Shell to build floating LNG plant for Browse Basin gas  

Posted by Big Gav in , , , , ,

The ABC reports that Shell is looking to process gas from the Browse Basin offshore - Shell to build floating LNG plant. Reuters has a more detailed story - Shell to deploy floating LNG plant off Australia, as does Bloomberg - Shell to Use World’s Biggest Ship at Australian Field .

The company plans to process gas from its Prelude and Concerto fields in the Browse Basin off the Kimberley coast using floating LNG technology.

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson says the technology will allow remote gas fields, which may otherwise have been not viable, to be unlocked. "Obviously historically we have had LNG hubs on the mainland. On this occasion it's a choice between having gas reserves stranded or looking at a new technology," he said.

Floating LNG may be a way of avoiding some of the competition for skilled labour onshore - Bloomberg has a report on constraints facing coal seam gas companies on the east coast - Queensland Gas Projects Face Labor Risks, Fitch Says.
A labor shortage is set to push up costs and drive consolidation among proposed coal-seam gas ventures in Australia’s Queensland state, a Fitch Ratings analyst said. ...

Projects that have secured large gas resources, such as the one proposed by ConocoPhillips and Origin Energy Ltd., are in the best position to fulfill their plans to convert gas from coal seams into liquefied natural gas, Madson said after his presentation. Confirmed resources are more significant than signing supply contracts, he said.

At least five proposed Queensland ventures, concentrated around the city of Gladstone, are intending to turn coal-seam gas into LNG for export to Asia, targeting increased demand for cleaner-burning alternatives to coal.

Of the approximately 17 liquefied natural gas projects he counts across Australia and Papua New Guinea, only six may ultimately survive and follow through on their plans. “There will be losers” among the companies intending natural-gas developments in Queensland and throughout Australia, he said.

The Australian reports that Conoco is looking to offload a lot of assets, thou it is unclear if Queensland LNG projects will be part of the sale - Conoco in $11bn asset sell-off in Qld and NT.
US OIL giant ConocoPhillips, which has liquefied natural gas export assets and prospects in Queensland, the Northern Territory and off the coast of Western Australia, plans to sell $US10 billion ($11bn) worth of assets and slash spending in the next two years in an effort to pay down a heavy debt burden.

The move marks a reversal in strategy for the Houston-based major, which has spent a lot on acquisitions in recent years, including the $7bn purchase of half of Origin Energy's Queensland coal-seam gas reserves and associated Gladstone LNG ambitions.

Conoco would not say if Australian assets would be put up for sale, but it remained committed to its Queensland LNG plans.

The Business Spectator has more - The Origin of Conoco's stress.
ConocoPhillips’ announcement that it plans to sell $US10 billion of assets over the next two years has sparked immediate speculation over the future of its share of the Australian Pacific LNG joint venture with Origin Energy.

It is unclear at this point which assets ConocoPhillips is contemplating selling as part of a program to reduce its $US30.4 billion of borrowings, a plan that also includes cuts to capital spending. However, the fact that it has announced itself as a seller of assets could have implications of the shape of the emerging Queensland coal seam gas-fed export LNG sector. ...

The need to sell assets flows from the late 2005 acquisition of gas producer Burlington Resources for $US35.6 billion even as gas price were hitting record levels, which loaded ConocoPhillips up with debt. While its earnings tumble, its cash reserves are also dwindling – it has less than $US1 billion of cash in a sector where the big oil companies traditionally have hoards of cash.


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