Wood­side buys into BHP gas stake

Pilbara News - - News - Peter Wil­liams

Wood­side Petroleum’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Michael Ut­sler says the com­pany’s on­shore gas fa­cil­i­ties in the State’s North West are well po­si­tioned to take gas from the Scar­bor­ough gas fields.

His com­ments fol­low news from the com­pany this month that it had agreed to buy 50 per cent of BHP Bil­li­ton’s in­ter­est in the Scar­bor­ough fields for $533 mil­lion. “We have a lot of float­ing LNG knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing in our or­gan­i­sa­tion’s ef­forts with Browse,” Mr Ut­sler told re­porters in Kar­ratha.

“If the part­ner­ship wants . . . to look at al­ter­na­tives ob­vi­ously we’re also go­ing to demon­strate the po­ten­tial value propo­si­tion that a North West Shelf or Pluto would rep­re­sent. We think we have, as I’ve de­scribed to you to­day, po­si­tioned North West Shelf and Pluto for se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion to en­sure the op­ti­mal de­vel­op­ment of Scar­bor­ough.”

How­ever ExxonMo­bil, which owns the bal­ance of the Scar­bor­ough fields, said last week a float­ing LNG pro­cess­ing plant re­mained the pre­ferred option.

ExxonMo­bil is the op­er­a­tor of one of the Scar­bor­ough as­sets. Wood­side will be­come op­er­a­tor of an­other, and two in the nearby Jupiter and Thebe fields.

The US en­ergy giant said it favoured FLNG based on eco­nomic, en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial con­sid­er­a­tions.

“While de­vel­op­ment of Scar­bor­ough re­mains chal­lenged, ExxonMo­bil is com­mit­ted to ad­vanc­ing eval­u­a­tion of float­ing LNG as the lead de­vel­op­ment con­cept,” a spokesman said. The fields are es­ti­mated to con­tain gross 8.7 tril­lion cu­bic feet of gas re­sources at the 2C con­fi­dence level. Wood­side’s net share of the re­sources is es­ti­mated to be 2.6 tril­lion cu­bic feet of gas.

The trans­ac­tion fol­lows Wood­side’s $2.8 bil­lion ac­qui­si­tion last year of Apache as­sets, in­clud­ing a stake in the Wheat­stone LNG project.

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