Wood­side full cir­cle on LNG Browse project

Pilbara News - - News - Peter Williams

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.”

Picture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Wood­side's Pluto LNG Plant.

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