LNG (LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS)

Woodside gets train back on track

THE North West Shelf’s fourth LNG processing train is fully repaired and has resumed production after being shut down on August 28, operator Woodside Energy announced yesterday.

Woodside gets train back on track

The restart of the recently built $2 billion LNG4 train at the Karratha gas plant in Western Australia followed repairs to the processing unit’s mixed refrigeration compressor. These took 38 days to repair.

Reports in mid-September speculated that the repairs would probably cost the joint venture about A$300 million in deferred revenue, or A$50 million for each one-sixth partner.

But the revenue and profit lost would be made up in future, so the joint venture's top priority was preserving the North West Shelf's history as a reliable supplier, Woodside claimed.

Since 1989, more than 1900 LNG cargoes have been delivered on time. But having the fourth train offline for more than five weeks has produced a production shortfall equivalent to about nine cargoes.

NWS customers in Japan and Korea agreed to take smaller cargoes or defer scheduled deliveries providing the shortfall was made up in the near future.

With a fifth train now planned to come onstream in 2008, the NWS project is trying to attract new customers across the world with marketing emphasis on its reliability as a supplier.

The equal one-sixth partners in the LNG export phase of the NWS project are Woodside (operator), BHP, BP, Chevron, Shell and Mitsubishi/Mitsui.

The other three trains were not been affected by the shutdown of Train 4, which started production last August to help meet the partners' $25 billion contract to supply gas to China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC).

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