Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Minister endorses EPA appeals process on JPP - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Minister endorses EPA appeals process on JPP - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Dinosaur tracks in gas plant's path "will go"
after 130 million years..."THEY WILL ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO GO"

WA Environment Minister confirms destruction of National Heritage listed dinosaur trackways by the proposed gas hub at James Price Point (transcript, ABC radio, Broome 30 Oct)...

Vanessa Mills, ABC Kimberley: But what about the footprints that will be damaged in construction of the precinct?

Bill Marmion, WA Environment Minister: "Well, they, they, that’s a...they will go. That, that, that’s, that was a determination by the EPA, and obviously that’s been, there were some proponents, sorry, appellants that, that obviously objected to that and that’s been dismissed".

Vanessa Mills, ABC Kimberley: So those footprints that are in the path of the precinct will actually have to be destroyed, there’s not going to be an effort to move them or protect them in any way?

Bill Marmion, WA Environment Minister: Well, I don’t know if, I don’t know if, if, if they can be moved, but I mean obviously that is something that could be considered, but where the, where the um site’s going, that’s, that’s unfortunately, that’s where some of the footprints are, so they will, they will, they will absolutely have to go.

How can this Barnett yes minister say this when these track sites are all Nationally Heritage Listed.

Conservation and local community groups reject Minister's decision on James Price Point Appeals

Conservation and Broome community groups have described as ‘pathetic and irresponsible’ Minister Marmion's decision on appeals against the EPA's assessment of the James Price Point gas hub.

Peter Robertson, WA State Coordinator for the Wilderness Society said, "All Environment Minister Marmion is doing by allowing the EPA's sham assessment to stand (with some additional conditions) is make it increasingly necessary for the Federal Environment Minister to reject the failed WA assessment and require substantial new studies to be conducted prior to any decision on Commonwealth approval.

“This is the perfect example of why the Federal government should not hand over approval powers to the states, because they can't be trusted.”

Martin Pritchard, Director of Environs Kimberley, said, "A record number of appeals were submitted against the EPA's report and recommendations, in response to which Minister Marmion appointed ex-deputy Chair of the EPA, Dr Roy Green, as the 'Appeals Committee' to assess the appeals.

“Let’s face it the State Environment Minister was never going to say that the proposal was environmentally unacceptable. He would have been committing political suicide if he did because the Premier, who is also the Minister for State Development, is the proponent for the project. This is purely a political decision, it’s not a decision based on science,” said Mr Pritchard.

In summary, conservation groups make the following points:
  • The Minister's acceptance of the need for more studies on the project's impacts on whales, dolphins, dugongs, turtles and sawfish simply proves that the EPA assessment was based on inadequate information and no approval should be considered until all these studies have been completed;
  • The growing number of 'strict conditions' proposed to be applied to the project won’t prevent its major, irreversible and unacceptable impacts and in fact only demonstrate that this is the wrong project in the wrong place;
  • There are now at least 29 major condition 'headings' with a total of over 160 separate conditions (a further ~17 have now been added to what the EPA proposed);
  • Dr Green told appellants during meetings that he could not recommend rejection of the EPA’s advice and call for a new, credible assessment, because to do so would be "futile - the Minister would ignore me";
  • This is significant as Dr Green also told appellants in meetings that if he lived in Broome he'd oppose the project too;
  • Conservation groups will ascertain how many of the 15 appeal grounds that were "allowed" by the Minister were appeals from Woodside or the Department of State Development seeking to weaken the original conditions."
Broome Community No Gas Campaign spokesperson Nik Wevers expressed concern that the social impacts of the project have again been ignored by this appeal process, despite the fact that they underpinned many of the appeals lodged.   


  1. Meanwhile over in East Africa,Anadarko is expecting to release the FEED contracts for both the offshore gathering and onshore processing for it's foundation 2 trains.They expect to build at least 6 and export 50 mtpa.

    Anadarko completed its four-well, initial appraisal program in the Golfinho/Atum complex offshore Mozambique. All four appraisal wells were successful, resulting in the partnership increasing the field’s estimated recoverable natural gas resources to a new range of 15 to 35 trillion cubic feet. In addition, the partnership completed its well-testing program in the Prosperidade complex with multiple tests at Lagosta-2. Each of three zones flowed at facility-constrained rates of around 100 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). Anadarko currently has two contracted drillships operating offshore Mozambique, with one conducting flow testing in the Golfinho/Atum complex and the other drilling the P?rola Negra (Black Pearl) prospect near the southern end of the Offshore Area 1 Block.

    “As a result of the exceptional drilling and testing results in Mozambique to date, we have identified the resources capable of supplying in excess of 50 million tonnes per annum of LNG (liquefied natural gas). In the coming weeks we expect to announce our FEED (Front-End Engineering and Design) contractors for both onshore processing and offshore gathering, which will focus on the foundation development of two trains,” said Walker. “We look forward to continuing to work with the government of Mozambique and our partners to advance one of the world’s most significant natural gas discoveries in the last 20 years, and one that is capable of enabling Mozambique to become one of the world’s largest exporters of LNG in future years.”


    The Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources has received more than 150 bids in the country’s second auction of shale-gas exploration rights. The future of shale-gas production in China will have an impact on LNG forecasts out to 2030.


    Gazprom into Asia.

    European demand for gas is expected to fall in the coming years meaning that Russia’s Gazprom must look for new customers if it doesn’t want to see its revenues fall. Asia is the perfect choice; Vladimir Putin has ordered Gazprom to forge close relations with China and Japan in order to take advantage of the fast growing demand that these two nations show for LNG exports.

    In order to access this part of the world, Gazprom has committed to spend more than $38 billion to develop its huge East Siberian gas field and build a pipeline to the Pacific port of Vladivostok.

    Putin has stated that the huge resources in Eastern Siberia, estimated to be in the region of 1.3 trillion cubic metres of gas, will allow Russia to “create another exporting centre oriented to Asia-Pacific region.”

    Alexei Miller, the chief executive of Gazprom, said that his company will invest 770 billion roubles ($24.5 billion) on the 3,200km pipeline from the East Siberian Chayanda natural gas field to the port at Vladivostok. An extra 430 billion roubles ($13.7 billion) would be used to develop the gas field itself.

    Gazprom, in conjunction with Japanese energy companies, will build a LNG plant in Vladivostok which is expected to be up and running by 2020 with a capacity of between 10 and 20 million tonnes a year. The natural gas will be converted into LNG here from where it will be shipped down to China and Japan.

  2. Well there's not much hand wringing and whinging going on there.Barnett may well lower his standards to third world governance,but all the corruption and incest isn't going to lower costs and increase profit margins for Woodside.In fact their rush to get the money looks like killing the beast chosen to get them there.Somewhat like ticks invading the host animal and killing it in their lust to feed on it's blood.

    Compare the attitude in the above articles to Coleman's - as outlined by Slugcatcher a few weeks back.

    Slugcatcher on different ways of seeing LNG's future

    Monday, 1 October 2012

    NO ONE doubts that construction costs in Australia’s resources sector are among the highest in the world, but Slugcatcher wonders whether some participants in the industry are making a meal of the problem while others are learning to manage it.

    Events last week threw a spotlight on the different attitudes. Chevron casually rolled out its plans to push ahead with an expansion of its yet to be completed Gorgon LNG project. Woodside expressed grave fears about the cost issue and hinted that it could mothball proposed new projects.

    It is possible that both companies were talking to a different audience, but there is also no doubt that they’re in the same business, in roughly the same location, and facing the same problems.

    So who’s right? Is the cost challenge as bad as that painted by Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman, or is Chevron playing down Australia’s high-cost environment to calm investor concern in its home country of the United States?

    On balance, the evidence points to Chevron having a better grip on the situation...


    Apart from Chevron’s optimism, expressed in a plan to push ahead with a $A10 billion expansion of Gorgon, there was the grim warning from Coleman that costs could derail Australia’s LNG boom because of falling profit margins.

    Coleman told The West Australian newspaper that: “Today is probably a period of time when the cost versus LNG price element, the margin, is as skinny as it has ever been, or at least for a long period of time, for new projects.”

    Apart from his tortuous language (he seems to be saying costs are high and profits are low), Coleman should declare that he speaks solely from Woodside’s experience of its newest project, Pluto, and that Pluto was developed well before it should have been, with insufficient gas reserves to justify its financially critical second and third stages.

    Trying to succeed with Pluto while it has just one train in production is tough. The project lacks the economies of scale essential in all LNG developments, and it will never achieve its potential until it is much bigger.

    Chevron, with its global view and deeper understanding of the oil and gas business, is prepared to live with Australia’s high cost structure and counter it by expanding its projects and lowering its marginal cost of production through increased LNG output.

    Woodside can’t do that, yet. It has failed to find the gas to justify Pluto stages 2 and 3, and faces the unpalatable prospect of buying third-party gas in order to achieve the economies of scale enjoyed by Chevron at its Gorgon project.

    Figuring out what to do with an undersized Pluto project is occupying a lot of thinking time at Woodside as it also battles with its leadership role in the trouble-prone Browse LNG development, and the politically mothballed Sunrise LNG proposal in the Timor Sea.

    It is those multiple factors of building Pluto before it was ready and uncertainty about Browse and Sunrise (or whether Woodside can afford them) which is heavily influencing Coleman’s view of the LNG world – a view not shared by his near-neighbour, Chevron.