Moomba, South Australia

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Moomba
South Australia
Moomba is located in South Australia
Moomba
Moomba
Coordinates 28°6′36″S 140°12′36″E / 28.11000°S 140.21000°E / -28.11000; 140.21000Coordinates: 28°6′36″S 140°12′36″E / 28.11000°S 140.21000°E / -28.11000; 140.21000
Postcode(s) 5342
Elevation 39 m (128 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Outback Areas Community Development Trust
State electorate(s) Stuart
Federal Division(s) Grey
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
29.3 °C
85 °F
15.5 °C
60 °F
189.3 mm
7.5 in

Moomba is a Santos-owned gas exploration and processing town (perhaps better described as a company town) located in the Cooper and Eromanga Basins, in central Australia, approximately 770 kilometres north of Adelaide.

There are a number of partners and contractors on site including SGS, O&G Solutions, Transfield Services, OneSteel, Origin Energy, Diversified Construction, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, ProTechnics a Division of Corelab, GPA Engineering and SAGE Automation.

Geography[edit]

Moomba is situated on the Strzelecki Track which runs through northeastern South Australia and into South West Queensland. The settlement is located on a low-lying plain amongst sand dunes at very little height above sea level. Several hundred kilometres to the southwest lies Lake Eyre which is in fact below sea level.

Climate[edit]

Moomba experiences a mean maximum temperature of 38.7 degrees Celsius in the hottest month of the year, January, with overnight mean minimum temperatures of 24.6 degrees. July is the coldest month, in winter, with 19.5 degrees mean maximum temperature and 6.4 mean minimum temperature. On 12 January 2013, Moomba reached a record maximum temperature of 49.6 °C (121.3 °F), which is one of the hottest temperatures recorded in South Australia.[1]

Moomba sits just on the edge of a rainfall region that has the lowest average rainfall in Australia (a region encompassing Marree and Lake Eyre).[2] Rainfall is highly erratic, and some years it doesn't rain at all. However, when it does rain it can be extremely heavy and damaging thunderstorms can occur on a few days each year. Light winter rain can also be experienced, but this is just as infrequent and doesn't happen every year. The wettest month ever recorded was February 2010, with 239.6mm (9.43 in) of rain falling.


Climate data for Moomba (Moomba Airport 1995-2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 49.6
(121.3)
46.0
(114.8)
45.2
(113.4)
39.9
(103.8)
32.7
(90.9)
30.5
(86.9)
30.3
(86.5)
34.6
(94.3)
41.5
(106.7)
42.3
(108.1)
47.0
(116.6)
46.5
(115.7)
49.6
(121.3)
Average high °C (°F) 38.7
(101.7)
36.7
(98.1)
33.7
(92.7)
29.1
(84.4)
23.6
(74.5)
19.9
(67.8)
19.5
(67.1)
22.6
(72.7)
27.4
(81.3)
30.4
(86.7)
33.9
(93)
36.3
(97.3)
29.3
(84.7)
Average low °C (°F) 24.6
(76.3)
23.6
(74.5)
20.2
(68.4)
15.6
(60.1)
10.5
(50.9)
7.2
(45)
6.4
(43.5)
8.1
(46.6)
12.3
(54.1)
15.7
(60.3)
19.5
(67.1)
22.1
(71.8)
15.5
(59.9)
Record low °C (°F) 14.0
(57.2)
14.0
(57.2)
9.1
(48.4)
4.6
(40.3)
1.6
(34.9)
0.1
(32.2)
−0.5
(31.1)
0.1
(32.2)
2.1
(35.8)
4.7
(40.5)
9.0
(48.2)
10.6
(51.1)
−0.5
(31.1)
Rainfall mm (inches) 13.7
(0.539)
34.0
(1.339)
25.1
(0.988)
7.2
(0.283)
10.1
(0.398)
11.3
(0.445)
17.6
(0.693)
5.3
(0.209)
14.2
(0.559)
10.9
(0.429)
23.0
(0.906)
14.4
(0.567)
186.8
(7.355)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 2.3 3.3 2.8 1.5 1.9 2.5 2.9 1.4 2.7 3.2 4.1 3.4 32
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[3]

Population[edit]

Santos Ltd employs some 1,201 people who work at Moomba and within the rest of the Cooper Basin (including Ballera in South-West Queensland). All employees work on a fly in-fly out roster basis; there is no permanent resident population in Moomba.

Facilities[edit]

Moomba has a sealed airstrip and 'camp' accommodation for its "fly-in, fly-out" residents who are, largely, Santos employees. Scheduled Services are operated by Cobham Aviation Services Australia, flying passengers daily to and from Adelaide. Members of the public are not able to fly to Moomba; only employees, contractors and authorised visitors are able to visit.

The New South Wales motoring body, NRMA warns travellers of the absence of public facilities at Moomba. It states:

Note that the Moomba plant and field operations are closed to the public and there are no facilities, supplies or accommodation available for travellers [2].

The Royal Flying Doctor Service provides health services for Moomba and Ballera workers.[4]

History[edit]

Moomba was established in the 1960s and 70s after discovery of gas and, later, oil in the region[citation needed].

An explosion occurred at the gas plant in January 2004 which made national headlines and caused a costly temporary gas shortage for Santos Ltd.[5]

Natural Resources Extraction[edit]

Gas[edit]

A gas pipeline (commenced in 1969) runs 832 kilometres to deliver natural gas extracted from Moomba to Adelaide.[6] This same pipeline is also used to deliver gas from Queensland, an arrangement agreed to in 1991 and the project completed in 1993.[7]

A separate 659 kilometre liquids pipeline runs southwest to Port Bonython, South Australia for overseas export.

A similar gas pipeline to Sydney was completed in 1976, stretching over 1,160 kilometres, with an ethane pipeline along the same route to Sydney completed in 1996.[8]

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics:

At Moomba the incoming raw gas stream initially has water and carbon dioxide removed. Next the liquids recovery plant extracts the valuable condensate, ethane and LPG from the gas stream. The resultant sales gas is then pipelined to the Sydney and Adelaide markets. The separated gas liquids as well as the stabilised crude oil from oil fields are directed into the liquids pipeline leading to the fractionation plant at Port Bonython on Spencer Gulf.

Due to an expected peak in availability of gas from Moomba's gas fields in 2006, in June 2007 gas pipeline owner Epic Energy announced moves to link the Moomba pipeline to gas resources in southwest Queensland,.[9][10]

Oil[edit]

Significant oil deposits were discovered in Moomba in 1970 and 1978. These are extracted and supplied via pipelines to sales outlets.[11]

References[edit]

External links[edit]