As LNG grows in prominence around the world most sizeable producers are attempting to crack the lucrative US market, which plans to increase its dependence on liquefied gas from 1.5% of energy consumption to around 25% in the next 10-20 years.
BP is already expected to sign an agreement next week to sell some 3 million tons per year of LNG to U.S.-based Sempra Energy from its Tangguh gas field project in Papua province.
If realised, the deal with Sempra will give a significant boost to BP's Tangguh project, which will have an installed capacity of seven million tons of LNG per year. But thus far, the project has only secured a contract to supply 2.6 million tons per year to China's Fujian project, starting from 2007.
ChevronTexaco may get a jump on other producers competing in the lucrative US market after receiving final approval to build a large offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Gulf of Mexico.
The company plans to locate the $800 million terminal about 40 miles off the shores of Louisiana and is currently seeking approval from the Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation in order to begin construction by 2004.
BHP is also seeking approval to build a billion dollar floating terminal off the US West Coast in order to tap into the rich Californian market.
Consequently WA is hoping for a good show at the Washington summit which will bring together Ministers from 24 countries and has been urgently convened by US Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham to identify solutions to the growing energy needs of the United States.
Brown said his participation in the summit would add momentum to a growing campaign to secure WA as a principal supplier of clean energy to the world's largest energy market.
"My participation in the LNG Ministerial Summit will build upon the work of the Premier and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy in the United States earlier this month, where they brought WA's world-class gas reserves to the attention of key US decision-makers."