LNG (LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS)

Woodside may pipe Browse gas to Burrup: Voelte

WOODSIDE Petroleum may ditch a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas plant on the environmentally sensitive Scott Reef, in the Browse Basin, in favour of piping the gas 900 kilometres to the Burrup Peninsular.

Woodside may pipe Browse gas to Burrup: Voelte

In a presentation to Sydney investors, chief executive Don Voelte said Woodside was still considering at least four development options for Browse, one of which included building a $100 million pipeline from the northwest fields to the Burrup.

Analysts have told the Dow Jones newswires that this option could add $A1.5 billion to the cost of the project.

Woodside was understood to be leaning towards building an offshore LNG plant on the Scott Reef, at the site of the Browse gas resource, but the proposal has come under fire from environmentalists claiming the development would put the eco-system under too much stress.

Piping the gas to the Burrup, which is home to the North West Shelf and proposed Pluto LNG projects, would “minimise the need for infrastructure development in the Browse area, reducing environmental or cultural sensitivities,” Voelte said.

A lobby group that opposes plans to build gas plants on the Kimberley coastline has welcomed the proposal.

The group, Cultural, Heritage and Environmental Advocacy for the Kimberley (CHEAK), told ABC News that it was a sign Woodside had taken heed of its concerns.

Voelte said the gas could be processed at either the NWS or Pluto plant, as part of an effort to turn the Burrup region into an LNG hub.

He said creating a hub would require cooperation between numerous parties but could fast track the development of other gas resources in the region.

The Browse project, with an estimated resource of 20 trillion cubic feet of gas, is a joint venture between operator Woodside, BP, BHP Billiton, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell.

Woodside is targeting first gas sales from Browse in 2013 or 2014.

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