Woodside buys into BHP gas stake
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.