North West Shelf

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The North West Shelf of Western Australia is an extensive oil and gas region off the North West Australia coast in the Pilbara region.

It has a considerable number of oil and gas wells, pipelines, production areas and support facilities.[1][2]


As an area it is located in the Indian Ocean between North West Cape and Dampier. Dampier is usually considered the main administrative locality for the shelf.

Production areas[edit]

The production areas are located offshore and within the jurisdiction of the Western Australian state government.

The two main production areas are known as the Thevenard Production Area close to the location of Onslow - while the Varanus Production Area is located west of Dampier.

Oil fields[edit]

The North West Shelf oil extraction is negligble compared to the volume of gas produced.

Gas Project[edit]

The North West Shelf Natural Gas Development Project [3] is a project that utilises resources within the region from various gas fields - however it is considered to be only in part of the whole shelf region. It involves developments on the Burrup Peninsula, Barrow Island and other locations.[4]

Geology of region[edit]

Considerable parts of the region are the highest prospective gas and oil areas of Australia. The main sedimentary basin providing the opportunity is the Northern Carnarvon Basin - however it is only one part of the regional complex.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ State Reference Library of Western Australia; Library Board of Western Australia; J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History (1983), North west shelf : resources and responsibility, Library Board of Western Australia, retrieved 1 June 2015 
  2. ^ North West Shelf Symposium (1988 : Perth, W.A.); Purcell, Peter G; Purcell, R. R. (Robyn R.); Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia. Western Australian Branch (1988), The North West Shelf, Australia, [PESA], ISBN 978-0-9588440-1-7 
  3. ^ Atherton, Graeme, and Rick Wilkinson. (1989) Beyond the flame : the story of Australia's North West shelf natural gas project Perth, W.A.: Government and Public Affairs Division, Woodside Offshore Petroleum
  4. ^ Murray, Robert; Murray, Robert (1991), From the edge of a timeless land : a history of the North West Shelf Gas Project, Allen & Unwin, ISBN 978-0-04-442295-2 
  5. ^ Geoscience Australia - Offshore Northwest Australia

Further reading[edit]

  • (1980) State of excitement over North-West Shelf Gas Fields. Petroleum gazette, Sept. 1980, p. 58-62,