensitive to sound at 250 Hz (Bartol et al. 1999).
Furthermore, observations by McCauley et al. (2000) and OHara and Wilcox (1990) indicated
that turtles demonstrated erratic behaviour and alarm response at 175 dB re 1 Pa rms. As
most of the noise produced by the proposed installation activities is expected to be below the
alarm response of turtles, no significant impact is expected.
During periods where
175 dB re 1 Pa rms may be exceeded (i.e. potentially when vessels have bow thrusters in
operation or during water jetting operations), some localised avoidance could be expected.
Fish
Fish have good low frequency hearing (20 to 500 Hz) with literature indicating that disturbance
to fish ceases at noise levels below 180 dB re 1 Pa (Department of Industry and Resources
2007). High noise level impacts to fish can include increases in stress due to long-term chronic
noise levels; disruption to acoustic cues; changes in behaviour (avoidance); or abandonment of
an area (long-term noise impact). However, as the noise from the proposed installation
activities is expected to be below 180 dB re 1 PA, the most likely impact will be localised
avoidance (behavioural change) of the area, with no significant long-term impacts.
Conclusion
The noise emissions have been determined to be sufficiently below the level believed to cause
any physiological harm to marine mammals, reptiles, or fish. Impacts will be temporary and
limited to behavioural disturbance in the immediate vicinity of activities.
The installation area is in a region of considerable shipping and oil and gas activity. As these
noise levels are comparable with other activities in the region, and as the installation area
occupies a relatively small fraction of the marine habitat, it is unlikely that the proposed
installation will result in notable changes in whale or other marine fauna behaviour in the area.
As the impacts are expected to be short-term avoidance behaviour, the environmental risks
associated with underwater noise from installation activities is considered low.

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6.6.3

ALARP Demonstration

To demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with underwater noise have been
reduced to ALARP in accordance with Section 5.3, potential alternatives for timing of the
activity, relating to whale migration season, and the use of anchoring were considered.
The additional control of adjusting the timing of the activity was considered, but the Project team
determined that this control would not be implemented. The activity will take place over
36 months. Not operating during the whale migration period will significantly extend the
program and subsequent cost and is not commensurate to the level of impact.
The alternative of use of anchored vessels over DP vessels was considered, but the Project
team determined that this control not to be implemented as anchored vessels do not meet the
technical requirements for the installation.

6.6.4

Acceptability Demonstration

For the underwater noise environmental hazard, the residual risk level was determined to be at
least 7. All reasonable means to minimise the impacts from noise have been taken, and the
noise level is typical of such offshore activities undertaken in the North West Shelf region and
elsewhere.
As the installation area is not considered to be sensitive marine fauna habitat and as impacts
are expected to be short-term avoidance behaviour, the environmental risk associated with
underwater noise from installation activities is considered low. As such Chevron Australia
considers that the impacts and risk of underwater noise generated through the installation of the
offshore feed gas pipeline installation to be acceptable in accordance with the criteria described
in Section 5.4.

6.6.5

Risk Assessment, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria

The key activities that were assessed as triggering the underwater noise environmental hazard
were risk assessed and performance objectives, standards, and criteria were assigned. These
are listed in Table 6-8.
Table 6-8 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Underwater Noise
Underwater Noise
Activity

Potential
Environmental
Impact

C1

L2

RR3

Mitigations

Pipeline installation

Umbilical installation

Vessel and support


activities

Behavioural
disturbance
to marine
fauna
Injury to
marine
fauna

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Caution zones around


cetaceans
Marine fauna
observers
Caution zones around
cetaceans
Marine fauna
observers
Vessel Maintenance
System
Caution zones around
cetaceans
Marine fauna
observers

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Underwater Noise
Performance
Objectives

14.Prevent injury to
cetaceans caused
through noise from
the installation
vessels.

15.No adverse
behavioural
impacts on
cetaceans as a
result of helicopter
operations.
1-

Performance Standards

Measurement Criteria

A caution zone will be established around


observed cetaceans, with a radius of 150 m
for a dolphin and 300 m for a whale in
accordance with EPBC Regulations 2000
Division 8.1.

Completed marine megafauna


sighting forms document
observations and avoidance
measures taken.

DP systems will be maintained in accordance


with the installation vessels preventive
maintenance program to avoid excessive
thruster noise.

Vessel records indicate that


DP system maintenance is
carried out.

Helicopters must not fly lower than 500 m or


within a 500 m radius of a cetacean or Whale
Shark, if safety is not compromised, in
accordance with EPBC Regulations 2000
Division 8.1.

Communication records with


helicopter operators confirm
they have been notified of the
separation distance
requirements for cetaceans.

Consequence

2-

Likelihood

3-

Residual Risk

6.7

Non-Indigenous Species and Marine Pests

The use of vessels and their associated operations has the potential to cause the introduction of
introduced species or pests, to Barrow Island and surrounding waters. These may be marine
(known as marine pests), or terrestrial (known as Non-Indigenous Species [NIS]). The activities
identified to potentially contribute to the introduction of marine pests are:
vessels and support activities
The activities identified to potentially contribute to the introduction of NIS are:
rock installation
vessels and support activities.
The introduction of NIS from the activity has the potential to cause changes to habitat structure
and in some instances predation of, and/or outcompeting, native species.

6.7.1

Source Characterisation

Vessel and Support Operations


A number of vessels will be used during the proposed installation activities, and marine pests
may be introduced to the proposed installation area by the transit of these vessels. Species can
be transported and introduced via the discharge of ballast water or as a result of biofouling.
Biofouling refers to the attachment of marine organisms to any part of a vessel (including the
hulls, rudders, propellers, and other hull appendages) or fluid-filled spaces (niches) (such as
sea chests and engine cooling pipes), or any equipment attached to or on board the vessel.
All salt water from ports and coastal waters outside Australias territorial seas is deemed as
high-risk of introducing marine pests into Australia (Australian Quarantine and Inspection
Service [AQIS] 2008).
The risk of introducing harmful aquatic organisms into Australias marine environment through
ballast water from international vessels is well understood with well-established practices
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covered extensively within the Australian Ballast Water Management Requirements (AQIS
2008).
Rock Installation
The rock used for rock installation may pose a vector for NIS to Barrow Island, as it is sourced
from the mainland. Depending on weather conditions and operational constraints, it is expected
the loading of this rock will take approximately two weeks.
There is low potential risk for introduction of NIS from this rock, as:
it is quarried from >2 m below the ground
the quarry and marine load out facility will be quarantine-compliant for the duration of the
load out of rock intended for the Quarantine Marine Controlled Access Zone
it does not come into contact with the marine environment prior to placement.

6.7.2

Potential Impact

Impacts associated with NIS include competition with native fauna and flora for resources such
as food and shelter, introduction of diseases and pathogens, detrimental impacts to aquaculture
and fisheries, predation, reduction of native biodiversity, possible cross-breeding with native
fauna, and alteration of natural habitats (Chevron Australia 2010).
Benthic Primary Producers
For marine pests to be successfully introduced, the species must first colonise and establish on
a structure (e.g. a vessel hull), survive during the voyage, and then colonise in the recipient
region.
The introduction of marine pests can result in changes to the habitat structure of the benthic
environment, through predation or by outcompeting native species. International vessels will
have AQIS clearance. Also, most of the installation activity will be in deep water, which is
unlikely to support species that become attached to subsea infrastructure in shallower port
environments.
Fish and Commercial Fisheries
Impacts to fish from the introduction of marine pests are unlikely to occur as the potential for
these species to become established in the activity area and cause predation or competition is
low. Given that the risk of impacts from marine pests to fish is low, marine pests are unlikely to
have any subsequent impacts on the commercial fishing industry.
Terrestrial Fauna and Flora
Impacts associated with NIS include competition with native fauna and flora for resources such
as food and shelter, introduction of diseases and pathogens, detrimental impacts to aquaculture
and fisheries, predation, reduction of native biodiversity, possible cross-breeding with native
fauna, and alteration of natural habitats (Chevron Australia 2010).

6.7.3

ALARP Demonstration

To demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with the introduction of NIS and marine
pests have been reduced to ALARP in accordance with Section 5.3, potential alternatives for
vessels and the methodology were considered.
The assessment and management of marine quarantine risk is detailed in the Gorgon Project
Terrestrial and Marine Quarantine Management System (QMS; Chevron Australia 2010e),
which was developed to meet the requirements of Condition 10 of Statement No. 800 and
Condition 8 of EPBC Reference: 2003/1294 and 2008/4178.
The QMS established Marine Quarantine Zonation as a management tool to specify fit-forpurpose quarantine requirements for any marine vessels entering the waters surrounding
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Barrow Island during the construction phase of the Gorgon Gas Development.
management zones are:

These

Quarantine Marine Controlled Access Zone: a line roughly 500 m from the mean high high
water (MHHW) mark that stretches around Barrow Island
Quarantine Limited Access Zone: a line approximately 2.5 km from the MHHW mark
Quarantine Reporting Zone:
a line that corresponds with the outer limits of the
Montebello/Barrow Island Marine Conservation Reserve and the Barrow Island Port Limit.
The QMS requirements include:
completing a desktop Quarantine Compliance Risk assessment to determine the risk posed
by each vessel to reduce the risk of marine pest translocation and introduction via biofouling
as far as practicable. The risk assessment will consider, among others, the records of the
most recent antifouling type, the history of ports visited, any evidence of biofouling that
maybe visible, when antifouling paint maintenance was last undertaken, and locations where
biofouling was removed. If a vessel is deemed a high risk, inspections for exotic species
(and cleaning where required) will be undertaken prior to the vessel arriving at site
subjecting marine vessels approaching Barrow Island to progressively more stringent
quarantine requirements in each defined zone. For example, vessels entering the Marine
Quarantine Zonation will be required to comply with specific wetside requirements, whilst
vessels entering the Quarantine Controlled Access Zone will be required to meet specific
wetside as well as topside requirements to ensure vessels topsides are free of vermin,
pests, animals, plants, and plant and animal material
The Australian Ballast Water Management Requirements (AQIS 2008) are standard
requirements for all international vessels, and no reasonably practicable alternatives have been
determined by the Project team. Conformance to these requirements is expected to minimise
the translocation of harmful aquatic species in ships ballast water.
Therefore, the Project team consider that a high level of quarantine management is currently in
place for the activity, and there are no additional practicable measures available.
All reasonably practicable alternatives have been implemented.

6.7.4

Acceptability Demonstration

For the introduction of NIS and marine pests environmental hazard, the residual risk level was
determined to be at least 9. All reasonable means to minimise the impacts from the introduction
of NIS and marine pests have been taken, and the levels are typical of such offshore activities
undertaken in the North West Shelf region and elsewhere, and for quarrying activities. These
measures are summarised in Table 6-9.
Given the level of quarantine controls that are in place for the operating vessels and for rock
loading activities, marine pests and NIS are unlikely to be introduced as a result of this activity.
The risk of introducing harmful aquatic organisms into Australias marine environment through
ballast water from international vessels is well understood with well-established practices
covered extensively within the Australian Ballast Water Management Requirements (AQIS
2008).
As such Chevron Australia considers that the impacts and risk of the introduction of invasive
marine species generated through the Gorgon Project feed gas pipeline installation to be
acceptable in accordance with the criteria described in Section 5.4.

6.7.5

Risk Assessment, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria

The key activities that were assessed as triggering the environmental hazard of the introduction
of NIS and marine pests were risk assessed and performance objectives, standards, and criteria
were assigned. These are listed in Table 6-9.
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Table 6-9 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Introduction of Invasive Marine Species
Invasive Marine Species
Activity

Potential Environmental
Impact

Vessels and
support
activities

Rock installation

Performance
Objectives

16. Prevent the


introduction of
marine pests
from Project
vessels

17. Prevent the


introduction of
NIS into the
Quarantine
Marine
Controlled
Access Zone
from rock
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C1

L2

RR3

Mitigations

Changes to habitat
structure
Predation of native
species
Outcompeting native
species

Adherence to AQIS
ballast water
management
requirements and
quarantine
requirements.

Changes to habitat
structure
Predation of native
species
Outcompeting native
species

Vessel and rock


quarantine
inspections

Performance Standards

Measurement Criteria

All international installation vessels involved in


the project will be required to confirm to the
Australian Ballast Water Management
Requirements (AQIS 2008), of which key
requirements are:
non-discharge of high-risk ballast water
in Australian ports or waters
full ballast exchange outside Australian
territorial seas
documentation of all ballast exchange
activities (including AQIS clearances).

AQIS checks are performed


and records kept on the vessel
showing compliance with the
Australian Ballast Water
Management Requirements
(AQIS 2008).

All vessels that will enter the Quarantine Marine


Controlled Access Zone or Quarantine Limited
Access Zone will be required to conform to the
Quarantine Management System (QMS;
Chevron Australia 2010e)

Quarantine checks are


performed and records kept
showing compliance with the
Australian Ballast Water
Management Requirements
(AQIS 2008) and the QMS.

Pre-mobilisation quarantine inspection will be


completed for vessels that are determined to be
high risk by the Quarantine Compliance Risk
Assessment.

Pre-mobilisation vessel
quarantine inspection records
confirm they have been
completed for vessels
determined to be high risk.

Quarantine audits will be conducted on


contractors, in accordance with the QMS
(Chevron Australia 2010e).

Completed vessel Quarantine


audits showing compliance
with the QMS.

Rocks loaded from the mainland that will be


installed within the Quarantine Marine Controlled
Access Zone, will be made quarantine compliant
by compliance with the QMS, specifically:
vessel quarantine inspection prior to
leaving port to the Quarantine Marine
Controlled Access Zone.
rock quarantine inspection prior to

Completed Quarantine
inspection checklists of
vessels and rock intended for
the Quarantine Marine
Controlled Access Zone,
showing compliance with the
QMS.

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Invasive Marine Species


installation

1-

Consequence

2-

Likelihood

3-

Residual Risk

6.8

leaving port, for rock intended for


placement within the Quarantine Marine
Controlled Access Zone.

Hazardous and Non-hazardous Solid Waste

The pipeline installation activity will result in the generation of hazardous and non-hazardous
solid waste. The activities identified to contribute to the generation of solid waste are:
vessels and support activities.
Solid waste generated from the activity, when not managed appropriately, has the potential to
cause a decline in sediment and water quality, injury to marine fauna, and can affect the visual
amenity of an area.

6.8.1

Source Characterisation

Vessel and Support Operations


A number of vessels will be used during the proposed installation activities. Solid waste will be
generated during all stages of the installation activity, including:
general non-hazardous wastes (e.g. paper, plastics, waste metal and glass)
general hazardous wastes (e.g. used oil, batteries, oil filters, etc.).
Both non-hazardous and hazardous wastes are stored on board the vessels in segregated
suitable containers prior to transport back to shore for disposal and/or recycling in accordance
with the local regulations. Some waste may be incinerated on board only via an IMO-approved
incinerator.

6.8.2

Potential Impact

Sediment and Water Quality


Poor management of solid wastes generated by vessel operations can result in loss or
discharge, which can cause a cause a decline in sediment and water quality.
Hazardous wastes accidentally released to the ocean cause pollution and contamination, with
either direct or indirect effects on marine organisms. For example, chemicals leaching from
batteries or oil from filters could impact on marine life from plankton to pelagic fish communities,
causing physiological damage through ingestion or absorption through the skin. Impacts from
an accidental release would be limited to the immediate area surrounding the release, prior to
the dilution of the chemical with the surrounding sea water. These impacts are likely to be
lessened in offshore areas such as those where the activity is proposed to be undertaken.
Other Users
The remote offshore area where the installation activities are proposed to take place is not
frequented by other users; however, there is the potential for commercial fishers, and to a much
lesser degree recreational users and tourists, to be found to operate in the area. Although nonhazardous solid wastes that are discharged into the environment, may be benign in terms of
toxicity or ecological impact, they can cause an impact to the visual amenity of a region.
However, this impact is considered low given the low numbers of other users and how the solid
wastes will be managed.
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Marine Fauna and Seabirds


If non-hazardous wastes are discharged overboard, this can impact on the visual amenity of an
area affecting other users, and has the potential to cause injury to marine fauna and seabirds
through ingestion or contact. For example, higher-order fish and turtles have been known to
mistake plastic for jellyfish, and rope can entangle fauna such as birds and marine mammals.
The installation activity area is known to support various marine mammals, fish, reptiles, and
seabirds. There is the potential that if non-hazardous wastes are discharged overboard such
impacts could result.

6.8.3

ALARP Demonstration

To demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with the generation of solid wastes have
been reduced to ALARP in accordance with Section 5.3, potential alternative methodologies
were considered. MARPOL Annex V Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships, prohibits
the disposal of garbage into the marine environment. Adherence with Annex V requires that no
plastics, synthetic ropes, oils etc. are discharged to the environment.
The Project team determined that all reasonably practicable measures have been implemented.
No other additional controls beyond those required under MARPOL 73/78 were identified by the
Project team to further reduce the risk.

6.8.4

Acceptability Demonstration

For the generation of solid waste, the residual risk level was determined to be at least 9. All
reasonable means to minimise the impacts from solid wastes have been taken, and the levels
are typical of such offshore activities undertaken in the North West Shelf region and elsewhere.
Given that the pipeline installation activity is being managed to ensure that the appropriate
standards for the management of solid waste are in place, the impacts from vessel-generated
solid wastes are not considered to pose Material or Serious Environmental Harm, and are within
levels associated with normal vessel operations. Vessels operating in the region and elsewhere
throughout the world, all generate solid waste and manage the risk.
As such Chevron Australia considers that the impacts and risk of solid wastes generated
through the installation of the Gorgon Project feed gas pipeline to be acceptable in accordance
with the criteria described in Section 5.4.

6.8.5

Risk Assessment, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria

The key activities that were assessed as triggering the solid waste environmental hazard were
risk assessed and performance objectives, standards, and criteria were assigned. These are
listed in Table 6-10.
Table 6-10 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Solid Waste
Solid Waste
Activity

Potential Environmental
Impact

Vessels and
support
activities

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Decline in
sediment quality
Decline in water
quality
Injury to marine
fauna
Changes to the
visual amenity

C1

L2

RR3

Mitigations

Public

Adherence to
MARPOL 73/78
Segregation,
storage, and
handling

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Solid Waste

Performance
Objectives

Ingestion or
entanglement of
marine fauna
Performance Standards

Measurement Criteria

Vessels >100 GT (or certified for


>15 persons on board) have a Waste
Management Plan, in accordance with
MARPOL 73/78.

Completed Pre-mobilisation Vessel


Inspection Checklist confirms vessels
have a Waste Management Plan, if
applicable.

Vessels >400 GT (or certified for


>15 persons on board) will have a
Garbage Record Book, in accordance
with MARPOL 73/78.

Completed vessel Garbage Record


Book, if applicable (>400 GT or certified
for >15 people).

Waste handling equipment, waste


storage containers, and spill response
equipment appropriate to the type and
volume of waste will be provided at
waste storage areas.

18. No discharges of
hazardous and
non-hazardous
solid waste to
the marine
environment.

Wastes designated as hazardous or


dangerous goods will be identified,
packaged, segregated, handled,
stored, transported, and tracked in
accordance with MARPOL 73/78 and
applicable International Maritime
Dangerous Goods (IMDG)
requirements.
Solid and hazardous wastes generated
on board the vessels are incinerated
(using an IMO-approved incinerator) or
appropriately disposed of at a licensed
onshore facility.

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Induction materials include


waste management and
housekeeping requirements.
Project induction attended by all
crew, as demonstrated by
induction records.
Completed Inspection
Checklists confirm sufficient
bins are available and labelled
appropriately, and litter is
prevented from being
windblown.
Completed inspection forms
show appropriate storage,
labelling, and segregation of
hazardous materials and
dangerous goods.
Waste records confirm fate and
final disposal location of waste
identified as hazardous and
dangerous goods that is
transferred to the mainland.
Induction materials include
waste management and
housekeeping requirements.
Training records confirm all
personnel received Project
induction (including waste
management responsibilities).
Completed Pre-mobilisation
Vessel Inspection Checklist
confirms incinerator on board
survey vessel is IMO-approved
(certificate current and sighted),
and incinerator maintained as
per Preventative Maintenance
Schedule.
Completed inspection records
confirm appropriate waste
segregation.
Vessel Garbage Record Book
and waste manifests confirm
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Solid Waste

1-

details of solid wastes


incinerated or transferred to
shore.
Waste manifests confirm fate
and final disposal location of
solid wastes transferred to the
mainland.
Waste manifests confirm fate
and final disposal location of
controlled wastes transferred to
the mainland in accordance
with Western Australian
Environmental Protection
(Controlled Waste) Regulations
2004.

Consequence

2-

Likelihood

3-

Residual Risk

6.9

Hazardous and Non-hazardous Liquid Waste and Planned


Discharges

The pipeline installation activity will result in the generation of liquid waste, including planned
discharges. The activities identified to contribute to the generation of liquid waste are:
vessels and support activities
pre-commissioning
umbilical and structures installation.
Liquid waste generated from the activity, when not managed appropriately, has the potential to
cause a decline in sediment and water quality, toxicity to marine organisms, and can result in
disruptions to or exclusions of other activities such as fishing and recreation.

6.9.1

Source Characterisation

6.9.1.1

Vessel and Support Operations

A number of vessels will be used during the proposed installation activities. Liquid wastes will
be generated during all stages of the installation activity as a result of vessel operations, and
will include:
cooling water
sewage, greywater, and putrescible wastes
deck drainage and bilge water
brine.
Cooling Water
As with most vessels, seawater uptake and discharge will be required by the installation vessels
to support engine cooling, typically using a once-through system. The rates of seawater uptake
vary with each vessels horsepower and activities, and therefore will differ between vessels and
activity types. For example, one of the rock installation vessels will use and discharge
approximately 700 m3/h (16 800 m3/day) cooling water at a discharge temperature of
approximately 1 to 2 C above the ambient water temperature, whereas the second phase
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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

pipelay vessel will use and discharge approximately 2000 m3/h (48 000 m3/day) of cooling water
at a discharge temperature of up to 15 C above the ambient water temperature.
Sewage, Greywater, and Putrescibles
The installation vessels will produce standard liquid wastes and discharges typical of any vessel
at sea. Sewage and greywater will be generated during the installation activity as a result of
domestic processes including ablution, laundry, and galley activities (i.e. food waste) and
treated via on-board treatment facilities. The volumes of sewage and sullage waste is
determined primarily through the number of crew on board vessels, and the duration the vessels
are at sea. The average volume of sewage and greywater (including domestic waste water)
generated by a person per day is 230 L (based on calculations in Hnninen and Sassi, 2009).
Deck Drainage
Occasional rainwater and wash-down water from the deck may contain minor quantities of
chemical residues such as oil, grease, chemicals, or detergent. The volume of drainage likely to
be generated is difficult to determine accurately as it depends on the rainfall received and the
frequency of deck washing. The volume of deck drainage water that is likely to be discharged
at any specific time is expected to be low. The concentrations of oil, grease, trace metals, and
other contaminants that could potentially enter the marine environment as a result of deck
washing activities are also expected to be low.
Bilge Water
Oily bilge water is the mixture of water, oily fluids, lubricants, cleaning fluids, and other similar
wastes that accumulate in the lowest part of a vessel from various sources, including engines
and other mechanical sources found throughout the machinery spaces of a vessel. Oily bilge
water may contain emulsified oil and grease, diesel, hydraulic oil, lube oil, and a full range of
marine fuel oils. The amount of bilge water that accumulates on board can vary, and depends
on a number of factors including the size of the ship, engine room design, preventive
maintenance, and the age of the components.
RO Brine
Brine water is created through the vessels desalination processes, which is used to create fresh
water for drinking, showers, cooking etc. This is achieved through the use of an RO unit, which
removes the salt content from sea water and produces a highly concentrated salt solution that is
then discharged back into the ocean.
Potable water may also be required for flooding the infield pipelines. This water will be sourced
either from land, or will be produced using an RO plant installed on one of the vessels. The RO
plant is anticipated to have a nominal capacity of 200 m3/day. This will result in a brine waste
stream that will be discharged to the marine environment. It is estimated that during the
flooding, gauging, and hydrotesting operations, approximately 20 000 m3 of brine will be
discharged offshore in the vicinity of the Gorgon and Jansz PTS locations. Based on an
expected recovery rate of 48% in accordance with the proposed RO plant specifications, the
estimated brine discharge volume is detailed in Table 3-2 (Section 3.4.5.2).
6.9.1.2

Pre-Commissioning

Initial Flooding for Temporary Stabilisation


The Gorgon and Jansz pipelines will be laid down (see Section 3.4.1) and temporarily stabilised
with chemically treated sea water. This water will be discharged at the Gorgon and Jansz
MPTS location. Each of the Jansz pipelines (Production, MEG, and Utility) may be dewatered
at the top of the scarp at approximately 140 m water depth if flooding is required for temporary
stabilisation.
Treated water left in the pipeline for temporary stabilisation will be replaced during flooding,
cleaning, gauging, and hydrotesting to maintain protection as required (see Section 3.4.5.3); the
pipelines will be dewatered and re-flooded with chemicals according to operational
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requirements and chemical selection criteria (Appendix 2). Treated waters are planned to be
discharged at the MPTS (see Table 3-2 for anticipated volume).
Flooding, Cleaning, Gauging, and Hydrotesting
The flooding, cleaning, and gauging operations for the pipelines are either performed from the
landfall site on Barrow Island or by a support vessel using a down-line.
The flooding, cleaning, gauging, and hydrotesting operations of most Gorgon and Jansz
Production, MEG, and Utility pipelines will be performed from Barrow Island. The management
of potential environmental impacts of the onshore spread of the flooding, cleaning, gauging, and
hydrotesting operations (including the storage and handling of hydrotest chemicals) are detailed
in the Onshore EMP (Chevron Australia 2010a).
The flooding, cleaning, gauging, and hydrotesting operations for the Gorgon and Jansz infield
pipelines are planned to be undertaken by a support vessel. Alternatively, these activities will
be performed from Barrow Island as for the other pipelines.
The flooding medium is planned to be either sea water, potable water that has been filtered and
chemically treated, or MEG (for infield MEG and Utility pipelines). This flooding/hydrotest
medium will be treated with chemicals to ensure that corrosion attributed to oxidation and
microbial action does not occur over the time that the water is expected to remain in the pipeline
(from hydrotesting to dewatering, the expected residence time ranges from approximately
18 months to potentially over 36 months). To maintain the appropriate level of protection and
provide flexibility in the Project schedule while reducing the environmental impact due to treated
water release, chemicals will be selected according to the selection criteria listed in Appendix 2.
The chemicals that have been currently selected are listed in Table 6-11, and have been
selected according to the chemical selection process described in Appendix 2. The three
biocide types currently selected are THPS, Glutaraldehyde, and Hydrosure. Additions,
substitutions, or changes to these chemicals to meet operational requirements will be assessed
and selected according to the chemical selection and approval criteria.
Following flooding, gauging, cleaning, and hydrotesting of the pipelines, fluid may remain
resident in the respective pipeline, or be returned and stored in the tank farm on Barrow Island
for re-use throughout the flooding, gauging, cleaning, and hydrotesting operation to minimise
the volume of treated water discharged to the marine environment. If the returned volumes are
greater than the storage capacity of the water tanks at the HDD site, they will be discharged
offshore via the Gorgon 6 Utility pipeline, as described in Section 3.4.5.
After the hydrotesting is complete, the Gorgon and Jansz pipelines will be dewatered using
dewatering pig trains launched from Barrow Island. The chemically treated sea water will be
discharged subsea at the Gorgon and Jansz MPTS, at approximately 130 m and 1340 m water
depth respectively. A discharge rate of 0.25 m3/s was specified for both discharge locations.
The mixing and dispersion of the discharged water was modelled, with a proposed biocide
dosing concentration of 850 ppm (APASA 2012). The modelling results are described in
Section 6.9.2.2. The management of the potential terrestrial impacts of the onshore spread for
the flooding, gauging, cleaning, and hydrotesting operations are detailed in the Onshore EMP
(Chevron Australia 2010a).
Planned Dewatering
Following the completion of the system hydrotest, the pipelines are to be dewatered in
preparation for commissioning. Dewatering pig trains typically comprise between one and ten
pigs. Between the pigs, potable water slugs will be used to remove salts from the pipeline bore,
and MEG slugs will be used to remove the last traces of water from the pipelines. The
dewatering pig trains are planned to be driven by nitrogen or air for the Gorgon and Jansz
Production pipelines, and MEG for the MEG and Utility pipelines. The treated sea water,
potable water slugs, and MEG slugs will be discharged subsea at the Gorgon and Jansz MPTS.
MEG is considered to be readily biodegradable, with a reported toxicity threshold of
10 000 mg/L (APASA 2009a). MEG slugs are approximately 40 m3 per slug, with a total of
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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

approximately 100 m3 per pipeline. Modelling the release of approximately 40 m3 of MEG at


40 m water depth predicted that the peak concentration of MEG would be 320 mg/L, well below
the reported toxicity value of 10 000 mg/L.
The anticipated discharge volumes and locations for the various dewatering operations are
listed in Table 3-2.
Contingency Dewatering
During pipe-lay, the potential exists for an unplanned event resulting in the ingress of sea water
into the pipeline. For example, if the pipeline were to suffer a wet buckle or rupture, sea water
would enter, resulting in microbial or chemical corrosion; contingency dewatering and reloading
of treated water would be necessary. Additionally, if re-dosing was required for treatment
chemicals used to maintain the required level of protection, then additional dewatering and
reloading of treated water may be required.
The potential also exists for interruption to the pipeline installation because of a cyclone. In this
case, the pipeline may be stabilised by flooding it with treated sea water prior to temporary
abandonment. The treated water used in the temporarily stabilisation of the pipeline will be
discharged at the abandonment location prior to resuming pipe-lay.
Chemical Selection Process
There are two types of chemical selectionchemicals intended for discharge (i.e. hydrotest
chemicals), and those not intended for discharge (i.e. standard chemicals used on board
vessels). Both processes are described in detail in Appendix 2.
For hydrotest chemicals intended for discharge during pre-commissioning activities, Chevron
Australia has developed additional assessment criteria to ensure the potential for environmental
harm due to pre-commissioning is minimised to acceptable risks levels and is reduced to
ALARP.
The chemicals intended for discharge that have been assessed and approved using the
selection process described in Appendix 2 are described in Table 6-11. Chemical assessment
rating and toxicity information is given, and the expected dosing concentration. The expected
discharge concentration is calculated given the dosing concentration, decay curves, and
nominated residency time in the pipeline.
If a biocide other than THPS or Glutaraldehyde is selected for use, DotE will be notified of the
chemical and its concentration, as per the approval of Amendment 1 Revision 2 of this Plan.
Note: The same active ingredient may have different assessment ratings from the Offshore
Chemical Notification Scheme (OCNS) or Pose Little or No Risk (PLONOR). This is due to the
process of OCNS assessment, as it assesses the product as a whole, not just the active
ingredient.
A summary of the chemical selection process is shown in Figure 6-3.

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Figure 6-3 Chemical Selection Process Flow Diagram

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Table 6-11 Chemicals Approved for Planned Discharge

Chemical
Class

Biocide

Biocide

Preferred
Product
Name1

Baker Petrolite
XC24959

Baker Petrolite
XC24105
(same as
XC80105)

Chevron Australia Pty Ltd


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Expected
Dosing
Concentration
or Amount

Expected
Discharge
Concentration2
or Amount

Tetrakishydroxymethylphosphoniumsulfate (THPS)

Chemical has no current Chemical Hazard and Risk


Management (CHARM) rating. Persistence,
Bioaccumulative, and Toxicity (PBT) Assessment Proceed
to consideration of environmental factors
The toxicity is reported as the concentration lethal to 50% of
test organisms in a 96-hour period (LC50) and is in the range
3340 ppm (Chen et al. 1997).

Readily biodegradable with low potential for


bioaccumulation.

Expected to substantially break down in the pipeline


prior to discharge so that the discharge
concentrations will be much lower than the dosage
concentration (ACS Green Chemistry Institute 2009;
British Petroleum 2003).

Once discharged, THPS rapidly breaks down in the


environment through hydrolysis, oxidation, photodegradation, and biodegradation.

The degradation product of THPS is tris-hydroxymethyl-phosphine oxide (THPO), which has a very
low aquatic toxicity and is not considered to present
any significant environmental hazard (Downward et
al. 1997; ACS Green Chemistry Institute 2009).

480 ppm

100 ppm
(estimate after
12 months
residence)

Glutaraldehyde

CHARM Gold
No Observable Effect Concentrations (NOECs) for
Glutaraldehyde range from 2.5 to 0.029 mg/L (algae) to 9 to
24 mg/L (Daphnia magna) in freshwater and marine studies,
respectively.
In chronic studies, the NOECs ranged from 0.31 mg/L
(algae) to 4.25 mg/L (Daphnia magna).

Readily biodegradable with low potential for


bioaccumulation.

Expected to substantially break down in the pipeline

1400 ppm
(onshore
section)
900 ppm
(offshore
section)

375 ppm
(estimate after
12 months
residence)

Active
Ingredient

Chemical Assessment Rating and Toxicity Information

Public

Assessed
Approved
Acceptable
for Selection
for
(A2.1
Discharge
Appendix 2)
(A2.2
Appendix 2)

Approved

Approved

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

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Chemical
Class

Preferred
Product
Name1

Active
Ingredient

Chemical Assessment Rating and Toxicity Information

Biocide +
oxygen
scavenger
mixture

Champion
Technologies
Hydrosure
O-3670R

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Quaternary
ammonium salt
and ammonium
bisulfite mixture

Expected
Dosing
Concentration
or Amount

Expected
Discharge
Concentration2
or Amount

600 ppm

Approximately
400 ppm
(estimate after
12 months
residence)

Assessed
Approved
Acceptable
for Selection
for
(A2.1
Discharge
Appendix 2)
(A2.2
Appendix 2)

prior to discharge so that the discharge


concentrations will be much lower than the dosage
concentration.
Metabolism can be quite rapid. Under aerobic
conditions, metabolism proceeds to complete
mineralisation, with CO2 as the principal
degradation product.
Under anaerobic conditions, Glutaraldehyde was
metabolised to 1,5-pentanediol, a known compound
with low toxicity (Union Carbide 1999; Finnish
Environment Institute 2001). Glutaraldehyde also
has high hydrophilicity and low fat solubility, making
it unlikely to bioaccumulate in living organisms
(United Nations Environment Program 2012;
Finnish Environment Institute 2001).
Major product of the aerobic metabolism of
Glutaraldehyde is CO2 via Glutaric Acid pathway,
while the major product of anaerobic metabolism is
1,5-pentanediol, which is a known compound with
low toxicity (Union Carbide 1999).

CHARM Gold
The toxicity for Coco benzyldimethylammonium chloride
(active ingredient) is reported as the concentration lethal to
50% of test organisms in a 96-hour period (LC50) and
1.98 mg/L for fish (OSPAR Commission 2010)
72-hour EC50 for Skeletonema (diatom species) is 0.19 mg/L;
and 48-hour LC50 for Acartia (marine copepod) is 1.76 mg/L.

Inherently biodegradable product with low potential


for bioaccumulation.

Widely used as a biocide in a variety of applications,


such as cooling water systems, disinfection and
sterilisation, wood preservation, fabric softeners,
hair rinses, dispersion agents, and in food products
(Laopaiboon et al. 2002).

Widely used in the oil and gas industry within


Public

Approved

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

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Class

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Product
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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Expected
Dosing
Concentration
or Amount

Expected
Discharge
Concentration2
or Amount

Broponol (INN)

CHARM Silver; PBT Assessment Proceed to consideration


of environmental factors
LD50 (oral rat): 180 mg/kg
Fish LC50 (96-hour): ~40 mg/L
Daphnia (Acartia tonsa) EC50 (48-hour): <10 mg/L
Algae (Skeletonema costatum) LC50 (72-hour): <1 mg/L
(Champion Technologies 2010).

100 ppm
Gorgon:
~1208 sticks
Jansz:
~774 sticks

Approximately
1.78 ppm
(estimate after
12 months
residence)

Sodium
metabisulfite

OCNS E
Skeletonema 72-hour EC50 = >1100 mg/L (Toxic)
Acartia 48-hour LC50 = >1001000 mg/L (Harmful)
Fish 96-hour LC50 = >1001000 mg/L (Harmful)
(Champion Technologies 2010).

100 ppm
Gorgon:
~392 sticks
Jansz:
~266 sticks

Insignificant
concentration of
this chemical
released after
oxidation
(estimate after
12 months
residence)

Ammonium
bisulfite

PLONOR (2012-06 list)

Crustacean (Daphnia magna) EC50 (48-hour):


134 mg/L

Fish (Threespine Stickleback LC50 (96-hour):


220 ppm (Baker Hughes 2013)

Ammonium bisulfite acts to remove dissolved


oxygen from the pipeline; it reacts with dissolved
oxygen in the hydrotest fluid to provide an oxygenfree environment, which assists in preventing
corrosion. It has very low toxicity and is contained
on the OSPAR PLONOR list.

Ammonium bisulfite immediately oxidises to nontoxic ammonium sulfate ions, which are commonly
present in all surface water, hence it has no residual
toxic effect (URS 2009; British Petroleum 2003).

100 ppm

Dependent on
O2 content but
expected to
have an
insignificant
concentration at
time of release
due to 12 month
residence time;
in any event,
discharge
concentration
will be less than
dosing
concentration

Active
Ingredient

Chemical Assessment Rating and Toxicity Information

Assessed
Approved
Acceptable
for Selection
for
(A2.1
Discharge
Appendix 2)
(A2.2
Appendix 2)

Australia including in the North West Shelf (e.g. by


Woodside for the Rankin and Pluto projects, by
BHP/Modec for Pyrenees and Stybarrow tiebacks,
and by Apache for Devils Creek).

Biocide
Stick

Oxygen
scavenger

Oxygen
scavenger

Hydrosure
Biocide Stick
(delayed)

Hydrosure
Oxygen
Scavenger E
Sticks (delayed

Baker Hughes
OSW24514

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Approved

Approved

Approved

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

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Chemical
Class

Oxygen
scavenger

MEG
(Hydrate
Inhibitor)

MEG Gel

Preferred
Product
Name1

Baker Hughes
OSW24147

Monoethylene
glycol - Not
Specified

Alchemy
Oilfield
Services
Glycol Pipeline
Gel

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Active
Ingredient

Chemical Assessment Rating and Toxicity Information

Expected
Discharge
Concentration2
or Amount

100 ppm

Dependent on
O2 content of
pipeline but
expected to
have an
insignificant
concentration at
time of release
due to 12 month
residence time;
in any event,
discharge
concentration
will be less than
dosing
concentration

Approved

Approved

Sodium
metabisulfite

PLONOR (2012-06 list)


Skeletonema 72-hour EC50 = >1100 mg/L (Toxic)
Acartia 48-hour LC50 = >1001000 mg/L (Harmful)
Fish 96-hour LC50 = >1001000 mg/L (Harmful)
(Champion Technologies 2010).

Monoethylene
glycol (also
known as
ethylene glycol)

PLONOR (2012-06 list)


LD50 Rat oral 5.89 g/kg (Wireless Information System for
Emergency Responders (WISER) database)
In acute toxicity studies on fish, 96-hour LC50 values have
ranged from 17 800 mg/L for Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus
mykiss) to 111 000 mg/L for Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis
macrochirus) (Environment Canada 2000)

~80100%
(MEG with
water)

50 to 100 m3 per
slug small
amounts <10 m3
may be released
during tie-in
activities.

Monoethylene
glycol

PLONOR (2012-06 list)

Ethylene Glycol Rainbow trout LD50 (96-hour):


18 500 mg/L (Alchemy 2013)

MEG is used to prevent hydrate formation and act


as a corrosion inhibitor.

Significant volumes of MEG are not expected to be


discharged to the environment but rather returned
and recharged for re-use.

Any MEG discharge is not expected to have


significant impact on the environment. MEG is
considered to be readily biodegradable and non-

100 m3 per slug

100 m3 per slug

Public

Assessed
Approved
Acceptable
for Selection
for
(A2.1
Discharge
Appendix 2)
(A2.2
Appendix 2)

Expected
Dosing
Concentration
or Amount

Approved

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

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Class

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Preferred
Product
Name1

Active
Ingredient

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Chemical Assessment Rating and Toxicity Information

Expected
Dosing
Concentration
or Amount

Expected
Discharge
Concentration2
or Amount

40% (MEG)
110%
(Morpholine)

~0.20.5 m3 per
umbilical
connection

Assessed
Approved
Acceptable
for Selection
for
(A2.1
Discharge
Appendix 2)
(A2.2
Appendix 2)

bioaccumulative.

Subsea
hydraulic
fluid
(Umbilical
Control
Fluid)

Leak
detection
dye

Oceanic
HW740R

ROEMEX RX9026

Ethylene glycol
(Also known as
Monoethylene
glycol)

OCNS D; PBT Assessment Proceed to consideration of


environmental factors
Ethylene Glycol ingredient - LD50 (Oral, Rat): 4700 mg/kg
(Material Safety Data Sheet [MSDS])
Algae (Skeletonema Costatum) EC50 (72-hour): 36.6 mg/L
(MSDS)
Crustacean (Acartia Tonsa) LC50 (48-hour): 644 mg/L
(MSDS)
Fish (Cyprinodon variegatus) LC50 (96-hour): 2505 mg/L
(MacDermid Offshore Solutions 2010).

Clear dye

Non-toxic/non-hazardous

E Algae EC50 (72-hour): >200 mg/L (MSDS)

Fish LC50 (96-hour): >200 mg/L (MSDS)

Crustacean LC50 (48-hour): >200 mg/L (Roemax


2012)

Clear dye is used to detect leaks during


hydrotesting.

It is non-toxic and readily biodegradable when


released to the environment, thus posing no known
environmental hazard.

70 ppm

70 ppm

~50 L per
pipeline

~50 L per
pipeline

Approved

~80 m3 per
pipeline

~80 m3 per
pipeline

Approved

Water
removal
media

Sigma-Aldrich
81130

Sodium
polyacrylate

Non-toxic

Water-absorbent materials (sodium polyacrylate or


similar) are used to minimise the potential for weld
defects due to the intrusion of melting water.

Sodium polyacrylate is considered non-toxic in the


aquatic environment, and is widely used in a variety
of consumer products for its ability to absorb several
hundred times its mass in water.

Debris
removal
media
(pick-up

Guar gum
not specified

Guar gum

Non-toxic/non-hazardous; PLONOR (2012-06 list)

Guar gum is used to adjust the fluid viscosity to


enable it to act as a cleaning agent, removing debris

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Approved

Approved

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

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Chemical
Class

Preferred
Product
Name1

Active
Ingredient

Chemical Assessment Rating and Toxicity Information

gel)

Debris
removal
media
(pick-up
gel)

1
2
3

Xanthan gum
not specified

Xanthan gum

Expected
Dosing
Concentration
or Amount

Expected
Discharge
Concentration2
or Amount

~80 m3 per
pipeline

~80 m3 per
pipeline

Assessed
Approved
Acceptable
for Selection
for
(A2.1
Discharge
Appendix 2)
(A2.2
Appendix 2)

as it is pushed along the pipeline.


Guar gum is a vegetable gum derived from the guar
plant, Cyamopsis tetragonolobaus, which is
commonly used as a protective colloid, stabiliser,
thickening and film-forming agent in the food
industry; as a binding and disintegrating agent in
tablet formulations; and in suspensions, emulsions,
lotions, creams, and toothpastes.

Non-toxic/non-hazardous; PLONOR (2012-06 list)

Xanthan gum is used to adjust the fluid viscosity to


enable it to act as a cleaning agent, removing debris
as it is pushed along the pipeline.

Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide, derived from the


bacterial coat of Xanthomonas campestris,
commonly used as a food-thickening agent (e.g. in
salad dressings) and a stabiliser (e.g. in cosmetic
products to prevent ingredients from separating).

Approved

Suitable for
discharge to
environment

May vary based on local availability and engineering requirements


Calculated based on dosing concentration, and nominated residency time in pipeline
As per chemical selection criteria described in Appendix 2

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Umbilical Installation and Structures Installation

Some release of MEG is expected when the end caps are removed during spool connection.
Depending on the spool size, the volume is estimated to be between 0.1 m3 to 5 m3 from each
spool or structure pipework open to be connected.
Some release of umbilical control fluid is expected from the mechanical hydraulic couplers (or
poppets), when the umbilicals are connected to UMCAs and CDUs. In order to prevent
contamination from seawater, umbilical tubes are pre-filled with umbilical control fluid, and
sealed when they are being run subsea. To enable this, the poppets are held on seat by either
internal pressure or a spring, or a combination of the two. When the poppet is made up subsea,
the poppet comes offseat. It is necessary to have more pressure internally than externally to
stop seawater entering the control system.
The expected volumes is expected to be approximately 0.2 m3 to 0.5 m3 per connection.

6.9.2

Potential Impact

Liquid waste generated from the activity, when not managed appropriately, has the potential to
cause a decline in sediment and water quality, toxicity to marine organisms, and can result in
disruptions to or exclusions of other activities such as fishing and recreation.
The impacts of each of the identified waste streams are detailed in the sections below.
6.9.2.1

Vessel and Support Operations

Cooling Water
Cooling water discharge to the marine environment will result in a highly localised and
temporary increase in the ambient water temperature. Elevated discharge temperature of the
cooling water may cause a variety of effects including behavioural changes of marine fauna
(including attraction or avoidance), minor stress, and potential mortality for prolonged exposure
(BHP Billiton 2006). However, plume water quickly loses heat and only a relatively small area
around the discharge points will have elevated temperatures. Modelling for the Stybarrow
Development of a discharge of 100 000 m3 per day of cooling water at a temperature of 25 C
above that of the surrounding water found that the probability of surface water temperature
exceeding the ambient temperature by more than 2 C within 60 to 85 m of the discharge point
is about 1% (BHP Billiton 2004). As the vessels identified for use in the pipelay installation
activity will discharge cooling water volumes less than the amount in the study, the Project team
considered that the impacts will be less and minor.
Given that the cooling water discharged from the installation vessels will be a relatively small
volume, any detrimental impacts from the discharge of high temperature waters are expected
only on species such as plankton that may become entrained in the plume; thus, Material or
Serious Environmental Harm is not anticipated, and the environmental risk is assessed as low.
As no significant environmental impact is expected and the environmental risk posed by the
disposal of cooling water is assessed as low, no environmental performance objective has been
set for this aspect.
Sewage, Greywater, and Putrescibles
Disposal of the treated sewage, greywater, and putrescible wastes to the ocean may cause
some temporary localised nutrient enrichment of the surface waters around the discharge point.
It may potentially pose a human health risk and impact on the visual amenity of the surrounding
environment.
Given the biodegradability of these waste streams, the small quantities released relative to the
marine environment, and the highly dispersive nature of the receiving oceanic environment, the
environmental impact is expected to be localised and short term.

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The risk associated with the disposal of sewage, greywater, and putrescible wastes is well
understood and MARPOL Annex IV Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships and
Annex V Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships covers this extensively.
No unacceptable environmental impacts due to the discharge of sewage, greywater, and
putrescible wastes is expected with the adoption of the requirements of MARPOL Annex IV and
Annex V, coupled with the biodegradability of the waste, the small quantities released relative to
the marine environment (hence localised), and the highly dispersive nature of the receiving
oceanic environment. Thus, the environmental risk is assessed as low.
Deck Drainage
The concentrations of oil, grease, trace metals, and other contaminants that could potentially
enter the marine environment as a result of deck washing activities are also expected to be low.
Given the high dilution rates in the open ocean environment, the environmental impacts
associated with the discharge of deck drainage are expected to be low.
Material or Serious Environmental Harm is not expected from the discharge of deck drainage
given the low level of contamination, low volumes, and large dilution effects when these
discharges enter the environment. Therefore, the environmental risks associated with the
discharge of deck drainage are considered low.
Bilge Water
It is difficult to estimate the environmental impacts from the discharge of untreated or
inadequately treated bilge water, given the variation in volumes and contaminants. The impacts
can also vary depending upon factors such as the season, weather conditions, and the
surrounding environment. For example, lighter petroleum products, such as diesel fuels, can
dissipate and evaporate quickly, but are highly toxic and create severe environmental impacts.
In contrast, the medium and heavier oils do not evaporate, and although less toxic than light
oils, the heavy oils can harm seabirds through coating and ingestion. Also, heavy oils can sink
and create prolonged contamination of the seabed and create tar balls that can scatter along
beaches.
Thus, the worst-case consequence of the discharge of untreated or inadequately treated bilge
water is expected to be localised short-term effects. However, any impact is only likely to occur
when the installation vessels operate close to shore, under the right prevailing conditions, and
during the time of sensitive activities (e.g. turtle hatchling or bird migration periods). Thus, the
likelihood of such impacts is assessed as seldom and the environment risk is assessed as low.
RO Brine Disposal
The brine solution discharged into the sea has the potential to reduce the water quality around
the discharge point.
It is anticipated that the discharge of brine will only result in minor and short-term impacts on
water quality given the low discharge volume (approximately 250 000 m3; see Section 3.4.5.1)
and the location of the discharge in the deep water marine environment. Given the highly
dispersive offshore environment, where ambient currents and waves facilitate brine dilution into
the receiving water body, such impact is considered unlikely. Thus, the environmental risk is
considered low.
6.9.2.2

Pre-Commissioning

Flooding and Hydrotest Water


The indicative volumes and timings of flooding and hydrotest water are described in Table 3-2.
Discharged water will contain small quantities of chemical additives including leak detection dye,
oxygen scavenger, and biocides. Table 6-11 outlines some of the chemicals that are currently
identified for use in the Gorgon Project feed gas pipelines.
All chemicals are selected according to the criteria described in Appendix 2.

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To ensure that the chemical additives selected provide the best environmental performance,
chemicals intended to be discharged to the environment are subject to the Chevron Australia
chemical approval process, or similar Chevron Australia-approved contractor processes.
Additionally, chemicals are assessed according to their risk profile for causing environmental
harm to reduce the potential for environmental harm to ALARP. Appendix 2 explains the
chemical selection and approval process in detail, and describes the key chemicals proposed
for use and their relative toxicities. To reduce the environmental impacts from the discharge of
hydrotest water as far as practicable, the chemical additives used to treat the hydrotest water
have been carefully chosen to ensure that they will not only meet the required technical
performance but also have minimum potential environmental impacts. Chemicals are selected
based on criteria (see Appendix 2) that will ensure they will not persist for long periods or
bioaccumulate in biota once discharged.
The discharge of hydrotest water may potentially cause acute ecotoxicity to marine organisms in
the immediate surrounds of the discharge. Given that the dye and the oxygen scavenger will
pose no environmental hazard, the main environmental issues associated with the discharge
would be the potential toxicity of the biocide. However, not adding biocide to the hydrotest
water is not considered feasible as microbial and bacterial organisms in the water can corrode
the pipeline, especially given the long period when water remains in the pipeline between
hydrotesting and dewatering. Due to the large volume of saline hydrotest water that will be
used, disposal of this water on land is not a feasible or environmentally acceptable option. The
adverse impacts involved in land disposal (e.g. flooding the land with saline water or the
construction of a large evaporation pond) would substantially outweigh the impacts associated
with marine disposal.
Modelling
To investigate the potential impacts of the discharge of chemically treated sea water to the
marine environment, modelling was undertaken based on a hydrotest discharge of 120 000 m3
and 220 000 m3, which are the full volumes of the Gorgon and Jansz pipelines respectively
(APASA 2012). The release locations and parameters are described in Table 6-12. Note:
Earlier hydrotest modelling was undertaken, using smaller volumes and lower biocide
concentrations (APASA 2010). This earlier modelling has been superseded by the study
described below, as the higher volumes and concentrations are more representative of the
three biocides currently selected for use.
The aim of the modelling was to quantify the mixing and dispersion of the hydrotest water
stream, by taking into account the discharge characteristics and physical conditions of the
receiving waters. The main aim of this study was to understand the dilution and resulting
concentration of the discharge plume under a range of predicted ambient conditions.
There were four components to the modelling undertaken by APASA:
Three-dimensional hydrodynamic modelling was undertaken for the area using the ASA
HYDROMAP model, for tidal current flows.
HYCOM oceanographic hindcasts were used to represent the meso-scale circulation
patterns with assimilation of observed meteorological oceanographic data.
Near-field mixing and dispersion of the hydrotest water was predicted using the fully threedimensional flow model, Updated Merge (UM3) model (APASA 2012).
Far-field mixing and dispersion of the hydrotest water discharge was predicted using the
three-dimensional discharge and plume behaviour model, MUDMAP.
The biocide used in the modelling was Glutaraldehyde. As the model only considered the
discharge characteristics and physical conditions of the receiving water but not the chemical
interactions or decay, it was concluded that the chemical type (e.g. THPS, Glutaraldehyde, or
other chemicals) does not have a significant role in determining the EMBA above threshold

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levels. Regardless of the chemicals used, the same mixing and dispersion will apply, because
the discharge will occur at the same location.
Table 6-12 Modelled Hydrotest Discharge Parameters

Latitude
Longitude

Gorgon MPTS

Jansz MPTS

20 29' 11.04" S

19 48' 33.84" S

114 53' 53.2918" E

114 36' 26.02" E

130 m

1340 m

Water Depth
Volume

120 000 m

Discharge Duration1
Model Duration

133 hours

244 hours

168 hours

360 hours

0.25 m /s (corresponds to pig speed of approximately 0.5 m/s


through pipe)

Biocide Discharge Concentration

850 ppm

1.98 ppm

Outlet Pipe Diameter

0.15 m

Pipe orientation (degrees)


1
2

220 000 m3

Discharge Rate

Biocide Threshold Concentration

90 (upwards)

Discharge duration is calculated for the full pipeline volumes, based on average discharge rate.
Threshold concentration is justified in Table 6-11.

The Biocide Threshold Concentration is derived from acute toxicity literature studies of the
selected biocides, summarised in Table 6-11; all three biocides (THPS, Glutaraldehyde and
Hydrosure) have 96-hour period (LC50) less than 1.98 ppm. Based on this data, a trigger value
of 1.98 ppm was chosen for this study and for the earlier modelling study based on THPS
(APASA 2010).
The modelling assumed there was no decay during residency time; i.e. the discharge
concentration was the same as the dosing concentration. Therefore, the concentration of
850 ppm used in this study was deemed representative of all three potential biocides, as their
estimated discharge concentrations are all far below this level.
Due to decay processes while resident in the pipelines over approximately 12 to 18 months, the
concentration of the biocide when discharged is much lower than that at which it was initially
dosed. Decay curves are available from chemical suppliers for some of the currently selected
biocides. The Project team have estimated the discharge concentration using these decay
curves, based on an 18-month residence time (see Table 6-11).
The volumes used in this study also far exceed those anticipated during actual hydrotesting.
These volumes are described in detail in Table 3-2 and are expected to be 38 000 m3 for
Gorgon and 68 000 m3 for Jansz.
Therefore, this modelling study represents the worst-case scenario for hydrotest discharge.
The model treated the biocide within the hydrotest water discharge stream as a sample of
Lagrangian particles, which are not removed over time to account for chemical interactions or
decay. It then used the prevailing wind and ocean current conditions at the specified location as
well as the discharge characteristics (such as discharge rate and depth to predict the dynamics
of the discharge plume) to predict the resulting concentrations within the water column over the
near field (i.e. the immediate area of the discharge) and far field (the wider region). The
concentrations were predicted over time by counting the number of particles that occur within a
depth level within a grid square and converting this value to mass per unit volume. Afterwards,
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the results were compiled to determine the overall maximum biocide concentration at each
location.
Modelling Results
In general, the modelling results predicted that the plume will rise upward immediately after
discharge due to the plume momentum and pipe configuration, creating a turbulent mixing zone
with the receiving waters. Once the hydrotest water plume completely loses its upward
momentum, the ambient currents will further mix and disperse the hydrotest wastewater
(APASA 2010).
The modelling results are summarised in Table 6-13, for each modelled parameter from the two
discharge locations.
Table 6-13 Modelled Peak Concentrations, Distance to Threshold, and Dilution Rates of
Hydrotest Water Discharge
Parameter

Gorgon MPTS

Jansz MPTS

Near-field Results
Dilution of hydrotest
discharge (for more than
95% of the time modelled)

Diluted at least 34 times within a


2 m horizontal distance from the
release point

Diluted at least 98 times within a 8 m


horizontal distance from the release
point

Peak biocide concentration


in immediate vicinity of
discharge site (<50 m)

35 ppm, or a 1:24 dilution

34 ppm, or a 1:25 dilution

Area of coverage >1.98 ppm

0.30 km2

0.22 km2

Maximum distance from


release point to fall below
1.98 ppm threshold

460 m (during January to June


conditions)

363 m (during January to June


conditions)

Time to return to below


threshold biocide levels
(<1.98 ppm)

Within 6 hours of release

Within 14 hours of release

Far-field Results

Figure 6-4 and Figure 6-5 show the modelled concentration contours from Gorgon and Jansz
MPTS discharge points respectively. The area of coverage >1.98 ppm trigger point is small
(0.3 km2 and 0.22 km2).

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Figure 6-4 Maximum Predicted Biocide Concentrations (ppm) from Gorgon MPTS
Discharge Point (based on 25 simulations)

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Figure 6-5 Maximum Predicted Biocide Concentrations (ppm) from Jansz MPTS
Discharge Point (based on 25 simulations)
Modelling indicated that as a result of moving the outfall offshore into deeper water, the
expected dilutions at the edge of the near-field mixing zone would increase. The dominant
influence on the dilution of the wastewater was the speed of the ambient current.
The modelling result also indicated that the discharge will be diluted to no effect concentration
within a few hours of the cessation of discharge. Given the duration of the impacts, only those
pelagic organisms that remain in the discharge plume for an extended period would be exposed
to levels of biocide sufficient to cause an acute toxic response. Thus, it could be concluded that
the consequence of such impacts will be localised and short-term. Given the remote location of
the discharge and the mobility of fish and other pelagic organisms, such impact is considered
occasional. Thus, the environmental risk is considered low.
The influence of biocide discharge on pelagic biota is expected to be negligible due to the depth
of discharge at Gorgon and Jansz (130 m and 1350 m respectively).
Based on the dilution factors and the much smaller volume that will be discharged from these
pipelines compared to the volume modelled (see Section 3.5.3.3), it can be concluded that the
discharge will be diluted to the no effect concentration within a few hundred metres of the
discharge location. Similarly, the discharge from the Production pipelines is expected to
undergo similar mixing and dispersion. Beyond the vicinity of the discharge, dilution will be
sufficiently high to reduce concentrations to levels below which they will not cause any
environmental harm. A small quantity of water-absorbent materials (sodium polyacrylate or
similar) will also be discharged during dewatering (see Section 3.4.5.6). Toxicity data indicates
that these materials do not present any significant acute toxicity to aquatic test species under
US EPA toxicity classification guidelines (Coatex SAS 2010; Soap and Detergent Association
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1996). Sodium polyacrylate generally exhibits a strong tendency to attach to solids such as soil
particles. Once it is bound to a soil, it is unlikely to be eluted from it. Thus, it is predicted that,
once released, the small quantities of sodium polyacrylate would likely stay bound to the
seabed sediment in the vicinity of the discharge location. Because of its non-toxicity and the
absence of local or regionally significant habitat (see Section 4.4.1) and benthic fauna (see
Section 4.4.1.6), the discharge of sodium polyacrylate is not expected to pose Material or
Serious Environmental Harm. After the temporary seals of the umbilical casings are recovered,
sea water treated with biocide will be released to the environment (see Section 3.4.5.3). Up to
80 m3 of treated water will be released from each of the umbilical casings at 12.5 m water
depth, 400 m from Barrow Island.
Modelling 1000 m3 of treated sea water release indicated that the plume will undergo
1:45 dilution immediately within <50 m of the release site. The peak biocide concentration
(11 ppm) was predicted to occur under summer ocean current conditions immediately within
<50 m of the release site. Given the much smaller volume that will be discharged from each of
the umbilical casings (80 m3 is substantially less than the 1000 m3 modelled), treated sea water
discharge is expected to create localised acute toxicity effects only to pelagic organisms
immediately adjacent to the discharge point for a short duration. Modelling also showed that the
biocide concentrations were found to return to the no effect concentration three hours after the
initial release. Given the high-energy environment of the west coast of Barrow Island, the oneoff discharge activity, and the small amount released, the environmental impact is expected to
be limited to within the MDF with no significant residual impacts. Therefore. the environmental
risk associated with the discharge of the chemically treated hydrotest water is considered low.
MEG
During dewatering, the potable water and MEG slugs will be discharged subsea at the Gorgon
and Jansz MPTS (see Section 3.4.5.4).
MEG slugs of approximately 100 m3 in total will be used for each of the pipelines. MEG is not
considered harmful or toxic to aquatic organisms and is readily biodegradable. The reported
toxicity of MEG is 10 000 ppm (48-hour LC50 for algae and Daphnia; 96-hour LC50 for fish)
(APASA 2009a). Modelling the release of approximately 40 m3 of MEG at 40 m water depth
predicted that the peak concentration of MEG would be 320 mg/L, well below the reported
toxicity value of 10 000 mg/L. It is envisaged that the discharge of 100 m3 will not exceed the
reported toxicity value. MEG is also miscible in water, thus it will rapidly disperse into the water
column upon release into the marine environment.
Given the distance to Barrow Island from where the MEG slugs will be released (the Gorgon
and Jansz fields are >100 km from Barrow Island), it is unlikely that the Barrow Island shoreline
will be impacted by MEG. Given that MEG release is likely to be rapidly dispersed into the
water column, the likelihood of such an impact is considered seldom. Therefore, MEG
discharge is not expected to pose Material or Serious Environmental Harm.
Discharge Location
The planned discharge locations at the Gorgon and Jansz MPTSs and drill centres are in deep
water (130 m and 1350 m respectively). The surrounding benthic environment is mostly bare
unvegetated sands (see Section 4.4.1). The benthos in this area is well below the photic zone
so there are no marine macrophytes (Chevron Australia 2005). Similarly, during an ROV survey
in the Gully Region along the Jansz pipeline route in approximately 250 m water depth, the
seabed was found to be dominated by silty mud with little evidence of life (RPS 2009).
The ecological elements present at the discharge locations, their density cover, regional
significance, and presence of elementevents (e.g. coral spawning, migration) have all been
assessed for potential impact by the planned discharge. The outcome of this assessment by the
Project team has deemed the planned discharges acceptable. This is described in detail in
Appendix 2.
Pelagic species may be present; however, the modelling indicates that the maximum distance
from the release point where the plume is above the 1.98 ppm toxicity threshold is only 460 m.
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The concentration is only above this level for six to 14 hours. This indicates that mobile pelagic
species are unlikely to be impacted.
Conclusion
Because all additives in the hydrotest water are commonly used in the offshore industry, are
highly diluted, and are of the lowest toxicity while still meeting operational requirements (see
Appendix 2), their discharge in the offshore open water environment is unlikely to result in
Material or Serious Environmental Harm. Further information on acute toxicities for various
species for the selected hydrotest chemicals is described in Table 6-11.
While Table 6-11 discusses the relative toxicities of the key chemicals, in summary:
The dyes are used to detect leaks during hydrotesting, while causing discolouration to the
water; they are non-toxic and readily biodegradable when released to the environment, thus
posing no known environmental hazard.
The biocides used are assessed for PBT, and are only approved for use if they meet the
criteria listed in Appendix 2 (A2.1). The discharge location and discharge properties must
also meet the prescribed criteria (A2.2). In addition biocides will have substantially broken
down while in the pipeline so at the time of release, the concentrations will be much lower
than the initial dosage.
Modelling of the hydrotest discharge shows that biocide
concentrations will be below trigger levels within 6 to 14 hours, based on an overestimated
hydrotest volume and concentration.
MEG, which is used to prevent hydrate formation and act as a corrosion inhibitor, will be
recycled where possible. MEG is classified as having low toxicity and is listed as PLONOR;
therefore, it is unlikely to result in any impact on the environment.
Oxygen scavengers are used to remove dissolved oxygen from the pipeline. As such, the
hydrotest water will be low or lacking in oxygen on its release. The key impact will be to
biota exposed to the oxygen-depleted water before it sufficiently mixes with sea water.
However, given that this release will be localised and of short duration, it is not expected to
result in Material or Serious Environmental Harm.
6.9.2.3

Umbilical Installation and Structure Installation

MEG is also expected to be released during spool installation, when end caps are removed.
MEG is not considered harmful or toxic to aquatic organisms and is readily biodegradable. The
reported toxicity of MEG is 10 000 mg/L (48-hour LC50 for algae and Daphnia; 96-hour LC50 for
fish). MEG is also miscible in water, thus it will rapidly disperse into the water column upon
release into the marine environment.
The modelling of a release of 40 m3 of MEG slugs is described in Section 6.9.2.2, which
predicted that the peak concentration of MEG would be 320 mg/L, well below the reported
toxicity value of 10 000 mg/L. The expected MEG release from spool connection is estimated to
be between 0.1 m3 to 5 m3 from both spool and structure pipework during tie-in. Therefore, this
discharge is expected to be far below the toxicity limit, and is not expected to pose any Material
or Serious Environmental Harm. MEG is on the OSPAR published PLONOR List
Some release of umbilical control fluid is expected from the mechanical hydraulic couplers (or
poppets) when the umbilicals are connected to UMCAs and CDUs. This is estimated to be
approximately 0.2 m3 to 0.5 m3 per connection.
All chemicals are selected according to the criteria for toxicity, bioaccumulation, and
persistence, described in Appendix 2.
Given the small estimated release volumes and relatively low toxicity of the product, this release
is not expected to pose any Material or Serious Environmental Harm.

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6.9.3

ALARP Demonstration

To demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with the generation of liquid wastes have
been reduced to ALARP in accordance with Section 5.3, the following additional controls were
considered; the Project team decided these controls would not be implemented for the reasons
given below.
Vessel and Support Operations
Closed loop system for cooling water It was considered impracticable to change all vessel
cooling water systems to closed-loop cooling systems as this would require significant reengineering of marine vessels followed by refit operations within port to install such systems.
This is not commensurate to the level of risk (which was determined to be minor).
Storage of sewage, greywater, and domestic wastewater for onshore disposal It was
considered impracticable to store waste for disposal onshore, as this would require the
installation vessels to demobilise and depart the operational area each time the tanks became
full, then transit to the nearest port for sewage disposal. This has significant cost and time
implications and is not commensurate to the level of risk (which was determined to be minor).
MARPOL Annex IV recognises that open oceans are capable of assimilating and dealing with
organic wastes through natural bacterial action; therefore, the effect of sewage and putrescible
waste is thought to be minimal.
Isolating deck drainage Compete isolation of the vessel deck from the marine environment is
not practicable due to the nature of vessel safety design. Scuppers prevent the build-up of
water on deck, which potentially may affect vessel safety. Additionally, the collection of all deck
water for storage or treatment prior to discharge (e.g. through an oily water separator) is
impracticable as this would require significant modifications to the vessels involved in the
installation activities.
On-board storage of oily waste water It is impracticable to store all oily water for disposal
onshore as this would require the installation vessels to demobilise and depart the operational
area each time the tanks became full and transit to the nearest port for disposal. This has
significant cost and time implications and is not commensurate to the level of risk (which was
determined to be minor).
Recovery of RO brine for onshore disposal Because of the logistics involved, it is
impracticable to recover the brine for onshore disposal, and the level of effort is not
commensurate to the level of risk (which was determined to be minor).
Pre-Commissioning
Failure to add a biocide to hydrotest water is not feasible as microbial and bacterial organisms
in the water can corrode the pipeline, especially given the long period where water remains in
the pipeline between hydrotesting and dewatering. The chemical selection process detailed in
Appendix 2 is considered to reduce the risk of environmental impact to ALARP, as
demonstrated below.
The following alternatives to marine discharge of hydrotest fluid were considered and deemed
not practicable:
Discharge to Barrow Island: The alternative of dewatering to Barrow Island is not considered
reasonably practicable, due to insufficient storage area or handling ability of the large
volumes and the lack of available land on Barrow Island. There are also restrictions on
disposal of waste on Barrow Island in the Gorgon Solid and Liquid Waste Management Plan
(Chevron Australia 2012f). This alternative may also increase the potential for pigs to
become stuck, meaning much larger pumps with sufficient pulling capacity would have to be
employed.
Discharge to the mainland: The logistics and additional risk of transporting the hydrotest fluid
to the mainland is disproportionate to the reduction in risk of marine discharge.
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For the aforementioned reasons, Chevron Australia does not consider there are any reasonably
practicable alternatives to marine discharge of hydrotest.
The chemical selection process described in Appendix 2 is considered to reduce the risk of
planned marine discharge of hydrotest fluid to ALARP, for these reasons:
The chemical assessment schemes used in the criteria are internationally recognised and
used widely in industry (PLONOR/OSPAR, OCNS). For unrated chemicals, the PBT of each
chemical is assessed against criteria (Section A2.1, Appendix 2).
The benthic environment surrounding the planned hydrotest discharge locations (Gorgon and
Jansz MPTSs and drill centres) is mostly bare unvegetated sands (see Section 4.4.1). The
benthos in this area is well below the photic zone so there are no marine macrophytes, and
there is little evidence of life.
The presence of ecological elements adjacent to the discharge point, their density cover,
presence of ecological events (e.g. coral spawning), and regional significance are all criteria
used to assess whether a discharge is considered environmentally acceptable.
Discharge properties are assessed as part of Section A2.2 of Appendix 2, which considers
the area modelled to be exposed to a biocide concentration above the threshold (1.98 ppm
for all three biocides approved for use), a function of discharge volume and concentration.
The Osborne Adams test is applied if the hydrotest modelled parameters are not
representative.
Biocides are expected to have substantially broken down while in the pipeline, resulting in a
much lower discharge concentration than the initial dosage. Modelling of the hydrotest
discharge shows that biocide concentrations will be below threshold levels within 6 to 14 hours,
based on an overestimated hydrotest volume and concentration.
Chevron Australia considers ALARP has been demonstrated for the selected biocides (Table
6-11). Due to pipeline integrity specifications, the choice of appropriate biocides can be limited.
Further justification on the three biocides approved for discharge is given in Table 6-14.
Other chemical additives are considered inherently ALARP as they are classified as non-toxic
and non-hazardous; e.g. leak detection dye, water removal media, debris removal media.
Table 6-14 Further Information Supporting ALALRP on Biocides Assessed Acceptable
for Discharge
Selected
Biocides1
THPS

Information Supporting Demonstration of ALARP

Glutaraldehyde

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Was the only previously-approved biocide under this Plan


Needs low dosing concentrations (generally <1%), therefore lower quantities
can be used
Suitable for short-term residency times
Tendancy to become acidic limits concentration levels
Requires other chemical additives as it is not an oxygen scavenger
Is approved for discharge as per the chemical selection criteria in Appendix
2.
Less acidic than other selected biocides
More effective at elevated temperatures
Needs low dosing concentrations (generally <1%), therefore lower quantities
can be used
Requires other chemical additives as it is not an oxygen scavenger
Is approved for discharge as per the chemical selection criteria in Appendix
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Selected
Biocides1

Information Supporting Demonstration of ALARP


2.

Hydrosure

Compatible with oxygen scavengers, which is beneficial for large diameter


pipelines
Less acidic than other biocides
Tends to decay more slowly than other biocides, therefore providing longer
protection suitable for medium-term residency times.
Needs low dosing concentrations (generally <1%), therefore lower quantities
can be used.
Is approved for discharge as per the chemical selection criteria in Appendix
2.

Biocides assessed to meet criteria for use and environmentally acceptable discharge in Appendix 2.

In summary, Chevron Australia considers there are no reasonably practicable alternatives.


Umbilical and Structures Installation
Release of MEG during spool connection Spools must be deployed pre-filled with preservation
fluid (i.e. MEG) to prevent unacceptable contamination by sea water, which would cause pitting
and corrosion of the CRA material. The gooseneck design minimises loss of MEG; as MEG is
heavier than water, only the volume in the very top of the gooseneck will be exchanged with sea
water. Potable water cannot be used instead of MEG as it is lighter than sea water, therefore it
would allow contamination of the spools by sea water when the end caps are removed.
Release of umbilical control fluid during umbilical connections The release of fluid is inherent
in the design of the poppet connections to help minimise seawater ingress and losses of
contents. To prevent contamination from sea water, umbilical tubes are pre-filled with umbilical
control fluid, and sealed when they are being run subsea. It is necessary to have more
pressure internally than externally to stop sea water entering the control system, therefore when
a poppet comes offseat prior to connection, some fluid is released. Due to low volumes and low
toxicity of fluid, Chevron Australia does not consider there are any reasonably practicable
alternatives or additional control measures, other than those already identified.

6.9.4

Acceptability Demonstration

For the generation of liquid waste, the residual risk level was determined to be at least 7. All
reasonable means to minimise the impacts from liquid wastes have been taken, and the levels
are typical of such offshore activities undertaken in the North West Shelf region and elsewhere.
Given that the installation activities are being managed to ensure that the appropriate standards
for the management of liquid wastes are in place, the impacts from vessel-generated and precommissioning liquid wastes are not considered significant and are within the levels associated
with normal vessel operations or hydrotest operations in the marine environment. Vessels
operating in the region and elsewhere throughout the world routinely generate the liquid wastes
identified and manage the risk.
Hydrotest discharge is considered acceptable, as the current controls, chemical selection
process described in Appendix 2, and the identified biocides have been considered to reduce
the risk of discharge to ALARP. The chemical selection process includes a step to assess
whether the discharge is considered environmentally acceptable.
The chemicals and concentrations identified to potentially be present in the hydrotest and
flooding wastewater are typical of other pipelay operations in the region and elsewhere.
As such Chevron Australia considers that the impacts and risk of liquid wastes generated
through the Gorgon Project feed gas pipeline installation to be acceptable.
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6.9.5

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Risk Assessment, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria

The key activities that were assessed as triggering the liquid waste environmental hazard were
risk assessed and performance objectives, standards, and criteria were assigned. These are
listed in Table 6-15, according to the criteria described in Section 5.3 and Section 5.4
respectively.
Table 6-15 Potential Impact of Aspect-risk, ALARP, Objectives, Standards, and Criteria
Liquid Waste
Liquid Waste
Activity

Potential
Environmental Impact

C1

L2

Mitigations

RR3

Vessels and
support activities

Decline in
sediment quality
Decline in water
quality
Toxicity to
marine fauna

Precommissioning

Umbilicals and
structures
installation

Performance
Objectives
19. Avoid discharges of
domestic and oily
wastes to the
marine environment
that may result in
significant impacts
to local water
quality.

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Decline in
sediment quality
Decline in water
quality
Toxicity to
marine fauna
Decline in
sediment quality
Decline in water
quality
Toxicity to
marine fauna

Performance Standards

MARPOL 73/78
Annex IV and V
Spilled materials will
be cleaned and
removed prior to deck
wash-down
Macerator inspection
record
IMO-approved
sewage treatment
plant
Vessel Garbage
Record Book
MARPOL-certified oilwater separator.
Oil Record Book

Offshore disposal
Chemical Selection
Process

Spool integrity checks


Spool design
Visual inspection of
poppets
Measurement Criteria

Offshore discharge of food wastes


macerated to <25 mm only when >3 nm
from land when vessel is moving, in
accordance with MARPOL 73/78.

Completed vessel Garbage


Record Book confirms details of
discharges (treatment, discharge
location) are recorded.

Macerator maintained as per the Vessels


Preventative Maintenance Schedule.

Completed inspection and


maintenance records for
macerators.

Vessels have an IMO-approved Sewage


Treatment Plant on board, and if
>400 GT, will have a current International

Completed Vessel Premobilisation Inspection Checklist


confirms IMO-approved Sewage

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Liquid Waste
Sewage Pollution Prevention (ISPP)
certificate.

Treatment Plant on board, and


vessel holds ISPP certificate
(current and sighted), if
applicable.

Offshore discharge of greywater/treated


sewage only when >3 nm from land when
vessel is moving, in accordance with
MARPOL 73/78.

Completed vessel Garbage


Record Book confirms details of
discharges (treatment, discharge
location) are recorded.

Vessels >400 GT will have an oil-water


separator on board, hold a current
International Oil Pollution Prevention
(IOPP) certificate and maintain an Oil
Record Book, in accordance with
MARPOL 73/78.

Completed Pre-mobilisation
Inspection Checklist confirms
vessel has an oil-water separator
on board, holds IOPP certificate
(current and sighted) and Oil
Record Book, if applicable.

Oily water contained on board will be


disposed of at a licensed facility, or
discharged to marine environment only
when concentration <15 ppm and vessel
is moving, in accordance with MARPOL
73/78.

20. Avoid Material or


Serious
Environmental Harm
due to discharge of
pre-chemicals
during precommissioning
without
compromising
function.

21. Minimise volume of


planned discharge
during umbilicals
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Current MARPOL
certification for oily water
separators.
Waste manifests confirm
disposal at a mainland
disposal facility
appropriate for that waste
type.

Any spills or leaks to deck will be cleaned


and removed prior to any deck washdown activities.

Vessel inspections or incident


investigation records confirm any
leaks and spills to deck are
cleaned up.

Hazardous chemicals and dangerous


goods used during the pipeline
installation activities are assessed and
approved, according to the Hazardous
Materials Approval Procedure (OE03.16.13; Chevron Australia 2012e) or
Chevron Australia-approved Contractor
chemical approval process.

Records confirm only hazardous


chemicals and dangerous goods
approved by the Hazardous
Materials Approvals Procedure
(OE-03.16.13; Chevron Australia
2012e) or Chevron Australiaapproved Contractor equivalent
are used during installation.

Chemicals intended for discharge during


pre-commissioning are to be assessed as
approved for discharge, in accordance
with the chemical selection process
described in Appendix 2.

Records indicate that the


chemicals intended for
discharge during precommissioning meet the
chemical selection
process described in
Appendix 2.
Records of hydrotest
discharge confirm
volume, duration of
discharge, chemical type,
and discharge location.

Hydrotest chemicals will be dosed at


concentrations such that the calculated
discharge concentration does not exceed
the modelled concentration described in
Section 6.9.2.2.

Hydrotest discharge
concentration calculations
confirm the type and
concentration of chemicals
applied are within the modelled
concentration described in
Section 6.9.2.2.

Conduct backseal test following


connection makeup to verify no leakage
of MEG from spools and structures.

Records of backseal tests


following connection of spools
and structures confirm no MEG

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Liquid Waste
and structures
installation.

1-

Consequence

2-

Likelihood

3-

Residual Risk

6.10

leakages.
Spool design includes goose necks and
end caps, which minimise the volume of
MEG release during installation.

Spool design specifications


include goose necks and end
caps, which minimise the volume
of MEG released during
installation.

Failure of mechanical hydraulic couplers


(poppets) will be prevented by:
inspecting and testing the
poppets prior to release from the
manufacturer
factory acceptance testing of the
poppets when they are integrated
into the UTA.

Records of inspection and testing


of mechanical hydraulic couplers
(poppets) prior to release from
manufacturer and when
integrated into UTA.

Mechanical hydraulic couplers (poppets)


will be visually inspected prior to umbilical
connection to confirm no leakages.

Records of visual inspection of


poppets confirm no visible leaks
or flaws.

Hydrocarbon and Chemical Spills

The use of vessels for installation and support activities introduces a risk of an unplanned
release of hydrocarbons and chemicals that could impact on the marine environment.
Unplanned releases fall into two categorieshydrocarbon and chemical. Only hydrocarbon
spills are carried through into the OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a).
An assessment of all potential releases (including uncontrolled hydrocarbon and chemical
releases) was conducted and is detailed in Section 3.5.
An appraisal of these scenarios identified the following potential spill material:
diesel
Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO)
hydraulic fluid
wellbore fluids (MEG/brine mixture)
MEG
hydrotest water (containing biocide).
During the risk assessment, five credible hydrocarbon spill scenarios were identified for the
pipeline installation works, as defined by the AMSA Interim Technical Guideline for the
Preparation of Marine Pollution Contingency Plans for Marine and Coastal Facilities (AMSA
2012). These are:
single point failure on board
single point failure overboard
loss of containment during transfer/refuelling
vessel collision
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vessel grounding.
In addition to hydrocarbons, chemicals are used during the installation activity for flooding,
gauging, and hydrotesting the infield pipelines. On-board storage associated with these
activities introduces the risk of chemical spills.
These scenarios are described in further detail in Section 3.5.1 and are risk assessed in Table
6-16.
Unplanned hydrocarbon and chemical spills resulting from the installation activity have the
potential to result in temporary localised declines in water and sediment quality, toxicity or
physical impacts to marine fauna and flora, and potential disruptions to activities such as fishing
and tourism.
The description, risk assessment, and performance objectives, standards, measurement
criteria, and ALARP and acceptability for the spill response activities is contained within the
OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a).

6.10.1

Source Characterisation

Structures Installation and Tie-in


During installation of subsea infrastructure and tie-in, there is a potential for dropped objects to
damage subsea trees. These scenarios are characterised and risk assessed in Table 6-16.
Such damage may result in a release of approximately 30 L of hydraulic fluid or dielectric fluid
from transducer seals from the subsea tree.
If the debris cap of the subsea tree is damaged, there may be a limited release of wellbore
fluids of between 0.5 m3 to 1 m3. The wellbore fluid is expected to consist of a MEG to brine
mixture (approximately 80:20 ratio). The brine will consist of density-modifying material such as
sodium bromide or calcium chloride, and possibly calcium carbonate. Brines generally contain
at least 1% by weight of a soluble salt of potassium, sodium, or calcium in water. The soluble
salts of the brine not only furnish the weighting material by adjusting the density of the solution,
but also typically furnish the cations for inhibiting the fluid against hydration of solid materials.
Accidental release of MEG may occur during the installation of structures and spools. The
maximum credible scenario is expected to be less than 100 m3, which is the maximum volume
held within the structures and spools. MEG is considered to be readily biodegradable, with
reported toxicity threshold of 10 000 mg/L (APASA 2009a).
Modelling the release of
approximately 40 m3 of MEG at 40 m water depth predicted that the peak concentration of MEG
would be 320 mg/L, well below the reported toxicity value of 10 000 mg/L. However, the total
volume of MEG is unlikely to be displaced, as it has a greater density than water.
Unplanned MEG release could also occur during bulk MEG transfer between vessels, which is
undertaken in a similar method to refuelling.
Pre-Commissioning
Unplanned dewatering of pipelines has the potential to occur due to a wet buckle or as
contingency dewatering, e.g. following a cyclone, and prior to resuming pipelay.
This hydrotest fluid is planned to be discharged to the ocean; it has the same composition
whether the discharge is planned or unplanned. The chemicals contained in hydrotest fluid are
selected to meet the chemical approval criteria specified in Appendix 2, which aim to minimise
environmental impact while still meeting technical specifications.
Modelling was undertaken to investigate the potential impacts of the planned discharge of
chemically treated sea water to the marine environment (see Section 6.9.2). An unplanned
discharge of the hydrotest fluids will have a similar environmental impact as a planned release.
The only difference is a net increased discharge volume, separated over time, as the lost fluid

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will have to be replaced. Therefore, there is no additional objective set for this. Refer to
Section 6.9.5.
An unplanned release of hydraulic fluid may result from failure of mechanical hydraulic couplers
(or poppets) during installation of umbilicals. This release is estimated to be <1 m3.
Vessel and Support Operations
A number of vessels (see Section 3.4.6.1) will be used during the proposed installation
activities. These vessels use diesel fuel to power their engines, generators, cranes, and
equipment. While the quantity of fuel stored on a vessel may vary for each vessel, the
maximum storage capacity for a tank with potential for damage has been determined to be
700 m3. Diesel fuel may be transferred to the construction vessels from the support vessels at a
maximum discharge pumping rate of 200 m3/h.
As well as storage of diesel fuel oil, some vessels may carry HFOs, which also present a risk in
the event of a vessel grounding or collision. The maximum storage capacity for a tank with
potential for damage has been determined to be 800 m3 (at 85% fill capacity).
Grounding and vessel collision are only likely to occur under exceptional circumstances, such
as:
loss of DP (despite maintenance, alarms and warnings, and backup systems)
navigational error (despite the use of the latest charts, navigational aids, and
communications)
vessel blackout (despite maintenance, alarms and warnings, and backup systems)
floundering due to weather (despite weather warnings,
communications, and early assistance contingency plans).

emergency

plans

and

Between 2005 and 2012, of 1200 total marine incidents in Australian waters, only 37 were due
to vessel collision, and 73 due to grounding (ATSB 2013).
Most of the shallow water scope of work has been completed. The Solitaire, which posed the
highest volume HFO scenario, completed its final approach to Barrow Island in June 2013.
After June 2013, only smaller vessels will come close to Barrow Island; the maximum fuel tank
size of these smaller vessels is 400 m3, for any fuel type.
In addition to hydrocarbons, a number of chemicalssuch as utility and hydraulic oilswill be
used on board vessels during the installation activities. Most of these chemicals are used in
relatively small quantities, and stored in containers with volumes less than 1000 L. Containers
are stored in storage areas such as the engine room and paint locker, and are stored either
inside a bunded area or on bunded pallets so that any spills or leaks can be contained and
recovered.
A summary of potential spill scenarios resulting from vessel and support operations, including
estimated spill volumes derived from each scenario is detailed in Table 6-16. These scenarios
have been risk assessed according to the process described in Section 5.2.

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Table 6-16 Potential Credible Spill Scenarios and Risk Ranking


Source

Spill Material

Scenario

Max.
Credible
Volume

Tier
Level

C1

L2

RR3

Comment

Hydrocarbons
Construction
Vessel

Lubrication oil /
hydraulic oil

Single point
failure on board

<1 m3

Tier 1

Minor spills due to limited volumes of oils on board for


servicing and routine operations. Contained on deck
and unlikely to reach sea.

Construction
Vessel

Lubrication oil /
hydraulic oil

Single point
failure
overboard

<1 m3

Tier 1

Minor spills due to limited volumes of oils overboard


during servicing and routine operations.

With the use of dry-break couplings (which provide an


automatic mechanism to seal off both the hose and
the fixed pipe end when the hose is disconnected)
and breakaway couplings (which are designed to
eliminate spillage and damage associated with pullaway incidents), the maximum credible spill scenario
from a refuelling accident is 1.2 m3. This is the
maximum quantity of fuel held in the transfer hose.

Assuming failure of dry break couplings. AMSA


(2012) indicated that the maximum credible spill
volume from a refuelling incident with continuous
supervision is the transfer rate 15 minutes. Based
on the known transfer volume of 200 m3/h, this
equates to an instantaneous spill of 50 m3 (Credible
Worst-case Scenario).

The maximum credible volume is based on the


complete instantaneous surface release of the largest
HFO tank capacity, of the largest vessel used in
installation activities.
Largest forward tank: 800 m3
Fill capacity: 85% due to high-level alarm.
There is potential for vessel grounding in shallow
coastal waters.

Construction
Vessel

Construction
Vessel

Construction
Vessel

Diesel / HFO

Diesel / HFO

HFO

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Vessel refuelling

Vessel refuelling

Vessel
grounding

1.2 m3

50 m3

800 m3

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 2/3

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Vessel

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Spill Material

Diesel

HFO

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Scenario

Vessel
grounding

Vessel collision

Construction
Vessel

Diesel

Vessel collision

Subsea tree

Hydraulic fluid
and/or dielectric
fluid

Damage to
Xmas Trees

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Max.
Credible
Volume

700 m3

800 m3

700 m3

0.03 m

Tier
Level

C1

Tier 2/3

Tier 2/3

Tier 2/3

Tier 1

Public

L2

RR3

Comment

The maximum credible volume is based on the


complete instantaneous surface release of the largest
diesel tank capacity, of the of the first phase pipelay
vessel, one of the largest vessels in the fleet with the
longest scope of work.
Largest forward tank: 700 m3
Fill capacity: 85% due to high-level alarm.
There is potential for vessel grounding in shallow
coastal waters.

The maximum credible volume is based on the


complete instantaneous surface release of the largest
single wing tank capacity, of the second phase pipelay
vessel, one of the largest vessel in the fleet.
Largest forward tank: 800 m3
Fill capacity: 85% due to high-level alarm.
There is potential for vessel collision during periods
when vessels work in close proximity, if systems fail,
such as DP, thrusters, and navigation.

The maximum credible volume is based on the


complete instantaneous surface release of the largest
single wing tank capacity, of the first phase pipelay
vessel, one of the largest vessels in the fleet with the
longest scope of work.
Largest forward tank: 700 m3
Fill capacity: 85% due to high-level alarm.

Dropped objects during installation of subsea


infrastructure on subsea trees. May result in release
of hydraulic fluid or dielectric fluid from transducer
seals.

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Source

Spill Material

Scenario

Max.
Credible
Volume

Tier
Level

C1

L2

RR3

Comment

Chemicals

Vessel

MEG

Unplanned MEG
release during
bulk transfer

Subsea tree

Wellbore fluids
(MEG/brine
mixture)

Damage to
suspended
wellheads

0.3 m

Tier 1

With the use of dry-break and breakaway couplings,


the maximum credible spill scenario from a bulk MEG
transfer is 0.3 m3. This is the maximum quantity of
MEG held in the transfer hose.

1 m3

Tier 1

Dropped objects during installation of subsea


infrastructure on subsea trees may damage the debris
cap, leading to limited release of wellbore fluids.

Notes:
1
Consequence
2
Likelihood
3
Risk Ranking. Note mitigations measures (i.e. performance standards) are described in Section 6.10.5.
*
Estimated volumes are based on the largest single tank on the vessel.

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Scenarios with the highest potential release volumes, and therefore consequences, were
modelled. These scenarios were vessel collision and grounding, for both diesel and HFO.
Therefore, the modelled EMBA is representative of the maximum credible scenario for the scope of
work.
Modelling outcomes are described in Section 3.5.
Pre-commissioning
Upon completion of installation, all pipeline sections will be flooded, cleaned, and gauged. The
flooding, cleaning, and gauging operations of all main pipelines will be performed from the landfall
site on Barrow Island. As such, the storage and handling of the chemicals is outside the scope of
this Plan. Management of potential impacts of the onshore spread of the flooding, cleaning,
gauging, and hydrotesting operations are detailed in the Onshore EMP (Chevron Australia 2010a).
However, there will be a limited quantity of chemicals stored on board vessels. These chemicals
are required for flooding, gauging, and hydrotesting the infield pipelines, and will comprise
approximately 8000 L of biocide and oxygen scavenger mixture and 500 L of dye, based on the
dosage and the volume required to flood the infield pipelines. These activities will be undertaken
offshore in the general location of the Gorgon and Jansz fields.
Non-credible Scenarios
Several spill scenarios were assessed as not credible. These are detailed in Section 3.5.4, and
are summarised below:
unplanned condensate release due to damage to existing pipeline infrastructure
unplanned condensate release due to damage to subsea infrastructure (subsea trees)
unplanned condensate release due to damage to existing wells.

6.10.2

Potential Consequence

Unplanned releases of hydrocarbons and chemicals have the potential to impact the marine
environment either through a localised and temporary reduction in water and sediment quality,
through direct toxic or physical impacts of the discharged material on marine flora or fauna, or
through disturbance to other activities in the region including fishing and recreation.
The environmental impacts of such spills depend largely on the chemical and physical
characteristics of the materials spilt. This is considered in the impact assessment below.
6.10.2.1

Chemical Spills

Marine Fauna
Chemicals stored on board vessels that could potentially be spilt include those used for
hydrotesting. Given the toxic nature of the biocide, an overboard spill will result in acute toxicity
impacts to marine organisms. However, given the highly dispersive nature of the offshore
environment, the miscibility of the chemicals involved, and the biodegradability of the products,
such impacts may be widespread but are expected to be short term.
The planned discharge of hydrotest water may potentially cause acute ecotoxicity to marine
organisms in the immediate surrounds of the discharge. The toxicity of chemicals used for
flooding, gauging, and hydrotesting is described in detail in Section 6.9.2.2, and selection criteria
for persistence, toxicity, and bioaccumulation are described in Appendix 2.
Modelling of planned discharges was undertaken and is described in detail in Section 6.9.2.
Results showed that the biocide concentrations were found to return to the no effect concentration
three hours after the initial release, and the discharge plume above the 1.98 ppm threshold is not
predicted to extend beyond a maximum of 460 m from the discharge point.

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Note: Because the discharge plume is predicted to have a relatively small physical extent within
the pipeline construction corridor, the receptors have not been examined individually for each
EMBA area (unlike for hydrocarbon spills, which cover a much greater geographical extent).
Unplanned discharge is expected to have comparable environmental impacts to planned
discharge; however, a greater volume of hydrotest fluid would be discharged, as the lost fluid must
be replaced in the pipelines.
Given that all additives in the hydrotest water are commonly used in the offshore industry, are
highly diluted, and are of low toxicity while still meeting operational requirements (see Section
6.9.2.2), their discharge in the offshore, open water environment is unlikely to result in Material or
Serious Environmental Harm. Section 6.9.2.2 discusses the relative toxicities of the key
chemicals; in summary these are:
The dyes to be used to detect leaks during hydrotesting, while causing discolouration to the
water, are non-toxic and readily biodegradable when released to the environment, thus posing
no known environmental hazard.
The biocides used are readily biodegradable and have a low potential for bioaccumulation. In
addition, these biocides will have substantially broken down while in the pipeline so at the time
of release the concentrations are much lower than the initial dosage.
MEG, which is used to prevent hydrate formation and act as a corrosion inhibitor, will be
recycled, where possible, and only released in very low concentrations. MEG is classified as
having low toxicity and is listed as PLONOR; therefore, it is unlikely to result in any impact on
the environment.
Oxygen scavengers are used to remove dissolved oxygen from the pipeline. As such, the
hydrotest water will be low or lacking in oxygen on release. The key impact will be to biota
exposed to the oxygen-depleted water before it sufficiently mixes with sea water. However,
given that this discharge is extremely localised and of short duration, it is not expected to pose
Material or Serious Environmental Harm.
MEG is not considered harmful or toxic to aquatic organisms and is readily biodegradable. The
reported toxicity of MEG is 10 000 ppm (48-hour LC50 for algae and Daphnia; 96-hour LC50 for
fish). MEG is also miscible in water, thus it will rapidly disperse into the water column upon release
into the marine environment. Given the distance to Barrow Island from where the accidental
release of MEG may occur (the Gorgon and Jansz fields are >100 km from Barrow Island), it is
unlikely that the Barrow Island shoreline will be impacted by a MEG spill.
The release of 40 m3 of MEG was modelled, and the toxicity was well below the stated MEG
toxicity. Therefore, a release of 0.3 m3 of MEG from bulk transfer is expected to have negligible
environmental impact.
The wellbore fluid is expected to consist of a MEG and brine mixture (approximately 80:20 ratio).
The brine will consist of density-modifying material such as sodium bromide or calcium chloride.
Brines generally contain at least 1% by weight of a soluble salt of potassium, sodium, or calcium in
water. The salts that are used to make this brine, and their degradation products, are not toxic to
marine fauna.
Due to its limited solubility, calcium carbonate precipitates and deposits on the sediment. Calcium
carbonate is a constituent of natural soils. Dissolved calcium carbonate dissociates into calcium
and carbonate ions. Calcium ions will be assimilated by living organisms in the water and the
carbonate will become part of the carbon cycle. Calcium carbonate is not toxic for the
environment.
Shoreline Habitat
As the likely spill location is at the Gorgon and Jansz fields where flooding, gauging, and
hydrotesting operations of infield pipelines will be conducted, it is very unlikely that any shoreline
will be impacted. Without any mitigation measures, such impact is considered unlikely. Thus, the
environmental impact is assessed as low.
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Hydrocarbon Spills

As the EMBA is so large geographically, it has been divided into areas (see Section 4.0) so as to
systematically evaluate the potential impact of spills to the environment.
The value of the receptors identified in each EMBA Area was evaluated based on:
regional significance
ecological/ecosystem value
identification as a value in Commonwealth or State management plans
protection level under EPBC Protected Matters.
The potential impact of hydrocarbon spills to the environment that may be affected (EMBA) has
been evaluated in two componentsdescription of potential consequence, and evaluation of
severity. This process is described in Sections 6.10.2.2.1 and 6.10.2.2.2 respectively.
6.10.2.2.1 Consequence of Spills to Receptors
This section describes the potential consequence of HFO and diesel spills to receptors within the
EMBA (identified in Section 4.0), using available literature.
These were evaluated by mechanism of exposure to that receptor, linked to modelled parameters
(e.g. surface thickness, shoreline accumulation).
Marine oil spill impacts on ecological receptors depend on individual life histories, feeding
strategies, and habitat utilisation. The mechanisms of impact on ecological receptors include
smothering and toxicity and are discussed further in Dispersant use in Marine Spill Response
Toxicity and Impacts (Chevron Australia 2013e). Figure 6-6 shows where different resources
within the marine environment may be impacted.

Figure 6-6 Zones of Exposure of Ecological Receptors to Marine Oil Spills


Note: Key environmental sensitive receptors were identified and given a risk and priority rating, as
described in Section 4.0 of the OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a); see Appendix 2 of the OSORP
for the ranking of all identified receptors within the EMBA.
The consequence tables include threshold of impact (if known), or an assumed threshold of impact
if none were available in the literature reviewed. Table 6-17, Table 6-18, and Table 6-19 describe
these priority ecological receptors (grouped as Shoreline Types, Marine Habitats, and Species)
and the potential impact to them should they come into contact with oil.

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Table 6-17 Potential Consequence to Shoreline Types from a Hydrocarbon Spill


Receptor
Type
Mangroves

Salt Marsh
/ Flats

Impact
Mechanism

Impact
Threshol
d (if
known)

Description of Consequence

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

Smothering
The oil is generally deposited on the aerial roots (pneumatophores) during high incoming tides, often leading to patchy
oil distribution. The mangroves can be destroyed by heavy, viscous oil covering the trees breathing pores thereby
suffocating the subsurface roots on which the trees depend for oxygen (International Petroleum Industry
Environmental Conservation Association [IPIECA] 2011). In addition to direct loss of mangroves, long-term effects
also occur as a result of the persistence of residual oil in mangrove sediments, which is known to lessen growth
performance in both trees and seedlings (Duke and Burns 1999). Oil can potentially get trapped in mangrove habitats
and remain toxic for decades (Duke and Burns 1999).
A study of five oil spill sites, conducted by Getter, Scott, and Michel (1981) recorded that the heaviest defoliation of
trees, mortalities of seedlings, and mortalities of canopy-dwelling animals were found where the heaviest oiling
occurred. Two of the sites had been impacted by HFO, one by a crude oil, one was an unknown oil type, and the fifth
site was impacted by motor oil. The greatest impact was reported from the site impacted by HFO, which may have
related to the greater density of this product causing a greater smothering effect, rather than being a result of toxicity.
However, following a spill of 25 tonne of HFO in Gladstone Harbour in Queensland, Australia, no dead trees, leaf curl,
or discolouration of leaves was observed in impacted areas one month after the spill, even where stems and leaves of
seedlings were completely covered in oil (Anderson et al. 2008).
High mortality of trees at the sites treated with undispersed oil was observed for 10 years following exposure (Ward et
al. 2003). Damage to mangrove forest from oil spills can be severe, killing flora and fauna and having long-term
effects as a result of degradation of the mangrove habitat (Duke and Burns 1999). Observations by Lin and
Mendelssohn (1996), demonstrated that more than 1 kg/m2 of oil during the growing season would be required to
impact marsh or mangrove plants significantly.

1 kg/m2

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

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Receptor
Type

Intertidal
Mudflats

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Impact
Threshol
d (if
known)

Description of Consequence

Shoreline

Smothering
Marshes are rich in vegetation that traps oil. Light oil can penetrate into marsh sediments through animal burrows or
cracks. Heavier oil tends to remain on the surface and smother plants or animals. Salt flats or salt marshes form the
landward-most parts of the high tidal mudflats in the Pilbara. Salt marshes are vulnerable to oil impacts. The height of
most marsh areas on the shoreline means that not all daily high tides would permit oil to penetrate into a marsh;
however, if oil does reach salt marsh at the upper intertidal levels on an arid zone coastline it can persist for a decade
or more (Barth 2007).
Cyanobacterial mats in the oil-polluted Arabian Gulf, where environmental conditions of extreme aridity, temperatures,
and salinities are similar, are able to biodegrade petroleum compounds (Abed et al. 2006) and it is possible that
cyanobacterial mats on the Pilbara coast are also able to biodegrade hydrocarbons. Oil would not be carried into
areas supporting mats on most tides, but if oil did reach these areas then the prevailing environmental conditions
(sheltered, low rainfall) tend to favour the persistence of the oil as has been observed in the Arabian Gulf (Barth 2006).
Primary productivity or photosynthesis may be affected. Low concentrations of crude oil (250 ml/m2 and 600 ml/m2)
affected primary productivity of Juncus salt marsh plants (de la Cruz et al. 1981). A long-term study of salt marshes
that were extensively coated with HFO in Wales and light crude in Chile, in which neither site was cleaned, showed
that smothered vegetation was killed, and that natural recovery of heavily impacted areas may take decades (Baker et
al. 1993). This finding is supported by a study of a site impacted by Prudehoe crude oil in Washington, in which
recovery was still not observed at heavily oiled sites 17 months after the spill (Hoff et al. 1993). Observations by Lin
and Mendelssohn (1996), demonstrated that more than 1 kg/m2 of oil during the growing season would be required to
impact marsh or mangrove plants significantly.

1 kg/m2

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

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Receptor
Type

Sandy
Beaches

Impact
Mechanism

Impact
Threshol
d (if
known)

Description of Consequence

Shoreline

Smothering
High tidal mudflats often trap oil due to the sheltered conditions; vegetation offers a large surface area for oil
absorption. In addition the leaf structure of the samphire and mangroves increases the holding capacity (IPIECA
2011). Mudflats are naturally resilient and can recuperate well from isolated physical and chemical disturbances,
although Bernem and Lbbe (1997) consider intertidal flats to be very sensitive to oil pollution, as the oil enters lower
layers of the mudflats where lack of oxygen prevents decomposition of the oil.
Oil in a surface slick may reach tidal mudflats, carried inshore by a high tide and then deposited on the mud surface.
The tidal flats above the mangrove zone (>mean high water spring (MHWS)) will not be reached by most high tides,
but if oil were to reach these areas, then it is likely to be persistent. At lower levels, below mean sea level(MSL) the
areas exposed more frequently (between mean low water neaps (MLWN) and MSL) are more vulnerable to oiling of
the surface layer in which event, oil may also penetrate the many burrows of infauna leading to penetration of oil to
depths of up to 30 cm. This area of intertidal mudflats is typically heavily bioturbated with animals constantly
excavating burrows, or in the case of deposit feeders by accumulating and sieving/digesting food from sediment.
These activities also create access for oil to penetrate deeper layers of sediment. Once in these layers, the low
energy, depositional, and anoxic (below the oxic surface layer) environment may hinder degradation or loss of
hydrocarbons. Owens and Sergy (1994) define oil stain/film as 100 m, oil coat as 1001000 m, and oil cover as
>1000 m. It is assumed that a load ashore greater than an oil coat would cause impact (i.e. >100 g/m2).

>100 g/m2

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

Smothering
Sand and muddy shores have a tube-like structures created by the spaces between particles; this capillary effect
retains water after the high tide has retreated, thus creating suitable habitats for many burrowing species. Oil does not
penetrate deep into fine sand, and can be removed either manually or by heavy machinery. Oil reaching a sand flat or
sandy beach will penetrate the surface layers of sand in the intertidal zone adhering to sand particles and/or occupying
interstitial surfaces. Subsequent high water may lift some or most of the oil back off the surface of the substrate, but
as these areas are typically subject to higher wave energies there may be substantial mixing of oil into the surface
layers of sediment. Where there is seasonal deposition of sediment (flood, cyclone, change in wind/wave direction
and height), the layer of oil containing sediment may then be buried under a cleaner surface layer. Owens and Sergy
(1994) define oil stain/film as 100 m, oil coat as 1001000 m, and oil cover as >1000 m. It is assumed that a
load ashore greater than an oil coat would cause impact (i.e. >100 g/m2).

>100 g/m2

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Type
Intertidal
Sandbars
and
Shoals

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Impact
Threshol
d (if
known)

Description of Consequence

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

Smothering
Oil does not readily adhere to or penetrate the compact, water-saturated sediments of exposed sandbars and shoals.
Instead, the oil is pushed across the surface and accumulates at the high-tide line. However, oil can penetrate the
tops of sandbars and burrows if they dry out at low tide. Because of the high biological use, impacts can be significant
to benthic invertebrates exposed to the water-accommodated fraction or smothered (NOAA 2002). Subsequently
thresholds for impact are associated with those with the potential to impact invertebrates. Owens and Sergy (1994)
define oil stain/film as 100 m, oil coat as 1001000 m, and oil cover as >1000 m. For benthic epifaunal
invertebrates living in intertidal habitats on hard substrates, a threshold of <100 m oil thickness (or a stain/film)
would be enough to coat the animal and likely impact its survival and reproductive capacity.
While the more resilient organisms tend to occur higher in the intertidal area where environmental conditions
(temperature, dehydration) are severe, these areas are less likely to be reached by oil, but when oil is present, then
organisms may be exposed for almost the entire low tide phase. For example, at the highest levels of the shore, oil
may be carried by spring tides to the upper intertidal area and then deposited on organisms as the tide recedes. The
oil may not be floated off again for up to six hours. Many of the intertidal platforms in the region are heavily fissured
and oil may enter and coat surfaces in fissures and undercuts. At the lower levels of the intertidal area, organisms
may be reached by oil but are not likely to be exposed to surface oil for the full period of a low tide as they may only
come in contact with the oil for the relatively short period of time they are exposed to the air. However, strong waves
or turbulence may cause surface oil to come into contact with intertidal organisms that are not exposed to air as mixing
in the water column over the reef may occur. Mixing in the shallow water over a reef platform due to wave- or currentgenerated turbulence in the water column may lead to significant entrainment or dissolution of a surface slick. Rocky
shorelines are found across the region and are often indicative of high energy areas (wave action) where sand
deposition is limited or restricted (perhaps seasonally or during a cyclone). The intertidal zone of high energy
stretches of coast may be more likely to be oiled by hydrocarbons, particularly the heights regularly inundated by neap
tides. The vulnerability of a rocky shoreline to oiling depends on its topography and composition as well as its position
(IPIECA 1995). At one extreme, a vertical rock wall on a wave-exposed coast is likely to remain unoiled if an oil slick
is held back by the action of the reflected waves. At the other extreme, a gradually sloping boulder shore in a calm
backwater of a sheltered inlet can trap enormous amounts of oil, which may penetrate deep down through the
substratum (IPIECA 1995).

<100 g/m2

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Receptor
Type
Intertidal
Rock
Pavement/
Shores

Impact
Mechanism

Impact
Threshol
d (if
known)

Description of Consequence

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

Smothering/Toxicity (infauna)
Steep or vertical rock faces on a wave-exposed coast are unlikely to have any impact from an oil spill event, while a
gradually sloping rock platform in low energy environments, sheltered bays, and inlets can trap oil (IPIECA 2011).
Where oil is trapped, the impacts typically occur on microalgae and invertebrate species that have adapted to these
environments. For benthic epifaunal invertebrates living in intertidal habitats on hard substrates, a threshold of
<100 m oil thickness would be enough to coat the animal and likely impact its survival and reproductive capacity.

<100 g/m2

Table 6-18 Potential Consequence to Marine Habitats from a Hydrocarbon Spill


Receptor
Type
Coral
Communities

Impact
Mechanism

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence

Surface

N/A covered in Shoreline.

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

Smothering
Corals secrete mucus, more so when stressed, and entrained oil will tend to cling to the mucus, thus resulting in
smothering. Physical oiling of coral tissue can cause a decline in metabolic rate and may cause varying degrees of
tissue decomposition and death (Negri and Heyward 2000). Oil may also cling to certain types of sediment causing
oil to sink to the sea floor, covering corals in oiled sediment (IPIECA 2011).
Toxicity
The lowest entrained exposure thresholds for chronic exposure for entrained hydrocarbons in accordance with the
ANZECC (2000) water quality guidelines has been set at 10 ppb. Due to the potential for accumulation of build-up
over the duration of the spill, the low entrained exposure has been identified as having the potential to impact on
coral reefs. Chronic effects of oil exposure have been consistently noted in corals and, ultimately, can kill the entire
colony. Chronic impacts include histological, biochemical, behavioural, reproductive, and developmental effects.
Field studies of chronically polluted areas and manipulative studies in which corals are artificially exposed to oil
show that some coral species tolerate oil better than other species (NOAA 2010). Reproductive stages of corals
have been found to be more sensitive to oil toxicity. Fertilisation of coral species has been observed to be
completely blocked in Acropora tenuis at HFO concentrations of 0.15 mg/L (Harrison 1994, 1999), with significant

Chronic: 10
100 ppb or
960
9600 ppb.hrs
(entrained)

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Acute: 9600
48 000 ppb.hrs
or 100
500 ppb
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Acute: 5
576 ppb.hrs or
650 ppb

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Type

Macroalgae
and
Seagrass

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Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
reductions in fertilisation of A. millepora and A. valida at concentrations between 0.58 and 5.8 m/L, in addition to
developmental abnormalities and reduced survival of coral larvae at similar concentrations (Lane and Harrison
2000). Lower concentrations of less than 0.1 mg/L crude oil were observed to inhibit larval metamorphosis in
A. millepora (Negri and Heywood 2000).

(Dissolved)

Shoreline

Smothering
Direct contact of intertidal coral by hydrocarbons may impair respiration and also photosynthesis by symbiotic
zooxanthellae (Peters et al. 1981; Knap et al. 1985). Coral gametes or larvae in the surface layer where they are
exposed to the slick may also be fouled (Epstein et al. 2000). Physical oiling of coral tissue can cause a decline in
metabolic rate and may cause varying degrees of tissue decomposition and death (Negri and Heyward 2000). Oil
may also cling to certain types of sediment causing oil to sink to the sea floor, covering corals in oiled sediment
(IPIECA 2011).
Toxicity
Where corals come into direct contact with surface exposures (intertidal/shallow areas), they are more susceptible
due to physical presence, than toxicity associated with dissolved oil components within the water column which, in
some cases, may be more toxic than the floating surface slicks (Volkman et al. 1998). A range of impacts are
reported to result from toxicity, including partial mortality of colonies, reduced growth rates, bleaching, and reduced
photosynthesis

Unknown
Assumed
>100 g/m2
visible coating

Surface

Light Reduction
Seagrass grows mostly on sandy/sandy-muddy sediments from the intertidal zone down to a depth of 30 m.
Seagrass is most likely to be impacted by surface slicks, which decrease the amount of light that is able to
penetrate through the water column in the event of a large spill. Studies of photosynthetic impacts on seagrass
used water accommodated fractions of Tapis crude and IFO-180, with concentrations ranging from 3522 mg/L,
found minimal or no negative impacts (Wilson and Ralph 2012).
Smothering and Toxicity
Smothering of macroalgae and seagrass communities may occur if it occurs in the intertidal or shallow subtidal
habitat, and these communities may be exposed to oil on the falling tide; however, the slick would generally be
lifted off by the returning tideparticularly in the case of light oilsthereby reducing the period of exposure.
Smothering occurs when oil is stranded, leading to reduced growth rates, blackened leaves and mortality (Howard
et al. 1989). Direct effects from seagrasses exposed to hydrocarbons are that sublethal quantities are incorporated
into the tissue, causing a reduction in tolerance to other stress factors (Zieman et al. 1984).

Unknown
Assumed
>10 g/m2

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Receptor
Type

Impact
Mechanism

Toxicity
Dissolved and entrained hydrocarbons have the potential to impact on macroalgae through toxicity impacts.
However, a layer of mucilage is present on most species, preventing the penetration of toxic aromatic fractions
(Volkman et al. 1998). Also fine hairs, complex frond arrangement, and the thickness of the mucilage covering may
determine how much oil is trapped within or on the surface of the algae, thus determining its chance of survival.
Study methods for algal exposures vary substantially, resulting in a significant difference in reported LC50
concentration for marine algae ranging from 0.28 ppm up to 130 ppm for crude oils and between 0.09 ppm and
680 ppm for refined oils (Lewis and Prior 2013).
Studies identified no significant impacts on algal communities following the Hebei Spirit spill of HFO (Edgar and
Barrett 2000), the Prestige crude oil spill (Lobn et al. 2008), or the World Prodigy spill of marine diesel (Peckol et
al. 1990). The lowest entrained exposure thresholds for chronic exposure for entrained hydrocarbons in
accordance with the ANZECC (2000) water quality guidelines has been set at 10 ppb. Studies of actual spills
found no significant differences between oiled and unoiled seagrass meadows comprising Halodule uninervis,
Halophila ovalis, and Halophila stipulacea following large spills of crude oil during the Gulf War (Kenworthy et al.
1993). Similarly, a spill of HFO contaminated by lighter fuel products in Gladstone Harbour, Queensland, Australia,
did not result in measurably short- or long-term impacts on meadows of Zostera capricorni, H. ovalis, Halophila
decipiens, Halophila spinulosa, or H. uninervis (Taylor and Rasheed 2011). Conversely, one laboratory study using
Bass Strait crude and diesel fuel did observe mortality of affected seagrass, with slow recovery (Clarke and Ward
1994). One reason why seagrasses appear to be less vulnerable to oil impacts is that 5080% of their biomass is
in their rhizomes, which are buried in sediments, thus less likely to be adversely impacted by oil. Thus, even if the
fronds are affected, the plant may still be alive and able to regrow (Zieman et al. 1984).
Shallow seagrass beds in tropical habitats, composed of Thalassia sp. were impacted by a spill in Puerto Rico in
1973. Strong winds and wave action in shallow waters was thought to carry oil into the vegetation, causing the
plants to die. Subsequently, erosion increased in areas with dead plants. Renewed plant growth was observed
between one and two years after the spill (Nadeau and Bergquist 1977). Studies have demonstrated the ability of
algae and seagrass to be exposed to high volumes of oil pollution and recovery is likely due to the new growth that
originates from the base of the organism.

Chronic: 960
9600 ppb.hrs
(entrained)

Shoreline

N/A

N/A

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

Mixed and hard-bottom habitats are usually considered to have low risk of exposure to oil spills; however, there is
the potential for deposition of oil or oiled sediments in these habitats.
Toxicity
There may be rich, diverse communities of attached and associated algae and animals within these areas and

Unknown

Entrained/
Dissolved

Subtidal
Rock
Pavement

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence

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Acute: 9600
48 000 ppb.hrs
(entrained)
Acute: 5
576 ppb.hrs
(Dissolved)

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Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
some of these habitats form a relief (reef or bank) several metres high that attracts a diversity of fish.
Subsequently, impacts to these are linked to the entrained/dissolved impacts of fauna.

Softsubstrate
Communities

Shoreline

N/A

N/A

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

Toxicity
Impacts to soft-substrate communities is from the deposition of oil or oiled sediments in these habitats. French et
al. (1999) and French-McCay (2002, 2003), indicate that species sensitivity (fish and invertebrates) to dissolved
aromatics exposure >4 days (96-hour LC50) under different environmental conditions varied from 6 to 40 g/l (ppb)
with an average of 50 ppb. Subsequently, acute affects have the potential to occur at low thresholds of dissolved
hydrocarbon exposure.
The lowest entrained exposure thresholds for chronic exposure for entrained hydrocarbons in accordance with the
ANZECC (2000) water quality guidelines has been set at 10 ppb. Due to the potential for accumulation of build-up
over the duration of the spill, the low entrained exposure has been identified as having the potential to impact on
coral reefs.

Chronic: 960
9600 ppb.hrs
(entrained)

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

Acute: 9600
48 000 ppb.hrs
(entrained)
Acute: 5
576 ppb.hrs
(Dissolved)

Table 6-19 Potential Consequence to Marine Surface, Subsurface, and Terrestrial Dwelling Species from a Hydrocarbon Spill
Receptor
Impact
Type
Mechanism
Birds

Surface

Chevron Australia Pty Ltd


Printed Date: 14 July 2014

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
Smothering
Birds foraging at sea have the potential to directly interact with oil on the sea surface some considerable distance
from breeding sites in the course of normal foraging activities. Species most at risk include those that readily rest on
the sea surface (such as shearwaters) and surface-plunging species such as terns and boobies. As seabirds are top
order predators any impact on other marine life (e.g. fish kills) may disrupt and limit food supply both for the
maintenance of adults and the provisioning of young.
In the case of seabirds, direct contact with hydrocarbons is likely to foul feathers, which may result in hypothermia due
to a reduction in the ability of the bird to thermoregulate and impaired waterproofing. Direct contact with surface
hydrocarbons may also result in dehydration, drowning, and starvation (AMSA 2013b). The greatest vulnerability in
Public

10 g/m2
Moderate
25 g/m2 High

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Impact
Type
Mechanism

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
this case occurs when birds are feeding or resting at the sea surface (Peakall et al. 1987). In a review of 45 actual
marine spills there was no correlation between the numbers of bird deaths and the volume of the spill (Burger 1993).
Toxicity
Toxic effects of hydrocarbons on birds may result where the product is ingested as the bird attempts to preen its
feathers. Whether this toxicity ultimately results in mortality will depend on the amount of hydrocarbons consumed
and other factors relating to the health and sensitivity of the bird. Birds that are coated in oil also suffer from damage
to external tissues including skin and eyes, as well as internal tissue irritation in their lungs and stomachs. Studies of
contamination of duck eggs by small quantities of crude oil, mimicking the effect of oil transfer by parent birds, have
been shown to result in mortality of developing embryos. Engelhardt (1983), Clark (1984), Geraci and St Aubin
(1988), and Jenssen (1994) indicated that the threshold thickness of oil that could impart a lethal dose to some
intersecting wildlife individual is 10 m (~10 g/m2). Hence, 10 m has been selected to define the moderate exposure
zone. Scholten et al. (1996) indicates that a layer 25 m thick would be harmful for most birds that contact the slick.
Therefore, this thickness was used to describe zones of heavy exposure.

Marine
Reptiles

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

Toxicity
Due to their feeding habits, shorebirds are likely to be exposed to oil when it directly impacts the intertidal zone and
onshore. Shorebird species foraging for invertebrates on exposed sand flats at lower tides will be at potential risk of
both direct impacts through contamination of individual birds (ingestion or soiling of feathers) and indirect impacts
through the contamination of foraging areas that may result in a reduction in available prey items (Clarke 2010).
Breeding seabirds may be directly exposed to oil via a number of potential pathways. Any direct impact of oil on
terrestrial habitats, including the shorelines of islands and sandbanks has the potential to contaminate birds present at
the breeding sites (Clarke 2010). Bird eggs may also be damaged if an oiled adult sits on the nest. Fresh crude was
shown to be more toxic than weathered crude, which had a medial lethal dose of 21.3 mg/egg.

Unknown.
Assumed
>100 g/m2
visible coating

Surface

Toxicity
Marine turtles are vulnerable to the effects of oil at all life stageseggs, post-hatchlings, juveniles, and adults in
nearshore waters. Several aspects of marine turtle biology and behaviour place them at particular risk, including a
lack of avoidance behaviour, indiscriminate feeding in convergence zones, and large pre-dive inhalations. Oil effects
on turtles include increased egg mortality and developmental defects, direct mortality due to oiling in hatchlings,
juveniles, and adults; and negative impacts to the skin, blood, digestive and immune systems, and salt glands. Oil
exposure affects different turtle life stages in different ways. Each turtle life stage frequents a habitat with notable
potential to be impacted during an oil spill. Thus, information on oil toxicity needs to be organised by life stage.
Turtles may be exposed to chemicals in oil (or used to treat oil spills like dispersants) in two waysinternally (eating
or swallowing oil, consuming prey containing oil based chemicals, or inhaling of volatile oil related compounds) and
externally (swimming in oil or dispersants, or oil or dispersants on skin and body). Records of oiled wildlife during

Unknown.
88% of oiled
live turtles
treated were
released
suggest
mortality not
inevitable

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Receptor
Impact
Type
Mechanism

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
spills rarely include marine turtles, even from areas where they are known to be relatively abundant (SEWPaC 2012c;
Short 2011). An exception to this was the large number of marine turtles collected (613 dead and 536 live) during the
Macondo spill in the Gulf of Mexico, although many of these animals did not show any sign of oil exposure (NOAA
2011, 2013). Of the dead turtles found, 3.4% were visibly oiled; 85% of the live turtles found were oiled (NOAA 2013).
Of the captured animals, 88% of the live turtles were later released, suggesting that oiling does not inevitably lead to
mortality.
Sea Snakes
The only reports found relating to impacts on sea snakes during marine hydrocarbon spills relate to assessments
undertaken following the Montara Crude spill in 2009. Two dead sea snakes were collected during the incident, one
of which was concluded to have died as a result of exposure to the oil, with evidence on inhaled and ingested oil and
elevated concentrations of PAHs in muscle tissues. The second sea snake showed evidence of ingestion by oil but
no accumulation in tissues or damage to internal organs and it was concluded that the oil was unlikely to be the cause
of death (Curtin University 2009, 2010).

Marine

Entrained/
Dissolved

Toxicity
There is potential for contamination of turtle eggs to result in similar toxic impacts to developing embryos as has been
observed in birds. Studies on freshwater snapping turtles showed uptake of PAHs from contaminated nest
sediments, but no impacts on hatching success or juvenile health following exposure of eggs to dispersed weathered
light crude (Rowe et al. 2009). However, other studies found evidence that exposure of freshwater turtle embryos to
PAHs results in deformities (Bell et al. 2006, Van Meter et al. 2006).

Unknown

Shoreline

Smothering
Turtles may experience oiling impacts on nesting beaches and eggs through chemical exposures, resulting in
decreased survival to hatching and developmental defects in hatchlings. Turtle hatchlings may be more vulnerable to
smothering as they emerge from the nests and make their way over the intertidal area to the water (AMSA 2013b).
Hatchlings that contact oil residues while crossing a beach can exhibit a range of effects including impaired
movement and bodily functions (Shigenaka 2003). Hatchlings sticky with oily residues may also have more difficulty
crawling and swimming, rendering them more vulnerable to predation.
Toxicity
Ingested oil may cause harm to their internal organs. Oil covering their bodies may interfere with breathing because
turtles inhale large volumes of air to dive. Oil can get into cavities such as the eyes, nostrils, or mouth. Marine turtles
may experience oiling impacts on nesting beaches when they come ashore to lay their eggs, and their eggs may be
exposed during incubation, potentially resulting in increased egg mortality and/or possibly developmental defects in
hatchlings.

Unknown.
Assumed
>100 g/m2
visible coating

Surface

There is conflicting evidence as to whether marine mammals will actively avoid areas where surface slicks are
present, with some studies finding avoidance behaviour while others observed whale species feeding in and around

Unknown

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Receptor
Impact
Type
Mechanism
Mammals

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
surface slicks (Rainer Engelhardt 1983). One study of Bottlenose Dolphins found that they were able to detect and
actively avoid a surface slick after a few brief contacts and that there were no observed adverse effects with the
surface slick (Smith et al. 1983). A number of cetacean species have been recorded within oil slicks, with no
apparent abnormal behavioural patterns with the physical presence of the oil. However, establishing longer-term
effects is more difficult to investigate given the mobility of this group.
Toxicity
Marine mammals may directly ingest hydrocarbons when feeding (e.g. consumption of tar balls by dugong) or through
the ingestion of prey species that have accumulated hydrocarbons (Varanasi and Malins 1977 and Neff 1979 in
Rainer Engelhardt 1983; St Aubin and Lounsbury 1990). There is no information to support an assessment of the
toxicological thresholds of these species, although it is suggested that ingestion of oil has an impact on the metabolic
capacity of marine mammals (AMSA 2013a). The way in which whales and dolphins consume food may influence the
likelihood of hydrocarbon ingestion. Baleen whales, which skim the surface, are more likely to ingest hydrocarbons
than toothed whales, which are gulp feeders. It has been suggested that spilled hydrocarbons may foul the baleen
fibres of baleen whales, thereby impairing food-gathering efficiency or resulting in the ingestion of hydrocarbons or
hydrocarbon-contaminated prey (AMSA 2013a). For large whales, oil can foul the baleen they use to filter-feed,
thereby potentially decreasing their ability to eat. Although estimates vary, about 150 dugongs were estimated to
have died in the Arabian Gulf during the Nowruz oil spill in 19831984 following a spill of more than one million
barrels of crude oil during the IranIraq war (United Nations Environment Program [UNEP] 2013). Oil and other
chemicals on skin and body may result in skin and eye irritation, burns to mucous membranes of eyes and mouth,
and increased susceptibility to infection.
Inhalation
As air breathers, marine mammals are vulnerable to exposure to hydrocarbon spill impacts through the inhalation of
evaporated volatiles if they surface in the slick. For the short time period that they persist, vapours from the spill are
considered the most significant risk to cetacean health given their exposure can be significant. Vapours inhaled have
the potential damage to mucous membranes of the airways and the eyes, which will reduce the health and potential
survivability of an animal, and population viability if sufficient numbers are affected. Inhaled volatile hydrocarbons are
transferred rapidly to the bloodstream and may accumulate in tissues such as the brain and liver resulting in
neurological disorders and liver damage (Gubbay and Earll 2000).

Entrained/
Dissolved

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Toxicity
While marine mammals will also be exposed to elevated hydrocarbons in the water column, concentrations will be
reduced by dilution depending on the water depth. Studies have shown little impact on Bottlenose Dolphins after
hydraulic and mineral oil immersion and ingestion, although there was evidence of temporary skin damage in dolphins
and a Sperm Whale from contact with a variety of oil products including crude oil (Geraci and St Aubin 1982 in Rainer
Engelhardt 1983). A total of 154 dead Bottlenose Dolphins were found following the Macondo spill in the Gulf of
Mexico, of which 6% were visibly oiled. The cause of death in other cases could not be confirmed as being due to oil
(NOAA 2013) although a significant disturbance event is indicated by these high numbers and it is reasonable to
Public

Unknown

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Receptor
Impact
Type
Mechanism

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
assume that this was related to the oil spill.

Sharks
and Fish

Shoreline

N/A

N/A

Surface

Toxicity
Whale Sharks
Following the Macondo spill it was suggested that Whale Sharks may be vulnerable to oiling of gills if exposed to the
oil. The tendency of Whale Sharks to feed close to surface waters will increase the likelihood of exposure to surface
slicks and elevated hydrocarbon concentrations beneath slicks. Whale Sharks are migratory and aggregate off
Ningaloo Reef from March to July (SEWPaC 2013a) and may transit through the area of Chevron Australias activities
on the North West Shelf. Other than when feeding at the surface, these animals occupy deep water where
hydrocarbon concentrations would be generally be low due to three-dimensional dilution, although hydrocarbon
plumes may be present at greater depths in the event of a well blowout.
Sawfish
Sawfish occur primarily in shallow coastal waters and estuaries (SEWPaC 2013b) and so would generally be
vulnerable only where surface slicks or dispersed oil reaches inshore areas. No data on the sensitivity of these
species to hydrocarbon contamination was found.

Unknown

Entrained/
Dissolved

Toxicity
Bony Fish
Threshold value for species toxicity in the water column is based on global data from French et al. (1999) and FrenchMcCay (2002, 2003), which showed that species sensitivity (fish and invertebrates) to dissolved aromatics exposure
>4 days (96-hour LC50) under different environmental conditions varied from 6 to 400 g/L (ppb) with an average of
50 ppb. This range covered 95% of aquatic organisms tested, which included species during sensitive life stages
(eggs and larvae). Based on scientific literature, a minimum threshold of 6 ppb over 96 hours or equivalent was used
to assess in-water low exposure zones, respectively (Engelhardt 1983; Clark 1984; Geraci and St Aubin 1988;
Jenssen 1994; and Tsvetnenko 1998). French-McCay (2002) indicates that an average 96-hour LC50 of 50 ppb and
400 ppb could serve as an acute lethal threshold to 50% and 97.5% to biota, respectively. Hence, these thresholds
were used to represent the moderate and high exposure zones, respectively.
Studies of oil impacts on bony fishes report that light, volatile oils are likely to be more toxic to fish. Many studies
conclude that exposure to PAHs and soluble compounds are responsible for the majority of toxic impacts observed in
fish (e.g. Carls et al. 2008; Ramachandran et al. 2004). A range of lethal and sublethal effects to larval fish have
been reported at water accommodated fraction (WAF) hydrocarbon concentrations (48-hour and 96-hour exposures)
of 0.001 to 0.018 ppm during laboratory exposures (Carls et al. 2008; Gala et al. 2001). In contrast, wave tank
exposures reported much high lethal concentrations (14-day LC50) up to 1.9 ppm for herring embryos and up to
4.3 ppm for juvenile cod (Lee et al. 2011).
Toxicity in adult fish has been reported in response to crude oils, heavy fuel oil and diesel (Holdway 2002; Shigenaka

Chronic: 960
9600 ppb.hrs
(entrained)

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Public

Acute: 9600
48 000 ppb.hrs
(entrained)
Acute: 5
576 ppb.hrs
(Dissolved)

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Receptor
Impact
Type
Mechanism

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
2011). Uptake of hydrocarbons has been demonstrated in bony fish after exposure to WAF of between 24 and
48 hours. Danion et al. (2011) observed PAH uptake of 148 g kg-1 after 48-hour exposures to PAH from Arabian
Crude at high concentrations of 770 ppm. Davis et al. (2002) report detectable tainting of fish flesh after a 24-hour
exposure at crude concentrations of 0.1 ppm, MFO concentrations of 0.33 ppm, and diesel concentrations of
0.25 ppm. Most studies, either from laboratory trials or of fish collected after spill events (including the Hebei Spirit,
Macondo, and Sea Empress spills) find evidence of elimination of PAHs in fish tissues returning to reference levels
within two months of exposure (Challenger and Mauseth 2011; Davis et al. 2002; Gagnon and Rawson 2011; Gohlke
et al. 2011; Jung et al. 2011; Law et al. 1997; Rawson et al. 2011).
Sharks and Rays
No reported studies of the impacts of oil spills on cartilaginous fish (including sharks, rays, and sawfish) were found in
the literature. It is not known how the data on the sensitivity of bony fishes would relate to toxicity in cartilaginous
fishes. All EPBC Act listed sharks and rays in the area of interest are viviparous or ovoviviparous and so do not have
a free-swimming larval stage. These species are also larger than the bony fish species for which toxicity has been
studied.

Terrestrial
Reptiles

Terrestrial
Mammals

Shoreline

N/A

N/A

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

N/A
Tar balls and subsurface oil on beaches may threaten terrestrial reptiles that forage or live on intertidal zones. There
are only two identified terrestrial reptiles from Protected Matters search (EPBC):
Hermite Island Worm-lizard, which is not known to forage or inhabit the intertidal zone, therefore its risk of
exposure to stranded oil is low
Airlie Island Ctenotus, which generally inhabits samphire shrubland in the intertidal zone along mangrove
(Grey Mangrove [Avicennia marina] with occasional Red Mangrove [Rhizophora stylosa]) margins; however,
subtle differences in vegetation/topography exist among sites where the species has been recorded (Biologic
2012). During one study, all records in samphire sites were recorded close to tidal creeks, but not in
samphire adjacent to large river mouths, on sand dunes, or in hummock grasslands (Biologic 2012). Has 12
known populations.

N/A

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

N/A

N/A

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Receptor
Impact
Type
Mechanism

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
Tar balls and subsurface oil on beaches may threaten terrestrial mammals. For example, mice are known to ingest
tar balls and subsurface oil when constructing burrows, putting them at risk of tumours and lowered immune
response. The terrestrial mammal species identified do not inhabit the intertidal zones, and are unlikely to forage
exclusively there. Therefore, the risk of terrestrial mammals ingesting tar balls on the beach is low.

Table 6-20 Potential Consequence to Socioeconomic Receptors from a Hydrocarbon Spill


Receptor
Type
Infrastructure

Commercial
Shipping

Impact
Mechanism

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence

Surface

N/A covered under Shoreline

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

While industrial port areas are among the locations most at risk from oil spills, they are also among the least
environmentally sensitive and are often well prepared for clean-up. Response equipment and clean-up personnel
can be on site within hours of the incident and operations guided by practical principles are usually laid down in
long-term contingency plans. Oil spills may cause temporary port/harbour shutdowns while the surface slick is
physically present. Exclusion zones due to risk of potential explosive vapours may also impact infrastructure. It is
expected that where there are ports there will be some form of seawater intake. For example, Yara Pilbara
Holdings Ltd (formerly Burrup Fertilisers) have a significant seawater intake system, as do Dampier Salt and the
demonstration biofuel project in Karratha. These seawater intakes will be sensitive to water quality changes that
result from a marine-based oil spill for the duration that the oil persists in the water drawn at the intake. An oil coat
>100 g/m2 may coat port infrastructure and vessels, and could potentially cause delays to clean/remediate.
Exclusion zones may temporarily impede access for vessels. Given this information, it is considered that HFO
spills have the potential for localised medium-term impact to infrastructure in this area.

>100 g/m2
(visible
coating)

Surface

Large freight ships can move through oil slicks, but they drag oil with them. Oil can foul boats, fishing gear, and
mariculture facilities and can then be transferred to the catch. Flotation equipment such as buoys and floats, drift
nets, cast nets, and fixed traps extending above the sea surface are particularly at risk of contamination by floating
oil. Lines, dredges, bottom trawls, and the submerged parts of cultivation facilities are usually protected, provided
they are not lifted through an oily sea surface or affected by sunken dispersed oil. Commercial shipping has the
potential to be impacted through exclusion zones associated with the spill/response. Subsequently, these
thresholds may be considered in areas >25 m. There is no potential for explosive gas clouds from these diesel
and HFO scenarios. Exclusion zones may cause a temporary interruption of shipping routes, for a short period of

Unknown.
Assume
>10 g/m2

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Receptor
Type

Impact
Mechanism

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
time, and may temporarily impede access by vessels.

Commercial
Fishing

Aquaculture

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

N/A

N/A

Surface

Commercial fishing has the potential to be impacted through exclusion zones associated with the spill/response
and subsequent preclusion of fishing effort. Exclusion zones may impede access to commercial fishing areas for a
short period of time, and nets and lines may become oiled. Direct toxicity impacts to fish are discussed in the
Sharks and Fish (Dissolved/Entrained) section of Table 6-19. It is important to note that the impact from a public
perception perspective may be significant and longer term.

Unknown.
Assume
>10 g/m2

Entrained/
Dissolved

Valuable fishing and shellfish areas may be closed for fishing for various time periods because of the risks of the
catch being tainted by oil. Concentrations of petroleum contaminants in fish and crab tissue, as well as
contamination of shellfish, could pose a significant potential for adverse human health effects, and until these
products from nearshore fisheries or aquaculture have been cleared by the health authorities, they could be
banned from human consumption. Indirectly, the fisheries sector will suffer a heavy loss if consumers are either
stopped from using or are unwilling to buy fish and shellfish from the region affected by the spill. As concluded by
the Third R&D Forum on high-density oil response (IMO 2002), sunken heavy fuel oil may have significant impact
on seabed resources and fishing and mariculture activities (Global Marine Oil Pollution Information Gateway 2013).
Impacts to fish stocks have the potential for reduction in profits for commercial fisheries, and exclusion zones will
exclude fishing effort. Davis et al. (2002) report detectable tainting of fish flesh after a 24-hour exposure at crude
concentrations of 0.1 ppm, MFO concentrations of 0.33 ppm, and diesel concentrations of 0.25 ppm. Fish stocks
and impacts to these are described in Sharks and Fish section of Table 6-19. Potential impacts of entrained
hydrocarbon exposure on marine fauna and coral reefs are discussed elsewhere Table 6-17 to Table 6-19. Note:
The impact from a public perception perspective may be significant and longer term.

Chronic: 960
9600 ppb.hrs
(entrained)

Shoreline

N/A

N/A

Surface

When fish farming facilities become physically impacted by floating oil, the oiled surfaces may be a source of
secondary contamination until they are cleaned. Shoreline cultivation facilities such as intertidal oyster racks are
especially vulnerable. These facilities are usually located in the middle or lower shore where the natural rise and
fall of the tide exposes a band of the shoreline to oil pollution. Aquaculture has the potential to be impacted
through exclusion zones associated with the spill/response and subsequent preclusion of fishing effort. Surface
thickness may cause smothering and toxicity to oysters and impact pearling production, if it intersects with
aquaculture areas. Note: The impact from a public perception perspective may be significant and longer term.

Unknown.
Assume
>10 g/m2

Entrained/
Dissolved

Impacts to aquaculture stocks have the potential for reduced profits for the aquaculture industry, and exclusion
zones will exclude collection effort. Fish stocks and impacts to these are described in Sharks and Fish section of
Table 6-19. Note: The impact from a public perception perspective may be longer term.

Chronic: 960
9600 ppb.hrs
(entrained)

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Acute: 9600
48 000 ppb.hrs
(entrained)
Acute: 5
576 ppb.hrs
(Dissolved)

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Receptor
Type

G1-NT-PLNX0000298
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4

Impact
Mechanism

Gorgon Gas Development and Jansz Feed Gas Pipeline:


Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence

Acute: 9600
48 000 ppb.hrs
(entrained)
Acute: 5
576 ppb.hrs
(Dissolved)

Tourism and
Recreation

Shoreline

There is potential for shoreline accumulation to impact aquaculture operations, on pontoons, cage facilities, etc..
The maximum load ashore predicted by modelling is >100 g/m2, which is visible as an oil coat. This load (>100
g/m2) can cause smothering and toxicity to oysters and impact pearling production. NOTE: Potential for longterm public perception impacts.

>100 g/m2
(visible
coating)

Surface

The effects of oil spilled into the environment have been well documented, varying from minimal damage to
extensive deleterious effects in the ecosystem. In addition, resources such as beaches, harbours, and marinas are
seriously curtailed or temporarily removed from further use pending effective clean-up operations. Past oil spills
like the Exxon Valdez (which happened in 1989), still suffer long-term problems. Many tourists still refuse to visit
Alaska because they believe that the landscapes are still scarred by the remains of oil on the shorelines and many
people still refuse to eat fish that comes from Alaskan waters, including many of the native tribes that inhabit the
area that now import fish from elsewhere. When an oil spill occurs, not only are tourist destinations directly
affected in areas where the spill has flooded land, washed up on beaches, or permeated the air with a strong
odour, but the tourism industry also faces serious reputational impacts. Public perception strongly influences
peoples decisions about visiting and spending time in a particular community. In the Gulf of Mexico, sections of
coastline that had no oil wash up on shore were affected by public perceptions of the Gulf states as contaminated.
The physical disturbance to coastal areas and recreational pursuits from a single oil spill is usually comparatively
short-lived. Once shorelines are clean, normal trade and activity would be expected to resume, although media
attention may cause disproportionate damage to the image of the local tourist industry, aggravating economic
losses by contributing to a public perception of prolonged and wide-scale pollution. The degradation of the brand
image of a region may call for the targeted regional advertising campaigns and other promotional activities to
counteract negative publicity generated by the spill and restore public confidence. Boats and gear may be directly
damaged by an oil spill. Floating and fixed equipment extending above the sea surface are the ones most likely to
be smeared. Contamination of the shoreline with oils is a common characteristic of many oil spills, and when
attractive coastal beaches and resorts are affected, the costs could be high as such contamination may seriously
restrict recreational activities as bathing, boating, angling, and diving for varying periods of time. As a result, hotel
and restaurant owners and others who have their income from recreational activities in the coastal zoneboat
renters and charter boat operators, diving tour operators, angling tour operators and many moremay suffer
economic losses.
Impacts to other socioeconomic values (including heritage, recreational fishing, and conservation values) also have

>1 g/m2

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Receptor
Type

Impact
Mechanism

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
the potential to reduce tourism interest. Surface exposure resulting in rainbow sheens are visible between 0.30
5.0 m thickness. Subsequently, thresholds >1 m rainbow sheens are anticipated to be visible, and this has the
potential to reduce the visual amenity of the site. Tourism is also linked to the presence of marine fauna (e.g.
Whale Sharks, dolphins, whales) and locations for recreational fishing. Direct potential impacts of surface
hydrocarbon exposure to marine fauna are discussed in Table 6-19.
NOTE: Potential for long-term public perception impacts.

Heritage

Entrained/
Dissolved

Toxicity
Activities that are based around marine fauna and habitats are likely to be impacted by a similar level to that posed
to that fauna or habitat value (e.g. coral reefs, marine fauna such as Whale Sharks). For example, swimming with
the Whale Sharks at Exmouth, scuba diving and snorkelling on coral reefs at Ningaloo.
For marine fauna, these threshold values are not known. For fish, an average of 50 ppb is assumed. Tourism is
also linked to the presence of marine fauna (e.g. Whale Sharks, dolphins, whales) and locations for recreational
fishing. Potential impacts of entrained hydrocarbon exposure on marine fauna and coral reefs are discussed in
Table 6-17, Table 6-18, and Table 6-19. Note: The impact from a public perception perspective may be significant
and longer term.

Direct see
Commercial
Fishing in this
Table
Indirect see
Surface or
Shoreline for
Recreation in
this Table.

Shoreline

Visual Amenity, Health


Tourism and recreation have the potential to be impacted through reduction in amenity through visible surface
sheens and oiling of shoreline. Impacts to other socioeconomic values (including heritage, recreational fishing, and
conservation values) also have the potential to reduce tourism interest. Tourism and recreational activities have
the potential to be directly impacted by any oiling to shorelines. However, exclusion from shorelines due to cleanup or excessive oiling has the potential to result in short-term impacts. Owens and Sergy (1994) define oil
stain/film as 100 m, oil coat as 1001000 m, and oil cover as >1000 m. Where there is a visible coating of
the shoreline (conservatively, >100 m), the intrinsic values would be reduced. There is also potential for human
health risk or perception, and interference from clean-up activities resulting in closures of affected coastal areas to
the public. The extent and duration of the effects to marine fauna and coral reefs can directly impact on tourism.
Note: The impact from a public perception perspective may be longer term.

>100 g/m2
(visible
coating)

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

Heritage has the potential to be impacted where coastal heritage values are covered in oil. Heritage values have
the potential to be impacted in two ways:
through reduction in amenity, but no destruction of the heritage values
through the destruction of the heritage value by either excessive oiling or clean-up activities.
Where there is a visible coating of the shoreline (conservatively, >100 m), the intrinsic values would be reduced.

>100 g/m2
(visible
coating)

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Impact
Mechanism

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Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Management Plan

Impact
Threshold (if
known)

Description of Consequence
Subsequently, heritage values that are stained are unlikely to be destroyed, but those that are covered and require
clean-up have the potential to be damaged by the clean-up. This needs to be considered when determining the
Net Environmental Benefit Analysis (NEBA). The recovery time of these sites appears to be greater than two years
according to a study of Gulf of Mexico heritage sites by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. NOTE:
Potential for long-term public perception impacts.

Recreational
Fishing

Shipwrecks

Surface

Similar to commercial fishing, recreational fishing has the potential to be impacted through exclusion zones
associated with the spill/response and subsequent preclusion of fishing effort. A rainbow oil sheen (which occurs at
1 g/m2) that is visible on the surface may discourage recreational fishing activities. Note: The impact from a public
perception perspective may be longer term.

>1 g/m2

Entrained/
Dissolved

Toxicity
Recreational fishing has the potential to be impacted by chronic and acute toxicity of hydrocarbons. Fish stocks
and impacts to these are described in Sharks and Fish section of Table 6-19. Potential impacts of entrained
hydrocarbon exposure on marine fauna and coral reefs are discussed in Table 6-17, Table 6-18, and Table 6-19.
Note: The impact from a public perception perspective may be significant and longer term.

Direct see
Commercial
Fishing in this
Table
Indirect see
Surface or
Shoreline for
Recreational
Fishing in this
Table

Shoreline

Visual Amenity
Beach fishing, or spearfishing that may be undertaken from shore, may be impacted by shoreline accumulation of
oil (e.g. exclusion of the public due to beach closure). A perceived contamination of beaches by oil may also
discourage the public to fish. This may have a flow-on effect to tourism. Where there is a visible coating of the
shoreline (conservatively, >100 m), the intrinsic values would be reduced. There is also potential for human
health risk or perception, and interference from clean-up activities resulting in closures of affected coastal areas to
the public. The extent and duration of the effects to marine fauna and coral reefs can directly impact on
recreational fishing. Note: The impact from a public perception perspective may be longer term.

>100 g/m2
(visible
coating)

Surface

N/A

N/A

Entrained/
Dissolved

N/A

N/A

Shoreline

N/A

N/A

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6.10.2.2.2 Spill Severity Evaluation


This section describes the severity evaluation of potential consequences to identified values within
each EMBA Area. This is done in two components:
Extent of the Exposure:
Evaluated using modelling outputs such as predicted concentration, maximum loads, season,
duration, and mechanism of impact (described in Section 3.5). The modelled EMBA for diesel
and HFO scenarios are shown in Figure 3-9 to Figure 3-18.
The worst-case scenario of modelled parameters has been used to evaluate extent (i.e. for the
season or release site that presents the worst-case scenario). Due to the persistence of HFO
beyond the time period modelled, it is assumed that there may be additional loads of HFO
stranded ashore, in addition to the maximum loads ashore predicted. For this reason,
conservative evaluations of the potential extent are used in the extent assessment.
Categorised as:
Limited when there is the potential for limited extent of the consequence to a value
identified within an EMBA Area
Localised when there is the potential for the consequence to occur to the whole value (or
near whole) value identified within an EMBA Area.
Duration of potential impact:
Evaluation of duration of direct impact and recovery time, from the predicted extent of exposure.
Categorised as short-term and long-term.
Note: Socioeconomic values have direct impacts, often relating to those environmental values
they are based on (e.g. fish for commercial fishing, coral and Whale Sharks for marine tourism);
and indirect potential impacts from a public perception perspective, which may be more significant
and longer term.
Socioeconomic features have also been identified and mapped (where possible) for the EMBA in
preparing the OSORP (Chevron Australia 2013a); this information will also be used by the
emergency response team at the time of an event and will be considered in monitoring (see the
Offshore Feed Gas Pipeline Installation Spill Scientific and Operational Monitoring Plan (Chevron
Australia 2013d).

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Table 6-21 Evaluation of Severity of Modelled Oil Spills to Values, for each EMBA Area
NINGALOO AREA
Value Type

Severity

Extent

Duration

Surface Hydrocarbons

Extent of
Exposure

HFO modelling for both the nearshore and open ocean release sites suggests there is the potential for limited moderate (1025 g/m2) exposure focused around the north-western extent of the peninsula. Low threshold
exposure (110 g/m2) is predicted to extend approximately halfway down the coast of the Area. Nearshore modelling predicts a small exposure area of high threshold >25 mg/m2 at the far north corner of this Area.
There are no surface thresholds predicted for the southern part of the Area.
Diesel modelling for nearshore or open ocean sites does not predict any surface thresholds.

Birds

The Area provides important foraging and breeding ground for many marine and migratory bird species. However, all species have a wide distribution across WA and are not limited to this
Area. Modelling predicts low surface hydrocarbon exposure through most of the Area, with some moderate exposure in the northern part of the Area, along the coastline. Therefore, it is
considered that surface hydrocarbons have the potential for localised short-term impact to birds in the Area.

Marine Reptiles

Localised

Short-term

The Area is known to have high utilisation levels by multiple turtle species for nesting, internesting,