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Australian Woodside to Change Browse LNG Development Concept
=To discuss with its partners including floating technologies
It was decided that the concepts of Australian LNG production project "Browse LNG Project" will be reviewed. On April 12th, the operator of the project Perth-based Woodside Petroleum Ltd. came to a conclusion that the current development concept does not meet its requirements for final investment decision (FID). Woodside is expected to talk with the other project partners about the alternative development concepts from now.

Woodside and its Browse joint venture partners planned to carry natural gas produced from Browse basin off Western Australia to James Price Point and produce 12 million tons per year of LNG at a liquefaction plant, which was to be built there.

In November 2012, the West Australian government approved the project on condition that the operator of the project pays careful attention to protect surrounding environment. Woodside had considered that it will make FID after receipt of approval from the Australian federal government. However, in view of increase in development cost in recent years including rising labor cost, Woodside determined that it is difficult to commercialize the project under the present concept.

On the other side, Woodside recommended evaluation of other development concepts for Browse gas field, such as floating technologies, supply of feedstock through a pipeline to existing facilities in the Pilbara, or smaller onshore option at the proposed Browse LNG Precinct near James Point.

Besides Woodside, BP, PetroChina, Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd, equally owned by Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Shell, which reached FID on FLNG project for the first time in the world, has participated in the project as the joint venture partner. The company, which completed Prelude LNG Project and is trying to promote floating LNG technology as a pioneer, is thought to have intention to strongly proceed with floating LNG production at Browse LNG Project as well.

On the other hand, it is said that BP, which has already decided to withdraw from Browse, recommended supply of feedstock gas to existing plants along with Chevron and BHP Billiton. In the meantime, Woodside is working on drilling exploratory wells to expand Pluto LNG Project, which was placed into service last year, but it has not been able to find out gas reserves enough to additionally construct trains.

Woodside plans to finalize development concepts by the end of 2014 when the Browse Retention Leases expires. However, it seems to be hard for the companies involved to mutually reach agreement, being obsessed by what other think.
last modified : Thu 18 Apr, 2013 [10:51]
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