Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bilbies won't delay Browse LNG: Woodside

"We don't expect there to be any undue delay in pursuing ... those approval processes," Mr Coleman told a teleconference on Wednesday.

"Good science and appropriate science, and consultation with community and others, drives our decision processes.

"We are sensitive to it. We're going to take our time to do it right."

Woodside and joint venture partners plan to reach a final investment decision (FID) on Browse by mid-2012.

Mr Coleman said geotechnical survey work had been delayed by weather and other factors - no doubt referring to recent protests and blockades that prevented contractors from reaching the site for several days.

"But we're catching up very quickly and it's essential to our FID process," he said.Bilbies won't delay Browse LNG: Woodside

The following was released by the rating agency

MELBOURNE (Standard & Poor's) Aug. 17, 2011--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings and outlook on Australia-based Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (BBB+/Negative/A-2) were not immediately affected by the company's record cash flows for the six months to June 30, 2011. Although Woodside's bumper first-half cash flows and retention of the fully underwritten dividend reinvestment plan have helped mitigate downward credit pressure, we retain the negative rating outlook. Reported cash flows for the six months to June 30, 2011 of US$1,391 million, compared with US$1,007 million in the first half of 2010, largely reflected high global oil prices. The negative outlook, assigned in June 2011, reflects our view of the commissioning risks associated with the Pluto foundation project. Further cost overruns and project delays had reduced the buffer in the rating in light of inherent volatility in oil prices and exchange rate. Furthermore, the project delay means that the time gap between completing Pluto and Woodside's next investment project is likely to be shorter, reducing the time to establish a sustained improvement in the company's cash-flow-protection metrics.

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