Woodside looks at Shell floating LNG technology

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has made an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to investigate the possibility of using Shell’s floating LNG (FLNG) technology for the Browse LNG project offshore Western Australia.

The agreement sets out the key principles that would apply in the project was developed using an FLNG vessel. It also provides a framework for the Browse joint venture to go down the FLNG route as a development concept.

Woodside will now discuss this and other development concepts with other Browse partners PetroChina and Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty. Ltd.

A pipeline to the Burrup Peninsula is another option as is a smaller-than-first conceived land-based LNG plant at James Price Point in Kimberley. However the agreement with Shell points strongly to FLNG with Woodside managing director Peter Coleman saying he is enthusiastic about this technology.

Early last month, Woodside caused a stir by pulling the pin on the original version of James Price Point LNG plant, saying a development switch would provide significant savings (OGJ Online, Apr. 12, 2013). The James Price Point option as it stood was too expensive for Browse LNG.

Not surprisingly Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett was less than pleased. He said FLNG was technology that had yet to be built and yet to be tried anywhere in the world, let alone the cyclone zone off the Kimberley coast.

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