Woodside Petroleum (WPL) is eyeing a mid-2015 final investment decision for its plans to construct a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project for its Browse gas fields off Western Australia, according to The Australian Financial Review.
Earlier this week, Woodside said it had eliminated all onshore processing options for the gas fields, despite pressure from WA premier Colin Barnett to pursue onshore processing to secure more jobs and investment for the state.
Speaking to investors after announcing a 7.5% increase in first-half profits to $US873 million, Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman outlined plans for three floating LNG ships to be placed offshore.
Reports have suggested an alternative that would have seen a large onshore plant constructed at James Price Point on the Kimberley coast would have cost far more than the initially estimated $45 billion, with the cost estimate running as high as $90 billion.
The AFR reported that some estimates suggest the offshore option could be built with a budget in the $40 billion range.
Mr Coleman told investors Woodside is planning to make a final decision in mid-2015, which would have the first vessel potentially starting output sometime in 2018, the AFR added.