July for Chinese LNG decision

Royal Dutch/Shell Group has told the market it expects a decision by the end of July on bids to supply three million tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas to China's first import terminal.

Shell has a one-sixth stake in Australia's North West Shelf venture, which is competing against Qatar and BP's Tangguh LNG project in Indonesia to supply China with LNG worth about $US600 million a year.

Director of Asia Pacific/Global LNG at Shell, Peter de Wit, said the company remained "hopeful" about winning a share of the contract to supply the terminal in southern Guangdong province. "The Chinese are very close to coming to a decision," said Mr de Wit.

BP is building the Guangdong terminal, of which it owns 30%. The rest is owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp, parent of China's dominant offshore oil producer CNOOC.