Saturday, November 10, 2012


The federal government is set to hand over its responsibilities for environmental assessments to the states and strengthen the use of the strategic assessment process to move away from individual project assessments. These issues will be discussed and probably enacted at the COAG meeting in December.

If this transition takes place under the Barnett government and they win the state election in 
March, this will be a disaster for environmental protection in Western Australia.This may also enable Tony Burke to step away from his responsibilities to assess the JPP development.

The next Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting will be held in Canberra on 7 December 2012.

The information was extracted from the Energy white paper released this week,

but moves to hand over approvals from the Feds to the States has been on the drawing board for some time.  Our concerns in the first instance were raised when the Commonwealth Govt and the Barnett Govt signed a bilateral agreement for the state to proceed with the JPP environmental assessment and the issue has arisen a number of times since then and was discussed at the last CAOG meeting.  It's essential that the Commonwealth Government retain their function to assess major developments in sensitive areas around Australia as this is the only check and balance against rogue pro-development state governments.

Environmental Assessment and Approval Processes
This reform is now operational, as assessed by the COAG Reform Council in its 2009-10 report on jurisdictions’ performance against SNE NP milestones.
Environmental assessment and approval processes have been streamlined by implementing:
  • bilateral assessment agreements between the Commonwealth and each of the State and Territories to provide for a single environmental assessment process of developments which would otherwise require the assessment of both the Commonwealth and the relevant State or Territory; and
  • strategic assessments which allow for large-scale complex projects with multiple natures to be assessed once rather on a case by case basis.
Bilateral assessment agreements and strategic assessments are now being used by jurisdictions to speed up assessments. Strategic assessments have been used for Commonwealth-managed fisheries and State and Territory land-use planning in growth areas such as Western Sydney.
In the past Gillard has spoken about the dangers of surrendering decision- making authority over to the states

Gillard's changed stance on oversight:
It was a signature moment for the young MP. Through the fight, she became convinced of the importance of stronger Commonwealth involvement in decisions on major projects with potentially irreversible community and environmental impacts.

In Federal Parliament, she launched an impassioned critique of politicians who wanted to surrender decision-making authority to the states, even over things like the toxic waste dump.

She criticised the Democrats in particular for doing ''a dirty deal with the Coalition to ensure that the Commonwealth government washes its hands of protecting Ramsar wetlands and hands the whole thing … back to the states''.

What is the Energy White Paper?
The Energy White Paper 2012, Australia's energy transformation, sets out a strategic policy framework to address the challenges in our energy sector and position Australia for a long term transformation in the way we produce and use energy.



  1. While I agree that the site at James Price Point is not suitable for the worlds biggest most polluting gas factory,I am becoming increasingly concerned with the effect all of this wild weather will have on our coast.

    Hurricane Sandy has proven to be far worse than even the worst forcasts.

    "ABOUT 100,000 homes and businesses in New York City and Long Island were so damaged by hurricane Sandy that restoring power to some of them may take months, the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has said."

    "Sandy slammed the East Coast with winds of almost 160km/h and a tidal surge more than four metres above normal.

    The October 29 storm displaced thousands of people, crippled mass transit, knocked out power to more than 8.5 million customers in 21 states and killed more than 100 in the US, including 42 in New York City."

    Could you imagine that hitting Broome or Derby or James Price Point?

    The towns would have to relocate and God knows what would be left of our coast.

    1. The cost of opening up the Northern Sea Route is killing them already.

  2. But, hey do not mention climate change, it was just a big storm.

    1. Think the record ice melt followed by Sandy got their attention.

      The last two years of mad weather has hit them hard.

      All except Rex "the Tillerman" Tillerson of course!

    2. Climate change - what climate change?

      Nothing going on around here.

      STATOIL has dispatched the first LNG tanker to deliver North Sea gas from Norway to Japan via the Arctic Sea.

      The Barents Observer reports that the tanker Ob River was loaded with LNG at Statoil’s Hammerfest gas plant on Norway’s north coast.

      The paper says sailing to Japan via the northern sea route takes about half as long as the traditional Suez Canal route.

      Ob River, which has a capacity of about 64,000 tonnes of LNG, was built in 2007 and is one of very few tankers with an ice-classed hull, the Barents Observer says.

      The journey is not the Ob River’s first along the northern sea route. Russian gas giant Gazprom chartered the vessel for a trial voyage last month.

      The tanker was escorted for part of its journey by a Russian nuclear-powered ice breaker.

      Gazprom marketing director Nikolai Grigoryev said at the time the company was preparing for possible LNG cargo shipment in the Russian Arctic.

      “Among the challenges of this trial voyage by the Ob River carrier was collection of data and verification of technical and commercial availability of the northern sea route for international LNG trade,” he said.

      “The results of the voyage will be extremely important for the entire LNG industry as well as for the northern sea route development, that’s why we are proud that Gazprom is the leader of this strategic project.”

  3. Barnett battles Shell Browse plan

    by: Andrew Burrell
    From:The Australian
    November 12, 201212:00AM

    WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett is threatening to campaign against Royal Dutch Shell's mounting push to develop the $40 billion Browse project using radical floating liquefied natural gas technology, arguing the move will cost thousands of construction jobs and set a dangerous precedent.

    The Anglo-Dutch giant's preference for the Woodside Petroleum-operated Browse project to use FLNG could end the environmental controversy over the use of James Price Point, 60km north of the Kimberley town of Broome, as the site for a major processing plant. But Kimberley Aborigines would lose access to a $1.5bn benefits package if their land at James Price Point was not needed for the project .

    1. "But Kimberley Aborigines would lose access to a $1.5bn benefits package if their land at James Price Point was not needed for the project ."

      The fact that this need not be so still needs repeating obviously.

    2. Don't like his chances with this going on,FLNG gives them confidence that blowouts will not happen.These giant gas plants are terrible,no confidence at all.

      The cost of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Papua New Guinea part-owned by Santos and Oil Search has increased by $US3.3 billion ($A3.18 billion) to $US19 billion ($A18.34 billion).

      The PNG LNG project, the country's largest resources project, is being operated by Esso Highlands Limited, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Oil Search has a 29 per stake partner.


      "The increase in the estimated final costs of the project is disappointing," Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said in a statement.

      "The extent of the change is considerably beyond the upper end of what might have been expected from cash drawdowns and project progress to date.

      "In addition, the estimated foreign exchange impacts and the amount allowed for additional contingency is higher than we would have anticipated.

      "Oil Search intends to fully review the revised estimates and is committed to working with the operator to seek to mitigate these estimated cost increases."

    3. ouch! $2.40 mBtu !! AND THAT'S BREAK EVEN !!!

      Friday, 09 November 2012

      The Montney shale-gas plays in Western Canada are the most attractive feed-gas resources for Canadian LNG development and exports to Asia, with breakeven costs as low as US$2.40 per million British thermal units, according to a new report.


      Barnett trying to stop FLNG is the modern version of King Canute turning back the tide.
      He's off his rocker.

    4. With growing interests in green energy and increasing demand for natural gas after Japanese nuclear plant accident, demand for small-and-medium offshore gas field development soared, which caused fierce competition for LNG-FPSO (FLNG) orders.
      Since South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries inked the order for world's first and largest FLNG in 2010, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering recently contracted its first FLNG, as well. Hyundai HI completed development of its own 2.5-mtpa FLNG model and aims to bag deals for two units in the second half of this year.
      Particularly, sources said that energy majors are recently visiting Korean Big3 shipyards. ExxonMobil of the US is looking at a unit which would be similar size to Shell's large-size LNG-FPSO (3.6 mtpa) and made a several visits to potential builders in Korea.
      Also, ConocoPhillips, which has been working on its FLNG plans for a number of years, is also understood to have had successive visits to Big3 and push ahead with ordering.
      Besides, Total of France has finalized a generic design for a membrane LNG-FPSO, which produces one million to 3.7 million tonnes per annum LNG/LPG. Also, Norwegian Statoil is proceeding two projects that could be developed with FLNG and Australia’s Woodside is known to gas field development with using FLNG, as well.
      Hoegh LNG of Norway signed an agreement to work with Thailand’s PTTEP on a study for an Australian Cash-Maple FLNG last month and it comes up against SBM-Linde JV on a front-end engineering and design (FEED) order. Sources said that Hoegh or SBM is expected to hook up with one of Big3 and organize a consortium to build FLNG.
      As for the US' first FLNG project, promoted by Excelerate Energy, Samsung HI and Black & Veatch are doing a site-specific FEED work for 3-4 mtpa FLNG unit, scheduled to be completed by the end of November 2012. Another US' energy giant Sempra Energy is considering to introduce 3.5 mtpa barge-based FLNG at Port Arthur site on the US Gulf coast.
      Malaysian state energy company Petronas officially signed an EPCIC contract for 1.2-mtpa unit with Daewoo-Technip consortium early this month and announced two companies for its second 1.5-mtpa FLNG FEED bid, which is planned to be finalized in around June 2013. Big3 and Japanese companies' consortiums are participating for the bid.
      Also, Ichthys gas field development project, led by Japan's Inpex, which had awarded orders for a central processing facility and FPSO at Samsung and Daewoo each, is understood to be reviewing ordering FLNG.
      Daewoo, in particular, is expected to win orders from Israeli Tamar FLNG and Papua New Guinea FLNG projects from late 2012 to early 2013 and gain gas field operation and sales profit as well.

    5. Woodside recently farmed in on an offshore Myanmar block with Daewoo.