Sunday, December 18, 2011

Woodside May Delay Browse Project Investment Decision to 2013

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-largest oil and natural gas producer, may delay an investment decision on the planned Browse liquefied natural gas venture by at least six months to 2013.

The venture partners plan to seek approval from the Western Australian government to extend the decision deadline to the first half of 2013 from mid-2012, the Perth-based company said today in a statement.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Coleman, who took control of Woodside in May, aims to develop an estimated A$75 billion ($75 billion) in LNG projects with partners including Chevron Corp. The Browse project may cost about A$38 billion to build, according to Deutsche Bank AG.

“The variation would allow time to better evaluate the outcomes of front-end engineering and design work and the results of the tender processes for the development’s major contracts,” Woodside said.
Woodside shares fell 3 percent to A$30.35 at 10:45 a.m. in Sydney. They’ve dropped 24 percent in the past six months
The partners in Browse are Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and BHP Billiton Ltd. The companies two years ago accepted a government deadline for developing the Browse project and in return were allowed to keep nine leases covering the Browse fields.
The partners are in talks on the final nature of the planned request for amendments to the Browse leases, Woodside said.

--Editors: Keith Gosman, Aaron Sheldrick
To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at

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