First gas production leads to share price spike

THE $14.9 billion Pluto LNG project near Karratha, WA has commenced production. Annually, the Woodside operation is expected to produce 4.3 million tonnes of LNG and will soon load its first cargo for export on the Woodside Donaldson tanker.
The project was approved for development in July 2007 and processes gas from the Pluto gas fi eld in the Carnarvon Basin.
Gas is piped through a 180km trunkline from the offshore platform to the 200 hectare onshore facilities which include an LNG processing train. Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said the first production of LNG from Pluto was an important moment for the company. “Pluto cements Woodside’s position as a major supplier of LNG to the Asia-Pacific region and builds on our position as a global leader in upstream oil and gas,” Mr Coleman said.
“Execution of the Pluto LNG project, from discovery of the gas fi eld in 2005 to first LNG in 2012, demonstrates Woodside’s significant offshore and onshore capabilities.”
Pluto is expected to contribute between 17 million and 21 million barrels of oil equivalent to Woodside’s 2012 production and an average of 37mmboe annually thereafter.
Woodside produced 64.6mmboe last year and is expected to produce between 73mmboe and 81mmboe this year, Pluto output included.
The Pluto LNG project is a joint venture between Woodside Burrup (90 per cent), Tokyo Gas Pluto (5 per cent) and Kansai Electric Power Australia (5 per cent). According to Woodside, the project created 15,000 jobs in Australia during construction and delivered more than $7.6 billion in local investment. Shares in Woodside jumped $0.53 (1.54 per cent) to $34.96 on April 30: the day of the announcement.


By Courtney Pearson

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