Woodside looks to restart Browse LNG

Woodside is looking to recommence their abandoned Browse LNG project after it was halted in March.

It follows their decision to scrap the James Price Point gas plant project which sought to enable gas from the Browse Basin to be processed off the north-west coast, and would have been larger than Australia’s current largest oil and gas development, the North West Shelf.

The company is looking at a number of solutions for restarting Browse including updated floating plant technology and a previously rejected technique of piping gas to the Shelf’s Karratha plant, The West reports.

At the time of its scrapping, Western Australian premier Colin Barnett criticised Woodside’s decision to pursue floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG), claiming it would lead to fewer jobs, increased safety risks, and a loss in investment opportunities in the state.

“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.”

CEO Peter Coleman said their six to seven ideas will be cut down to two by the year’s end, adding that any new method would need to keep costs below $40 per barrel of oil equivalent; operational costs at James Price Point would have been more than $70 a barrel under previous plans.

The current options being investigated have decreased the cost base by up to 25 per cent.

Technology that allows greater product capacity has revived interest in FLNG. While Woodside holds 30.6 per cent of the Browse joint venture, Shell holds 27 per cent, with Coleman saying Shell has not disclosed their latest FLNG technology.

“They’ll let you see their IP when they’re ready,” he said.

He also added that they were under no pressure to develop Browse.

“Browse will get developed when it should get developed in the size it needs to get developed. We’ll move it forward as soon as we can.”

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