Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The choice is made in late 2009 for Browse LNG

The June deadline has now passed with no agreement between Woodside and its joint Venture Partners. No wonder there is hesitation, since Karratha is looming as the logical choice over Prices Point for the Browse LNG because:
  1. The North West Shelf's infrastructure near Karratha is already in place.
  2. Woodside's partners: Shell (8.3%), Chevron (16.7%), BHP Billiton (8.3%) and BP (16.7%) would be considering the strong option of refilling the N.W.S. reserves when they run low in 10 years time with Browse LNG.
  3. Piping gas from the Browse to Karratha is a far cheaper option than construction of a hub at Prices Point.
  4. There are uncertainties concerning the KLC especially with their recent negotiations with the Federal Government regarding future benefits for traditional owners.
  5. Environmental groups and the Broome Shire are opposed to LNG development at Prices Point.
  6. Woodside's partners are already heavily committed to other projects including Gorgon which has three times the gas reserves of Browse and is the biggest resources project in Australian history.
  7. In the present economic downturn, will the joint Venture Partners be wary about developing a greenfields site at Prices Point especially now that the cost of the project may have blown out to as much as $50 billion.
  8. The development of the Woodside Browse will only incrementally boost LNG output which makes it very hard to justify another expensive project at Prices Point.
  9. If Shell is working on a floating LNG plant, why is this not an option for Browse LNG?

(these views based on an article in the West Australian July 1st 2009)

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