By now, you’ve probably seen the pictures of the reservoir and know that the Taryall is the largest and most productive of the three oil and gas reservoirs in Western Australia.
But there’s another reservoir you might not have heard of: the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
The SPR was developed in the early 1990s to help keep the state’s oil sands industry running, but the government has spent more than $2 billion on the project and the oil sands are already a major contributor to WA’s economy.
In 2017, the SPR pumped 1.5 billion cubic metres of crude oil into the ground, equivalent to the output of the state of New South Wales, with a capacity to store 1.1 million barrels of crude per day.
In 2020, the Strategic Resources Development Agency (SRDA) announced the first phase of the SPR’s development, which saw the reservoir opened in March 2021.
But with the SPR currently producing more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day, it is expected to eventually reach 10 million barrels per day in the future.
In 2019, the SRDA decided to end the project due to the low level of economic activity in the state.
A number of factors led to the decision, including the low number of new wells being drilled, the lack of an alternative to the SPR in the form of a gas well, and the closure of several large fields.
But now that the SPR is open, the question is, how can I get there?
As the SPR begins to be used, the key question is how to get to the point where the reservoirs are fully developed.
How can you use the SPR?
The SPR is a complex piece of infrastructure, which involves multiple pipelines and pipelines, including one to transport gas to the oilfields.
The state is currently in the process of constructing the $300 million TransAlta Pipeline from a gas storage facility at Prahran to the Prahrant refinery in Tarryn.
A second pipeline will take gas to a gas export terminal in Fremantle, which will be operated by the WA Energy Future Group.
But how can you get there from there?
In order to get from the TransAltha Pipeline to the existing oil fields, the project will have to cross over two major highways: the South-East Highway and the East-West Highway.
The South-east Highway will run from Prahra to Tarryyall, with the eastbound side of the road to be named “Marlborough”.
The East-west Highway will take you to the Strategic Resource Development Agency’s Prahrad-Tarryn Road.
It’s on the east side of Prahr, which runs parallel to the Highway 14, meaning that you’ll have to travel a bit further than you normally would to get there.
The project will also need to cross the South East Highway.
There are two gas pipelines that will take the gas from the SPR to the gas storage facilities.
The first is the Trans Alta Pipeline, which currently runs from Pahra to Prahre.
The other is the South West Pipeline, that will run to the Transalta Gas Storage Facility.
The Trans Altha Pipeline will be the primary transportation route from Parnell to Pramana.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserves Pipeline will also carry gas from Praman to Prala.
If you’re travelling from Prakunto to Tarrant, you’ll be taking a route that runs along the Trans-Prakun-Tarrant Highway and follows the Trans Prakunga Highway and passes through Tarrante.
The Prahrtan-Taranami Highway will also pass through Pramanas road, and you’ll pass the Strategic Reserves Gas Storage Unit (SRGSU) at the end of the line.
You’ll then be on the Pramano-Taranda Highway and travel along the route that leads to the Marrbora Gas Storage Complex (MGC).
The MGC is the last remaining gas storage site in the area, and it will be used for storing the gas that will be extracted from the oil fields in Taryn.
It will also be used to transport the gas to Paryns gas export facility in Pramulla, where it will then be transported to a new facility.
The SRDA’s decision to end its SPR project also meant that the SRGSU had to be dismantled and replaced with the Strategic Oil and Gas Reserves (SOR) pipeline, which was constructed from Pralas road to Taryns road.
What happens when the SPR starts producing?
When the SPR opens, it will pump 1.6 billion cubic feet of oil into Tarryan.
By the end 2018, the pipeline had produced 8 million barrels.
By 2026, the SOR pipeline will have pumped 4.3 billion cubic meters of oil, with an estimated capacity of 3.4 million barrels each day.
The final stages of the