Woodside warned on Browse project

Oil and gas giant Woodside has again been warned by the West Australian government that it will not be given free rein over how it develops the Browse gas project.

Oil and gas giant Woodside has again been warned by the West Australian government that it will not be given free rein over how it develops the Browse gas project.

After millions of dollars' worth of preliminary work, Woodside this year opted to commit to floating LNG for the Browse project, off the north-west coast of WA, after rejecting a land-based option favoured by the government because of inadequate economic returns.

Giving evidence to a state government committee, Rob Cole, Woodside's executive vice-president of corporate and commercial, said it was too early to quantify the sort of work WA companies would be offered in the project. But Premier Colin Barnett said when Woodside made its decision on how it would proceed, it would still have to agree to state government conditions.

Mr Barnett has previously said WA owned 15 per cent of the gas but on Wednesday put it as high as 20 per cent.

"In our estimation, 15 per cent of the gas belongs to WA and we will use that leverage to either get a supply base and hopefully also to get domestic gas into the WA economy," Mr Barnett said.

"Every country around the world places conditions on the development of their natural resources. This is not entirely up to Woodside - they do not, to this day, own that gas. It is owned 80 per cent by the Commonwealth and 20 per cent by the states. We will have a say in how it is developed."

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