Woodside have confirmed they are looking to develop their Browse LNG project with a floating gas processing operation.
Project operator Woodside told the ASX that itself and Shell had agreed to undertake a framework which would develop the Browse gas field through Shell’s FLNG technology.
"This agreement enables Woodside, as operator of the Browse LNG development, to strengthen our development and operational capabilities through the potential use of Shell's design one, build many FLNG technology," Woodside chief Peter Coleman said.
"It also provides the opportunity for Western Australia to become an industrial, operational and technology centre fro excellent for floating LNG worldwide."
Many tipped that Woodside would instead look to floating LNG technologies in offshore processing plants.
The company announced earlier this month that it was reviewing alternative Browse development options for its James Price Point project including floating LNG.
Located North of Broome in Western Australia, this project was planned to be larger then the North West Shelf which is currently Australia’s largest oil and gas development.
In a statement Woodside said the development concept no longer met the company’s commercial requirements for a positive final investment decision.
West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has previously slammed the use of FLNG.
"If the project is offshore, there's very few jobs for Australia, the whole structure will be built offshore, and indeed there'll be no gas coming onshore at all," he said.
"That'd be a disastrous result for Australia and Australia's natural resources."
Late last year, Shell Australia chair Ann Pickard touted FLNG as the saviour of LNG development in Australia.
"We do see it as probably the potential saviour of the Australian LNG industry over the next decade or so."
“Australian LNG is the highest cost globally,” she said, stating that countries like the United States and Canada could export to Japan 20 per cent cheaper.