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Woodside Mothballs Major Browse LNG Development

2013-04-13

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has decided not to move ahead with the proposed Browse LNG onshore development at James Price Point in the north-west of Western Australia.

The Perth-based company, which is operator and owns a 31.3-percent interest in the joint venture project, explained that it was "determined that the development concept does not meet the company's commercial requirements for a positive final investment decision".

Woodside added it would review all alternative ideas with its Browse project joint venture partners, which include Royal Dutch Shell plc, BP plc, BHP Billiton Ltd. and Japan Australia LNG.

The leading Australian oil and gas company, which had previously estimated the 12 million tonne per annum development could cost in excess of $42.2 billion (AUD $40 billion), has already earmarked possible alternatives for Browse.

These include floating technologies, a pipeline to existing LNG facilities in the Pilbara region of WA or a smaller onshore option at the proposed Browse LNG precinct near James Price Point.

In an interview with analysts at Company Insight, Peter Coleman, chief executive officer at Woodside, said that the escalating cost environment in Australia had been a factor in the decision.