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Woodside, Chevron, Browse Gas Partners Given Deadline


By Ben Sharples

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) — Woodside Petroleum Ltd. and its partners in the A$28 billion ($26 billion) Browse liquefied natural gas project have been given a 120-day deadline by Australia to agree on a development concept for the venture.

Nine leases covering the Browse fields will be renewed, provided the partners, which include Chevron Corp. and BP Plc, agree on how to progress with the venture off northwestern Australia, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson and the state’s Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said today.

“We are committed to ensuring that Australia’s offshore petroleum resources are commercially developed at the earliest possible time,” Ferguson said in a statement. The partners must work toward a final investment decision for Browse, he said.

Woodside, operator of the venture, wants to liquefy the gas at a new hub in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and “believes Browse is ready to go,” Chief Executive Officer Don Voelte said on Nov. 24. The partners are also considering piping the gas about 1,000 kilometers (622 miles) south to existing processing facilities at Karratha.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s biggest oil company and a partner in Browse, said Nov. 26 it is still considering the development options and a decision “cannot be rushed.” BHP Billiton Ltd. is also a partner in the venture.

In a separate ruling, the ministers said the Woodside- operated North West Shelf LNG venture has 12 months to apply for a production license for the Dixon lease after a decision not to renew the permit any further. Roger Martin, a spokesman for Woodside, declined to comment on the rulings.

LNG is gas chilled to liquid form for shipment to destinations not connected by pipeline. On arrival, it is converted back to gas and piped to customers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sharples in Melbourne at [email protected]

Last Updated: December 2, 2009 01:06 EST and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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