While coal seam gas operators on the east coast are finding resistance growing from farmers wanting to protect their land, The Australian reports that Woodside is hitting headwinds on the west coast as well, with labour costs for their Pluto natural gas project rising rapidly - Pluto delayed as costs soar: Woodside.
The company's new $14 billion cost estimate is $900m to $1.3bn higher than its November estimate last year of $12.7bn to $13.1bn. ...
Tapping fields containing 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Pluto is Woodside's most important development project.
Related sales to Asian utilities stand to boost its revenue considerably and it is one of few LNG developments to come on line globally in 2011.
Construction of Pluto has been delayed by industrial action from construction workers over their accommodation arrangements and crane drivers over pay, as Australia's resource-driven economy continues its robust growth.
Woodside in November hiked its cost estimate for Pluto by 6 per cent to 10 per cent after experiencing a shortage of skilled workers.
The company today stuck to its 2010 annual production forecast of 70 million-75 million barrels of oil equivalent, adding production is expected in the middle of that range.
Production in 2011 is expected at 63 million-66 million BOE plus 5 million-9 million BOE from Pluto, creating a wide target of 68 million-75 million BOE.