Woodside full circle on LNG Browse project
Woodside Petroleum’s Browse LNG project has been a tantalising prospect for a long time.
As a brokerage analyst pointed out at last Tuesday’s investor briefing, the offshore Kimberley development had come full circle from when it was first proposed that Browse gas be piped to the North West Shelf.
In the meantime, the contentious James Price Point plant near Broome and floating LNG platform proposals have come and gone.
Now Woodside is headed for a 2019 final investment decision on — you guessed it — piping to the North West Shelf. The price has fallen from $US70 billion ($94 billion) to $US75 billion ($100 billion) for James Price Point to $US25 billion ($33 billion) to $US30 billion ($40 billion) for processing at the Karratha Gas Plant.
How could investors, the analyst asked, believe it could really happen this time?
“It’s a fair cop,” chief executive Peter Coleman said. “It’s something that we’re aware of and something we’re sensitive to. There’ll be a lot of people sitting here saying ‘Here we go again’. We need to be very darn sure about what we’re saying. I’ve been quite pointed in my conversations with the team. You’ve led us to the altar and have never delivered. You’ve run away on the wedding day.
“Browse still had a long way to go. We want to bring you along in the decision-making process. It’s not a given today.”
Mr Coleman said later that the FLNG option was not dead either for the partners of the Browse joint venture.
“FLNG is a fallback,” he said. “It’s not that we dislike FLNG. It’s just simply at this point in time a better use of capital (to pipe the gas).
“There’s a very, very low appetite among the CEOs of our partner companies to partake in large capital investments at this point in time.”
Woodside's Pluto LNG Plant.