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World's most expensive energy projects

Last updated on: April 1, 2013 13:39 IST

World's most expensive energy projects

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Billions of dollars are spent on energy projects across the world. Kashagan oil field is the world's most expensive energy project.

The safety, engineering, logistical and environmental challenges make it one of the largest and most complex industrial projects in the world.

Take a look at the world's most expensive energy projects as ranked by CNN Money.

Kashagan oil field (Rank 1)
Cost: $116 billion


Kashagan Field is an offshore oil field in the Kazakhstan's zone of the Caspian Sea.

The field, discovered in 2000, is considered the world's largest discovery in the last 30 years, combined with the Tengiz Field.

It is estimated that the Kashagan Field has recoverable reserves of about 13 billion barrels of crude oil. 

Harsh conditions as sea ice during the winter, temperature variation from -35 to 40 °C extremely shallow water and high level of hydrogen sulphide, together with mismanagement and disputes, make it one of the most challenging oil megaprojects.

Commercial production is expected to start in the first half of 2013.

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Image: Kashagan oil field.
Photographs: Courtesy, North Caspian Operating Company.
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Gorgon project (Rank 2)
Cost: $57 billion

Gorgon is one of the world's largest natural gas projects and the largest single resource project in Australia's history.

The Gorgon Project will develop the Gorgon and Jansz-Io gas fields, located within the Greater Gorgon area, about 130 kilometres off the north-west coast of Western Australia.

It includes the construction of a 15 million tonne per annum (MTPA) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant on Barrow Island and a domestic gas plant with the capacity to provide 300 terajoules per day to supply gas to Western Australia.

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Image: Gorgon project.
Photographs: Courtesy, Chevron.
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Ichthys Natural Gas project (Rank 3)
Cost: $43 billion

Japanese firm INPEX is the lead operator on this natural gas project, located off the coast of northwest Australia.

The Ichthys Field in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia first demonstrated its potential to be a world-class gas project in 2000. Since then, most likely resource estimates have grown to 12.8 tcf of gas and 527 million barrels of high value condensate.

The Ichthys Project will deliver significant social and economic benefits to Australia.

The project will bring jobs and training, business opportunities, new infrastructure and advanced technology - building capacity for the nation's energy industry.

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Image: Ichthys Natural Gas project.
Photographs: Courtesy, INPEX.
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Bovanenkovskoye (Rank 4)
Cost: $41 billion

Gazprom inaugurated the Bovanenkovskoye gas field on the Yamal peninsula that is expected to yield 46 billion cubic meters of gas next year, and 115 billion cubic meters a year in 2017.

Reserves at Bovanenkovskoye, which is situated in the permafrost zone, are estimated at 4.9 trillion cubic meters.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Gazprom.
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Australia Pacific LNG (Rank 5)
Cost: $37 billion

The Australia Pacific LNG Project is a coal seam gas (CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) project delivering a cleaner, greener sustainable energy source.

Australia Pacific LNG is already the largest producer of CSG in Australia, supplying gas to power stations to produce lower emissions electricity; major industrial customers, homes and businesses in South East Queensland.

The Project will see an increase in domestic gas production to further supply gas-fired power stations, major industrial customers and residents throughout Queensland.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Australia Pacific LNG.
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Wheatstone LNG project (Rank 6)
Cost: $35 billion

An Australian LNG project in northwestern Australia, Chevron owns 64% of this project.

Chevron is leading the Wheatstone Project on behalf of its joint venture participants Apache Corporation (Apache), Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), Shell and Kyushu Electric Power Company (Kyushu).

Chevron holds a 64.14 per cent interest in the onshore foundation project together with Apache (13%), TEPCO (8%), KUFPEC (7%), Shell (6.4%) and Kyushu (1.46%).

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Image: Wheatstone LNG project .

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Queensland Curtis LNG (Rank 7)
Cost: $34 billion

Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) will be the world's first project to turn coal seam gas into liquefied natural gas, or LNG.

The project, which has been under construction since 2010, will provide cleaner hydrocarbon energy for export markets from 2014.

QCLNG is involving dozens of communities, hundreds of businesses and thousands of people drawn from throughout Queensland, the rest of Australia and internationally.

Queensland Curtis LNG is one of Australia's largest capital infrastructure projects, involving $20.4 billion of investment from 2010-14.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Queensland Curtis LNG.
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Kearl oil sands project (Rank 8)
Cost: $33 billion

Located 70 km north of Fort McMurray is the Kearl oil sands project, jointly owned between Imperial Oil (operator) and ExxonMobil Canada.

It will be one of Canada's largest open-pit mining operations with regulatory approval for up to 345,000 barrels a day of production.

Initial development will start up at around 110,000 bpd with the overall production profile and total resource developed remaining relatively unchanged for the reconfigured project with full lease development yielding attractive unit development costs.

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Image: Kearl oil sands project.
Photographs: Courtesy, ExxonMobil.
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Santos GLNG Project (Rank 9)
Cost: $30 billion

The Santos GLNG Project is a $18.5 billion pioneering venture to convert coal seam natural gas (CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export to global markets.

It represents a major investment in a cleaner energy source for the future. The project involves the development of gas fields in the Bowen and Surat Basins, the construction of a 420 kilometre underground gas transmission pipeline to Gladstone and a two-train LNG processing facility on Curtis Island in Gladstone.

The project is a joint-venture between Santos and three of the world's largest energy companies, Petronas, Total and KOGAS.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Santos GLNG.
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Three Gorges Dam (Rank 10)
Cost: $28 billion

Three Gorges Dam is the most expensive hydroelectric project ever built.

The Three Gorges power plant in China, generated a record 98.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity in 2012.



Image: The Three Gorges Dam Project.
Photographs: Reuters.
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