Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Browse never a good fit for BHP

Browse never a good fit for BHP:

Then there is the sensitive matter of public perceptions: the Browse project hits just about every controversy button, from the dinosaur footprints, to indigenous rights issues, to whales to the industrialisation of a region strongly reliant on tourism.

Preventing development at James Price Point has become one of those rare environmental causes - like Tasmania's Pulp Mill - to be adopted by people across the nation.

If Mr Kloppers needed any reminder of that, seeing John Butler sing songs of protest outside his office in Melbourne would have been a stark reminder.

Public perceptions in Australia matter more to BHP than they do to PetroChina.

And so the operator of the project, Woodside Petroleum, ploughs on through evaluation work with an increasingly international set of joint venture partners.


  1. The crazy world of energy.

    US oil giant ExxonMobil said Thursday its first quarter earnings plunged a steeper-than-expected 58 percent from the same period last year to 4.55 billion dollars amid global economic contraction.

    Its earnings per share during the January-March period dropped 54 percent to 92 cents per share, lower than 95 cents expected by most analysts.

    But company chairman Rex Tillerson expressed satisfaction with the earnings considering the rapid economic slowdown across the globe that has pulled down oil and other commodity prices, and vowed to maintained its long term plans to develop new energy supplies.


    Dec 11 (LNGJ) - The Alaskan state government will finance a small-scale liquefaction project to the tune of $355 million on the North Slope to support an LNG trucking operation, regasification facilities and natural gas distribution around Fairbanks in Alaska.
    Dec 11 (LNGJ) - PTT Exploration and Production of Thailand, the newest upstream LNG player, is selling $3 billion worth of shares to fund expansion, including its future investments in the Mozambique LNG project being developed by Anadarko Petroleum of the US. The Thai company acquired its 8.5 percent stake in Anadarko's LNG project for $2.2Bln when it trumped Shell in a takeover battle for Cove Energy of the UK. Cove was owner of the smallest share of the Mozambique licence operated by Anadarko in the Rovuma Basin offshore Mozambique.
    Dec 12 (LNGJ) - Peru LNG has loaded a cargo on board the 153,000 cubic metres capacity carrier "STX Frontier" and destined for Japan. One earlier December cargo was sent to the Manzanillo import terminal in Mexico, according to data from PeruPetro.
    Dec 12 (LNGJ) - Eni Chief Executive Paulo Scaroni and the President of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, held talks in the Mozambican capital, Maputo, centred on the Italian energy company's planned LNG project in the southeast African nation. "Among the issues discussed were the future monetization of the gas resources via development of LNG export facilities, and the supply of gas for domestic power generation," Eni said.
    Dec 12 (LNGJ) - The Angola LNG production plant in southwest Africa is now scheduled to ship commercial cargoes from the first quarter of 2013 after technical delays. The majority shareholders are Chevron and state energy company Sonangol, while Total, BP and Italy's Eni also hold stakes
    Ophir Energy Chief Executive Nick Cooper said the appraisal programme for the UK explorer's Jodari natural gas field offshore Tanzania underlined its potential to anchor the East African nation's first multi-Train LNG development.
    Milford Haven Port Authority, host to two of the UK's LNG import terminals, said its cargo throughput was significantly lower during 2012 as a direct consequence of significantly lower volumes of LNG entering the country and such conditions were likely to prevail for at least the next two years.

  2. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell discussed the possible export of natural gas from Alaska to Asia during a Dec. 10 meeting in Juneau with Korea Gas Corp.’s Chief Executive Kangsoo Choo. Parnell said he has scheduled meetings with other potential buyers of Alaska gas.

    A consortium of energy companies plans to build a $45 billion pipeline to move gas from Alaska's North Slope via the proposed Alaska Pipeline Project to a port on the southern coast, where gas would be processed at a proposed liquefaction plant and sent to Asia via LNG vessels.

    ExxonMobil Corp., ConocoPhillips, BP PLC, and TransCanada Corp. have been in communication with Parnell’s office about their plans. The companies say they are working within a framework set out by the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.

    Parnell considers getting Alaska's gas produced and sent to markets as one of the state’s top priorities.

    “These efforts are critical because an Alaska project must compete with other large-scale LNG projects under development around the world,” the governor said.


    Natural gas appears likely to supplant coal as the world’s second biggest energy source—after crude oil—by 2025, ExxonMobil Corp. said as it released its 2013 Energy Outlook. Demand for gas will grow by about 65% through 2040, with 20% of worldwide production occurring in North America, supported by growing supplies from shale and other unconventional sources, it said.

    “Today, the world consumes some 25 times the energy it used 200 years ago,” William M. Colton, ExxonMobil’s vice-president of corporate strategic planning, said as he presented the forecast at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Dec. 11.

    “It took over 100 years from the first oil well’s discovery until oil became the world’s No. 1 energy source,” he continued. “Natural gas is poised to surge as modern renewables also grow.”

    The report also predicted that North America will change to a net energy exporter from an importer by 2025. It said that more than half of the growth in unconventional gas supplies will take place in North America, providing a foundation for strong US economic growth with solid contributions from the energy, chemical, steel, and manufacturing industries.

    Electricity demand will account for more than half the global energy demand increase over the next few decades, with gas, nuclear, and renewable energy meeting more power generation demand as coal and oil meet less, according to ExxonMobil’s 2013 outlook.


    The deal has yet to be finalized through the regulatory authorities. In addition other members of the JV—Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC, Mitsubishi, Mitsui, and Woodside Petroleum—do have a period of time to decide whether they will match the PetroChina offer through preemptive rights.

    In August, Shell increased its interest in the Browse JV by exchanging its 33% interests in North West Shelf permits WA-20-P and WA-42-R with Chevron Corp.’s 16.7% and 20% interests in the Browse permits. It remains to be seen whether Shell will be interested in an additional stake.

    Shell is known to be keen on using floating LNG (FLNG) technology to develop the Browse fields as opposed to a pipeline to James Price Point on the Kimberley coast or a pipeline down to the Burrup Peninsula to back-fill the North West Shelf Project.

    This is despite the fact that the terms of the retention lease on the fields—Torosa, Calliance, and Brecknock—stipulate that development must be through an LNG plant at James Price Point.

    For its part BHP did not seem keen on either FLNG or James Price Point and rumored to favor the Burrup Peninsula option. For BHP that preference is now academic.