State and Federal Government in opposition over FLNG future

WHILE giants BHP Billiton and ExxonMobil plan the world’s largest floating LNG (FLNG) project off the coast of WA, the State Government and Liberal-Nationals Federal coalition are at odds over the technology’s future.
The Abbott coalition Government has supported FLNG technology to hurry the development of the state’s sizeable gas fields, while WA Premier Colin Barnett favoured onshore processing to keep local jobs.
Mr Barnett told The West Australian that FLNG would be bad for the future of Australian industry.
“FLNG may be cheaper to build but it doesn’t bring the same level of long-term benefits to WA and Australia as an onshore site would,” he said.
“It would be a tragedy for Australians if all of these projects ended up as FLNG. No other country would allow that to occur.” One such project is Woodside’s $40 billion Browse gas venture, which would either utilise FLNG or set up onshore processing at James Price Point, pending environmental approval.
Shadow Resources minister Ian MacFarlane told The West Australian the coalition wanted the gas developed as quick as possible.
“The sooner there are jobs for Australians operating (Browse), the sooner there is PRRT (petroleum resource rent tax) income for the Federal Government,” he said.
“While I respect Colin’s (Barnett) position and hear what the unions are saying, if it is a choice between jobs in operating and ongoing maintenance of the facilities from bases in Australia, or no jobs for an onshore option at James Price Point, I know which option I am going to choose.”
Newly appointed Federal Resources minister Gary Gray also supported FLNG technology, telling The Australian it “brings a unique capability and solution to the development of offshore oil and gas resources”.
BHP Billiton and ExxonMobil were considering the development of the Scarborough gas field in the Carnarvon Basin 300km offshore WA; each holding a 50 per cent stake in the project.
The joint venture would target an annual output of 7 million tonnes of LNG, on a floating production vessel capable of processing 6mt to 7mt of LNG.
If the project reached fruition it would be twice the size of Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude FLNG project which processes 3.6mt per annum.
Operator ExxonMobil stated on its website it was “trying to find a commercial development of Scarborough as soon as possible”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>