Government backs Browse lease

govWA Mines minister Bill Marmion will champion legislation to prevent Woodside losing its retention lease in the Browse Basin.
The legislation will be taken to the WA Cabinet following a recent revision of state and federal boundaries, which saw the WA Government secure more than 50 per cent of the Torosoa gas field – the biggest of the three fields in the Browse project.

Mr Marmion told the ABC he would ensure the joint venture would not have to reapply for the lease when it came up for renewal in December.

“We don’t want that to happen, so we’re putting legislation in place to make sure the transfer over of the Commonwealth lease to the state lease remains with the current joint venture partners,” he said.

“We have the best legal brains working at what legislation we need to make sure there’s an easy transfer from the Commonwealth leases to the state leases.

“We want to make sure our sovereign risk isn’t jeopardised with all the work that Woodside has done and the joint venture partners in that area.”

The Browse floating LNG project is a joint venture between operator Woodside and Shell, BP, Japan Australia LNG and PetroChina International, which has so far spent more than $2 billion developing the project.

The project will process gas from the Torosa, Brecknock and Calliance fields in the Browse Basin 425km north of Broome. The fields are estimated to contain about 14.9 trillion cubic feet of dry gas and 441.2 million barrels of condensate.

The joint venture is targeting a final investment decision in the second half of next year.