ExxonMobil insists a floating liquefied natural gas processor is the preferred way to develop the big Scarborough offshore gas project in Western Australia, despite its partner BHP Billiton talking up an alternative model.
ExxonMobil has approval from the government to develop the project using a floating processor, but that did not stop BHP's petroleum chief Tim Cutt suggesting last month that connection to an existing gas processing plant may be preferable. ''Developed capacity … is typically a more cost-effective and value-accretive way to go,'' Mr Cutt said.
The North West Shelf, which is partly owned by BHP, looms as the logical place to process Scarborough gas if the floating option is abandoned, given its proximity and the fact gas production at the shelf will soon plateau.
Royal Dutch Shell has ruled out any commitment this year to the development of its Arrow liquefied natural gas venture in Queensland and signalled a more rigorous approach to other new projects in Australia, where it is also considering big asset sales. ...
Speaking after Shell reported a 70 per cent slump in fourth-quarter profit, the company's new global head named the $20-billion-plus Arrow LNG venture with PetroChina among the next potential wave of LNG investments for the oil giant, alongside the Browse floating venture and others. But he said Shell had deferred the project, deterred by ''the economics and inflation risks''. The delay is the second for the struggling Arrow venture, where at least 250 jobs were cut in January.
Speculation is increasing that Shell and PetroChina will sell their gas to one of the three LNG plants being built in Queensland, either for an expansion, or to supplement initial inadequate supplies.