CANBERRA, AAP – Woodside has received key federal and state approvals for the $16 billion Scarborough gas project off the coast of Karratha.

The Woodside-BHP joint venture has secured the pipeline licence needed to build and operate in Commonwealth waters, Woodside announced on Wednesday.

Minister for Resources Keith Pitt said it’s estimated the project will have a peak construction workforce of more than 3000, and 600 jobs when operational including around 230 in the Pilbara.

“Given the current uncertainty around the world, and an energy crisis throughout Europe, it’s projects like this that build Australia’s capacity to ensure long-term energy and national security,” he said.

“It will also support our international neighbours to secure their own energy needs.”

Approval was also granted for the Scarborough Field Development Plan that will enable Woodside to begin operations from petroleum production licences WA-61-L and WA-62-L.

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said the pipeline licence and field development plan are among the final federal and state government approvals required to develop the liquefied natural gas (LNG) resource.

The approval milestones follow final investment decisions made in November 2021 to approve the Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 developments.

The Scarborough field, 375 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia, is estimated to contain 11.1 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The development will include the installation of a floating production unit with eight wells drilled in the initial phase, and 13 drilled over the life of the field.

The gas will be transported to Pluto LNG through a new 430km trunk line.

The latest international climate change report warned current fossil fuel infrastructure will emit more greenhouse gases than is compatible with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific said new fossil fuel developments such as Scarborough will lock the world into a high emissions scenario that will drive dangerous climate change.

The Conservation Council has said the project would result in an extra 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 25 years, but failed in a legal bid to halt the project.

Woodside says the Scarborough gas processed through Pluto Train 2 will be one of the lowest carbon intensity sources of LNG delivered to customers in north Asia.

The first LNG cargo is planned for 2026.