Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

The Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline is an operating pipeline.[1]


The pipeline runs from the Burrup Peninsula near the town of Dampier, Australia to Brunswick near Bunbury in western Australia.[2]

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Project details

  • Operator: DBNGP (WA) Transmission Pty Limited
  • Parent Company: Dampier Bunbury Pipeline (DBP)
  • Capacity: 848.30 million cubic feet per day / 895 terajoules per day[3]
  • Length: 1597[4]
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 1984


The Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP) is the longest natural gas pipeline in Australia.[5] The pipeline runs from a point near Withnell Bay, on the Burrup Peninsula near Dampier, Western Australia to Bunbury in the southwest of the State. It carries natural gas, most of which enters the pipeline at the domestic gas plant associated with the North West Shelf Venture project. The other main inlet point is approximately 135 kilometers south of Dampier, where one of the sales gas pipelines from Varanus Island connects with the DBNGP. In June 2008, following a pipeline rupture and explosion at the Varanus Island facility, the DBNGP carried additional volumes of gas from the North West Shelf plant to the southwest of the state, for a period of several months.

As a single trunkline it is 1530 kilometers long,[6] extending from the Burrup Peninsula in the Pilbara region, to Bunbury in the southwest of Western Australia. It supplies gas to industrial, commercial and residential customers in Perth, Western Australia and major regional centers along the pipeline route. It is covered by Western Australian pipeline license PL-40. A number of lateral pipelines are connected to this pipeline, most of which are covered by separate licenses, although PL-40 itself covers the main trunkline and some laterals totaling a length of 1789 kilometers.[1]

The idea of a pipeline to transport gas from the North West Shelf to the southwest of Western Australia had its origins in 1975, following the discovery of large offshore reserves by WAPET and Woodside Petroleum. Around this time, the State Energy Commission of WA reviewed the state's future gas requirements in conjunction with the partners in the North West Shelf consortium. The developers of the North West Shelf were in the preliminary stages of planning a system of production facilities based on the Rankin and Goodwyn fields (located about 130 km off the coast of Dampier), linked to an LNG processing plant and a domestic gas plant situated at Withnell Bay. As the state government had access to more attractive interest rates than the commercial venturers, the state agreed to fund and build (through SECWA) a 1540 km gas pipeline to transport the output from the domestic gas plant. In addition, SECWA entered into long term (20-year) 'take-or-pay' contracts with the North West Shelf partners, in which SECWA agreed to pay for fixed volumes of gas which exceeded the market demand for gas in the south west.[7]

Engineering design commenced in 1979. and the pipeline was constructed between 1983 and 1984,[8] with the extension south to Bunbury, Western Australia commissioned in 1985.[9] Construction involved the welding of 127,000 sections of 12 meter pipe.[8] Gas first flowed into the pipe on 16 August 1984. Following the disaggregation of SECWA in 1995, the pipeline came under the ownership and control of the government's gas utility, AlintaGas. As part of a government policy of privatization, Alinta sold the pipeline in 1998 to Epic Energy, a consortium of two U.S. pipeline companies (along with three Australian institutional shareholders) at a price of A$2.407 billion.[7]

Epic Energy owned and operated the pipeline for six years, eventually selling the pipeline in October 2004 to Dampier Bunbury Pipeline (DBP) Ltd, which is the trading name of the DBNGP group of companies. DBP has two institutional shareholders: D.U.E.T. (Diversified Utilities and Energy Trusts)(80%) and Alcoa (20%). An executive team is responsible to the owners for the performance of the business, including corporate, regulatory, commercial and strategic functions.[3]


When first constructed, the capacity of the system was 360 terajoules per day. A $150m enhancement carried out in 1991 increased the capacity to 450 terajoules per day.[8] The current capacity of the pipeline is approximately 785 terajoules per day.[10]

DBP expansion projects

The expansion project consisted of two types of upgrade. Several of the pipeline's compressor stations will be upgraded with higher capacity gas turbines, thus increasing the actual pressure of the gas inside the line. In addition, the expansion involves a process of 'looping' the pipeline. This is the installation of additional lengths of pipe alongside, and connected to, the existing pipeline. The effect of looping is to provide additional capacity at critical sections of the main trunkline, thus increasing the total possible throughput.[11]

The DBNGP underwent a range of expansion projects under previous ownership structures. However, the most advanced have been undertaken by the current owners, who invested in three major expansion projects since acquiring the asset. These projects are known as Stage 4 (constructed by Nacap Australia Pty Ltd), Stage 5A (constructed by Saipem) and Stage 5B (as constructed by McConnell Dowell).

In January 2010, the final stage of the expansion was completed, increasing the maximum throughput to 895 terajoules per day and enhancing the pipelines reliability, totaling about AU$1.7 billion.[11][12]

The final closure and completion of the Defects Liability Period expired a year later and included flow testing of all station pipework at design flows:

  • Completion of the Fortescue River Crossing
  • Modifications and completion of traffic and flow management at all stations
  • Ongoing environment restoration and subsidence repairs of the Right of Way[13]

Pipeline corridor

The pipeline's corridor runs near and crosses the North West Coastal Highway to near the Yannrie River. There it passes inland, east of the Kennedy Range National Park, and crosses the Murchison River near Mulla Mulla flat, where it moves south to cross the Midlands road east of Dongara.

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dampier_to_Bunbury_Natural_Gas_Pipeline Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline, Wikipedia, accessed Aug. 12, 2021.
  2. Dampier Bunbury Pipeline Act 1997, Department of Planning, Lands, and Heritage, accessed Aug. 12, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 What is the DBNGP?, archived from the original, accessed Aug. 12, 2021.
  4. Dampier to Bunbury Pipeline, DPLH, accessed Aug. 12, 2021.
  5. Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline, Economic Regulation Authority, accessed Aug. 13, 2021.
  6. The Petroleum Explorer’s Guide to Western Australia, DMP, archived from the original, 2007, Aug. 12, 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Clements, Ken (2002). The Great Energy Debate. Perth: University of WA Press. p. 157. ISBN 1-876268-74-3.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 McIllwraith, John (1994). Power to the People - A History of Gas and Electricity in Western Australia. Perth: State Energy Corporation of WA. pp. 81–87. ISBN 0-7309-6419-1.
  9. Fluor Australia Pty. Ltd., (1983). Dampier-Perth Natural Gas Pipeline : proposed Bunbury extension : environmental review and management programme, prepared by Fluor-Maunsell, Perth [for the] State Energy Commission Western Australia. Perth, W.A. The Commission. 2 v. "September 1982" Appendices in 2nd volume.
  10. DBNGP Fact Sheet, archived from the original on Sep. 13, 2009, accessed Aug. 12, 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Stage 5B Expansion, archived from the original, archive accessed Aug. 13, 2021.
  12. Completion of Third Pipeline Expansion Project to Meet the Energy Needs of Western Australia, January 5, 2010, accessed Aug. 13, 2021.
  13. About DBP, Dampier Bunbury Pipeline, accessed Aug. 12, 2021.

Related GEM.wiki articles

External resources

External articles

Existing Pipelines in Australia

Wikipedia also has an article on Dampier to Bunbury Gas Pipeline (Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline). This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License].