Woodside Petroleum it seems will consider putting pressure on the Federal Government to strip its multinational Venture Parters including Cheron and Shell of their Browse Basin liquefied natural gas leases if an agreement cannot be reached. These leases expired in December 2008 and are up for renewal. Federal Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson, has threatened that companies cannot sit on valuable gas reserves without developing them. Woodside is the principal developer with a 50% stake in Browse gas. Chevron, Shell, BHP Billiton and BP make up the remaining 50%. Martin Ferguson supports developing Browse gas at Prices Point but what clout has Peter Garrett, the Environmental Minister, in the final decision? The proposal has yet to be approved; the environmental assessment of the project will not be completed until late 2010. Already the proposed construction date, if the project gets the go ahead, has shifted from 2011 to 2013.
(based on an article in the West Australian July 3rd 2009)