Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Woodside backs floating LNG for Browse | The Australian

Woodside backs floating LNG for Browse | The Australian:

Environs Kimberley welcomed Woodside's "common sense" and said even a smaller onshore plant at James Price Point would have been an environmental disaster.

"It's now clear that it would be economic and political madness for any other company to think about developing this site for heavy industry," Environs Kimberley director Martin Pritchard said.

He also called on the state government to extend the Great Kimberley Marine Park, promised at the state election, to cover the sea at James Price Point.


  1. Can anyone - even Barnett - seriously see a port going ahead at JPP?

    Same goes for a supply base - just like his plans for a port and supply base at Point Torment - he wont find a company that is serious about it.Way too expensive.

    AND from here on in Barnett will be hobble strapped by his own huge debt creation.



    $5bn coal export project shelved

    A COAL export terminal worth $5 billion in NSW which would have created 1500 jobs has been put on hold after Hunter Valley coal producers pushed to reduce contract tonnages as market conditions put future mine expansion plans in doubt.

    Port Waratah Coal Services, which is backed by a consortium of miners led by Rio Tinto and Xstrata, said yesterday there would not be enough demand to justify proceeding with its planned T4 coal loader development slated for Kooragang Island near Newcastle.

    The news provides further evidence of the impact falling commodity prices are having on the nation's resources sector, and of the weakness in coal prices thanks in large part to a shifting global energy market.


    Increasingly, the US has been exporting excess coal because of surging domestic gas supplies.


    "We know that in the next five years the tonnes the producers want to contract for will not exceed what we can deliver from the existing terminals," PWCS chief executive Hennie du Plooy said.

    "We won't construct it unless we get new contracts that indicate it is required. The message clearly is there is sufficient terminal capacity at the port to meet what the producers foresee for the next five years."


    Blocking expansion threatens jobs: Rio

    GLOBAL mining giant Rio Tinto has warned that it could cut hundreds of jobs from its Warkworth mine this year as it seeks an expedition of the appeal process over the decision to block an expansion at the NSW coal operation.


    Rio wants to extend the mine to the west and southwest, increasing its life to 2031, which was ticked off by the Planning Assessment Commission of NSW in February under delegation from the minister.

    Judge Brian Preston last month backed the concerns of the Hunter Valley village of Bulga, southwest of Singleton, that there would be "significant" social and environmental problems and overturned ministerial approval.


    The Warkworth extension project decision is the first time a NSW court has overturned a major project approval to extend an existing open-cut mine, and the industry has sounded a warning it has set a precedent that has the potential to affect mining and other industries in NSW.


    Xstrata warns Gillard over 'buy Australian'

    XSTRATA Coal has added to the business backlash against the Gillard government's proposed new "buy Australian" measures, warning it will add to the cost of projects that are already becoming increasingly marginal and create additional bureaucracy when the nation's governments face growing budget deficits.

    In a submission to the Senate inquiry into Labor's plan to require projects worth $500 million or more to develop Australian Industry Participation plans to help Australian firms win work, Xstrata says that projects are already operating in a high-cost environment because of red tape, the tax system and the high Australian dollar.


    1. Call for royalty relief for struggling coal mines

      The State Opposition is urging the Government to provide assistance for two coal miners in the South West, warning the industry is at risk of being decimated.

      The Member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray says one of Collie's major coal mine operators is running at a loss because of a state supply agreement that is failing to pay market price for their product.

      Mr Murray says the Premier Colin Barnett provided $15 million in royalty concessions to a magnetite mine in the Mid West and struggling coal mines in Collie are entitled to help as well.

      "Why shouldn't the same be happening if people are struggling down in the South West?" he said.

      "At the moment both coal mines are struggling due to low coal prices and high operating prices.

      "We need these coal mines to continue, we don't want to see any of them fail so I believe there should be some royalty relief."

      The Premier declined to comment.

  2. Bauxite/Aluminium...

    Alcoa cut threatens Geelong smelter

    NEW concerns over the future of the ageing Point Henry smelter in Geelong have been fuelled by Alcoa, with the US aluminium group warning that it would be looking to cut as much as 11 per cent of its global smelting capacity over the next 15 months because of the crash in prices for the lightweight metal.


    Alcoa did not specify which smelters in its global portfolio would be affected, but Point Henry is already on life-support after securing what was meant to be a two-year reprieve from closure thanks to government grants in June last year.

    Point Henry is likely to be continuing to post losses because of the 33 per cent slump in the aluminium price since the peak in 2011. The revenue-sapping effects of the strong Australian dollar are not helping.

    Alcoa also operates the Portland smelter in western Victoria. It is a more modern operation and is likely to be less affected should Alcoa make its 11 per cent production cuts.


    The possible cuts cover 460,000 tonnes of Alcoa's current global output. It has previously idled 13 per cent, or 568,000 tonnes, of its smelter capacity. "The review will include facilities across the Alcoa system and will focus on higher-cost plants and plants that have long-term risk due to factors such as energy costs or regulatory uncertainty," Alcoa said.

    Alcoa president of primary products Chris Ayers said "persistent weakness" in global aluminium prices had prompted the review. "We need to review every option to maintain Alcoa's competitiveness," he said.


    Last month the chief executive of Russian aluminium giant Rusal, Oleg Deripaska, said as much as 30 per cent of the global industry was at or below the break-even point. Recent price falls suggest that figure could now be more than 50 per cent.


    The bleak situation in aluminium comes as Rio Tinto continues to seek a buyer for its loss-making Pacific Aluminium, the group established to house Rio's worst performed aluminium/alumina assets.


    1. Alcoa plans more cutbacks

      Alcoa has sent a fresh wave of nervousness through its 2800-strong WA workforce after announcing it could close more of its global aluminium operations because of the metal's continued price decline.

      In yet another indication of the tough conditions sweeping through the global aluminium market, Alcoa said yesterday it would review 460,000 tonnes of smelting capacity over the next 15 months "for possible curtailment".

      It also announced its refining system would be reviewed "to reflect any curtailments in smelting as well as prevailing market conditions".

      Alcoa's WA operations include refineries in Pinjarra and Wagerup, the Huntley mine near Dwellingup - the world's biggest bauxite mine - and the Willowdale mine, east of Waroona.

      Bauxite mined in WA is refined to make alumina, which in turn is smelted, predominately in Victoria, to create aluminium.


      The review comes on top of a similar decision from the US-based miner this time last year, when it withdrew 390,000t of annual alumina production in Italy and Spain.

      It also announced the closure or curtailment of 531,000t of aluminium smelting capacity across plants in the US, Italy and Spain at the start of last year.

      The challenges facing its alumina business were highlighted in its financial report, with underlying earnings in Alcoa's alumina division coming in at $US505 million ($488.5 million) last year, compared to $US1.16 billion in 2011.
      Further pressures in the alumina business have been rammed home by BHP Billiton, which wrote down $US2.2 billion from the book value of the Worsley integrated mine and refinery south of Perth in its half-year results in February. BHP has indicated it is trying to sell Worsley.(Outside Collie WA).

  3. Another test of Nationhood failed...

    Is the boom a wasted chance?

    If at the end of all this Aboriginal lives are little or no better then it proves once again we are just a country - not a nation.
    After all as colonialists we are using their country to create our wealth if this isn't to their benefit then the evil occupation and genocide has just carried on without any progress.BIG SHAME!


    Norway shows the smart way to handle boom

    AUSTRALIANS may be about to learn that mineral wealth can be a mixed blessing.

    Increasing signs of a slowdown in China--the latest manufacturing survey shows the sector is only just treading water--are blowing a chill wind over Australia's miners. Mining makes up around half of Australia's exports and China is by far the country's biggest customer, accounting for nearly a quarter of Australian sales abroad.

    If the Chinese slowdown proves more than temporary, Australia's chill could turn into a rather long and brutal winter. And some pundits think the turn in the Chinese economy is a structural rather than a cyclical phenomenon as its new leadership seeks to shift growth away from unprecedented rates of investment in export industries and infrastructure to privately-generated domestic demand.


    The resulting drop in Chinese demand, argues Michael Pettis, a professor at Peking University, means commodity prices are likely to halve or more over the coming years.

    And that means pain for Australia.

    In part that's because of how the country's dealt with its minerals windfall over recent years.


    Since its post financial crisis lows in the spring of 2009, the Australian dollar has appreciated by more than half. The result has been brutal for Australia's manufacturing industry. The latest data show exports are at their lowest level since 2004.

    One big problem now facing Australia is that it chose the British route to dealing with its mineral wealth, rather than the Norwegian one.


    During the past 30 years, government revenues from the UK's North Sea oil have gone towards current consumption. The government used the windfall to cut taxes and spend more on services. Norway, by contrast, salted much of it away into a sovereign wealth fund, there to soften the blow for when the oil runs out. Its sovereign wealth fund, the biggest in the world, is worth some $730 billion.


    Australia seemed to follow the UK model rather than the Norwegian one. Rather than save the windfall, the Australian government used it to cut taxes and to boost current spending. Notwithstanding the commodities boom, Australia ran a government deficit equivalent to around 3 per cent of GDP last year against Norway's 14 per cent surplus.

    And the money the Australian government handed to its households was consumed. Despite its large mining and minerals exports, Australia is expected to run a current account deficit worth 5.5 per cent of GDP this year, compared to Norway's 12 per cent surplus.

    What's more, Australians leveraged up heavily into a housing boom that looks suspiciously like a bubble. Yes, Norwegians are heavily leveraged too. Finding comparable data is tricky but, based on Eurostat figures, the average Norwegian household debt-to-income ratio was around 180 per cent in 2011. Extrapolating from the McKinsey debt report, Australia's works out at around 150 per cent on the same basis.

    But if Norwegian households hit trouble, the government has plenty of scope to do the heavy lifting; Australia's less so. The Norwegian government has a net surplus of 175 per cent of GDP. Australia's has net debt of 13 per cent.


    This could mean when the bad times come,as they surely will,the cuts to health and education will see the "gap" widening once again.

    Another humanitarian disaster on top of what has already happened.

    Biggest shame ever!


  4. WA people fed up of Barnett's crackpot schemes.
    Especially in the Kimberley where we are now on our 5th.
    The "Crazy Canal" where water flows downhill to Perth from the Kimberley.
    The "Great Farm of China" given free to the Chinese by our very own "Great Leader" "Emperor Colon".
    The aptly named "Port Torment".
    The too pricey gas hub at "Prices Point".

    Now the "Lone Voice on St. Georges Terrace" wants a supply base at "Prices Point" after everyone has left the area for much cheaper sheltered well serviced places.

    The "Shag on a Rock Supply Base".
    (To be named "The Queen Elizabeth II West Kimberley Marine Supply Base Facility")
    Although sadly for the "Emperor" it is unlikely Her Royal Highness will still be on this mortal coil to open it.


    Some of the major attractions of this base will be :

    Great Ocean Views.

    Unfettered Access - just watch out for the locals camping and fishing.

    Lovely Bushland with many fruiting trees and plants.

    Endangered Wildlife.

    Whales,Turtles,Rays,Dolphins etc living and breeding.

    Good Fishing.

    Lovely Clean Air.

    Great Tourist Attraction.

    Please contact The Emperor direct C/O "The Queen Elizabeth II Retirement Home for Senile Politicians".


  5. Originally the supply base was to be at Point Torment.

    Barnett backs Point Torment for Browse LNG hub
    DANIEL MERCER, The West Australian June 2, 2010, 7:23 am

    Touting a report by engineering firm WorleyParsons**that compared the suitability of Point Torment, north of Derby, Broome and James Price Point, Premier Colin Barnett said the Derby option had emerged as the frontrunner and the Government was "working on the basis that it will be at Point Torment".


    Although Mr Barnett was quoted last year as saying the project could cost $750 million, he said the cost was now expected to be about $550 million.

    He explained his initial assessment as "just a ball-park figure".


    "Some people had the view that maybe the tidal movements would make that (building a port at Point Torment) impossible or the relatively shallow water would make it impossible," he said.

    "It (the report) established that you could well do it so at the moment that is the favoured location."


    .. Mr Barnett insisted the private sector, led by Inpex, should pay for building it. He said the State "may well play a supportive role" but this would only extend to the construction of infrastructure such as roads.

    (**Note : This assessment documents the outcomes from a desk top study)


    However the report says :

    "... Broome
    is ranked highest for the preferred site for a supply base. This is primarily because Broome has
    existing infrastructure, workforce and businesses that currently support offshore activity. Broome is
    not an ideal site for a supply base due to a number of issues. However, Broome is presently the only
    available facility in the Kimberley region that can provide support facility services and is the only option than can cater for the urgent timing requirements for oil and gas projects planned for offshore
    construction in the short term future out of the contending sites. Workable solutions have been
    identified for the current port, land and infrastructure to be adequately upgraded for an effective supply base at Broome."

    (The main reason for not going with Broome was it couldn't handle a couple of bulk items like "rock load out",but otherwise Broome could make a very handy supply base indeed).


    Aboriginals skin in the game.

    Leading Perth-based investment bank Azure Capital, which is run by Mr Poynton, is behind the Point Torment plan. It is understood a Malaysian investment consortium has expressed an interest in helping to develop such a project.

    The plan is being driven by an Azure director, indigenous leader Clinton Wolf, and forms part of the bank's efforts to identify investment opportunities that would benefit Aborigines and involve them as shareholders.

    A company called Point Torment Supply Base has been set up to examine the viability of building the facility. The directors are listed as Mr Mundine, Mr Poynton, Mr Wolf and fellow Azure Capital director Simon Price.


    The proposal identifies the development of appropriate port, port-related infrastructure and industry land at Point Torment (approximately 30km directly north of the West Kimberley town of Derby) as a national infrastructure priority. The Point Torment proposal is focussed on: Locating a marine supply base at Point Torment that would service a substantial expansion of the oil and gas industry off the West Kimberley coast of Western Australia...

    The State has a responsibility in adding to the infrastructure at Point Torment to make sure the base can be big enough to serve other projects, and that there are opportunities to set up local businesses to tender for contracts.
    Cost: $550 million
    o End 2009: Operability
    issues resolved
    o 18 months for detailed
    design and planning
    o 2 – 3 years for construction
    of port and associated
    Proponent: Department of State Development

  6. However Point Torment has exactly the same problem as Broome...

    "...As per
    Broome, the wharf and jetty configuration proposed for Point Torment, which is the same as that
    shown in the 2007 GHD report for a marine and industrial support facility, does not allow for a land backed wharf. The implied double handling and the distance between the wharf and supply base would constrain **rock and other heavy bulk load out operations."

    **(Not a problem now for Broome either as the rock will be loaded out from Darwin)


    And LAST on the list...

    The matrix ranks James Price Point as the third preferred site for a supply base.

    "...The site rated
    less favourably than the other sites due to the large construction works involved for a breakwater and
    dredging of an access channel to construct a port that can be operated 24/7. Hard rock is likely to be
    encountered close to shore which makes dredging and wharf construction more difficult. The coastal
    site is exposed and has greater risk for construction downtime from cyclones and storms."


    What is a Supply Base?
    A supply base supports the activities and operations performed by the offshore oil and gas industry. It
    is essentially an intermodal storage and control facility to support the logistical processes required to
    deliver hydrocarbons to the market end of a supply chain. A supply base predominantly comprises of
    large lay down areas, warehouses and a range of support buildings and amenities with port access.
    Supply bases are not representative of heavy industry as large scale manufacturing is not part of their
    function. Three phases of upstream development are typically supported by a supply base;
    1. exploration drilling,
    2. upstream (offshore) construction,
    3. operation / production / field development.
    Each type of activity requires varying types of services at different levels to be provided by the supply
    base. Exploration work predominantly requires the servicing of rigs (with up to 3 supply vessels per
    week per rig) with items such as drilling pipes, casings, chemicals, and drilling mud, fuel and water for
    their exploration works.


    During all phases the supply base also handles food, fuel, water supplies, spares, waste
    management, and sometimes, direct transport to site for the workforce. For all activities, 24 hour
    access to a supply base is a necessity.
    Generally, a supply base requires a port, large land areas, supporting infrastructure including a
    nearby airport, and a trained workforce. A list of the typical requirements of a supply base is provided
    below. These are discussed in more detail in the following sections. A generic supply base layout
    sketch is provided in Figure 5-1.
    Typical supply base requirements:
     Wharf providing the following:
    o heavy lift capacity/stevedoring,
    o bulk liquid capacity,
    o water and fuel bunkering,
    o communications,
    o deck to support 150-250 t crawler cranes and turning circle for road train;
     Laydown areas for kilometers of piping, casing, and other equipment required;
     Wash down area including customs and quarantine capability;
     Security, security observance and services;
     Offices;
     Warehousing;
     Bulk liquid storage for:
    o Diesel fuel,
    o Drilling muds,
    o Aviation fuel,
    o Chemicals,
    o Water;
     Communication service;
     Lighting for 24 hours operation;
     Power plant, if supply not available from existing grid;
     Fire water;
     Waste disposal/treatment facility including hazardous materials;
     Airport for fixed wing and heavy lift helicopters;
     Roads to allow for heavy road trains in all weather scenarios;
     Container storage;
     Drill pipe and casing yard;
     Emergency response capability;
     Supply chain IT services

    1. The Broome wharf has just taken delivery of a brand new 250 tonne Terex truck mounted crane.

  7. Page 47 of this Worley Parsons "desk top" report has a map of the planned JPP supply base.


    Page 52 a map of the Point Torment supply base.


    Page 58 Derby.


    AND Page 37/38 - Broome.

    "One of the stakeholders was particularly concerned with whether there will be available facilities for
    them to utilise. Neither Point Torment nor James Price Point is likely to be ready within their project
    timelines and hence these locations are not being considered with great interest. Of the four
    candidate sites, a strategy is being formulated for the use of Broome. However, Darwin is also being
    equally considered, which is seen to have all the required facilities to service their needs now."


    Shire of Broome and Broome Port Authority
    The stakeholder representatives who spoke to WorleyParsons from the Shire of Broome and the
    Broome Port Authority were strongly in favour of a supply base being located in Broome. Reasons
    were centred around the existing expertise at the Port of Broome, and established workforce in the
    town, contractors and service providers were already heavily invested in Broome, a significant
    amount of supporting infrastructure was already present within the town. The representatives
    indicated that demand on Broome for supply base services would increase regardless in the near
    future because no other option will be available within the Kimberley region for the next 3 to 5 years. It
    was also indicated that given the land issues in Broome are almost settled, therefore the key
    infrastructural requirement is for a new jetty and wharf. It was stressed that even if the demand from
    the oil and gas industry remained constant, a new wharf would still be required in the near term to
    meet the collective increase in demand from other industries. In regards to potential capacity
    constraints and noise issues at Broome airport, the potential is there to relocate the airport in the
    medium term, prior to the currently planned 10+ year time frame.
    According to the stakeholder representatives, support from community, general business and the
    tourism industry is strong, with opposition arising from a minority. The potential development is seen
    to provide more jobs, attract more business and greater tourism to the town. Potential negative effects
    are seen to be easily manageable, with the positives being far greater. A major concern was that
    access to boat launching facilities be not be affected, or if possible, be improved given the high boat
    ownership in Broome.


    13 December 2012
    The Listing Manager
    Australian Securities Exchange Ltd
    Level 4, Stock Exchange Centre
    20 Bridge Street
    SYDNEY NSW 2000
    Dear Sir/Madam
    Award of Supply Base Contract with INPEX
    The Directors of Mermaid Marine Australia Limited (MMA) are pleased to announce the award of a contract by INPEX to MMA's 50% owned subsidiary Toll Mermaid Logistics Broome Pty Ltd (TMLB), for the provision of services at the Company's Broome Supply Base.
    TMLB is an incorporated Joint Venture between MMA and Toll Holdings Limited (Toll) which was established in 2006 to provide supply base services in Broome in support of the offshore oil and gas activities in the Browse Basin region.
    The contract is for an initial five year term, with two 5 year extension options. Under the contract TMLB will develop dedicated infrastructure and provide various
    services at its Broome Supply Base to support the development drilling activities for the
    INPEX operated Ichthys LNG Project.
    The contract value is approximately A$20 million for the firm period with further upside should the options be exercised.


  8. West gives up in Inpex battle

    NIGEL ADLAM | May 28th, 2011

    COLIN Barnett has surrendered to the Territory in the Battle for Inpex.

    The NT News understands the Western Australia Premier is to cancel plans to build a marine supply base at Point Torment on the Kimberley coast.

    That means the only oil and gas supply base in the whole of northern Australia will be at East Arm in Darwin.

    A base is crucial to persuading Inpex and other gas companies to operate out of the Territory.

    Chief Minister Paul Henderson was pleased when told at an investment seminar in Aberdeen that Mr Barnett had, in effect, capitulated.

    He said the $30 billion Inpex project would never go to the Kimberley because the WA Government could not "offer certainty" on a site for a LNG plant or a marine supply base.

    Mr Henderson said abandoning Point Torment was a "logical decision". "It was unrealistic in the first place. There's nothing there, no infrastructure. And the place was obviously named Point Torment for a good reason."

    Inpex will make a final investment decision on the Darwin project at the end of this year.

    Mr Henderson said he was confident Darwin would ge the nod.

    "There is no Plan B," he said. "Darwin is Plan A to Z."

  9. Why Point Torment in the first place?

    Page 74.


    The coast between Hidden Island and Cape Leveque incorporates the entrance to King
    Sound, where numerous Shoal, reefs & islands extend up to 50 miles offshore. The currents
    and tidal streams in this area run between 6 and 10 knots with violent tide rips and eddies.
    King Sound is bounded by the Buccaneer Archipelago, which lies in its NE approaches
    and consists of numerous islands, islets & rocks lying off the NW extremity of the peninsula
    separating Collier Bay from King Sound. The archipelago is divided into separate groups, the
    islands of which are connected to each other by reefs, which are dry at low water. This is due to
    the large variation in the strong spring tides which can have a range between high and low
    water of up to 11m.

    King Sound is entered between the southern extremity of Hidden Island and Swan Point
    some 27 miles west and extends 60 miles SSE to the town of Derby at the entrance of the
    Fitzroy River. Depths of up to 16m lie in the fairway to about 20 miles from the headland.
    Thereafter the seabed Shoal gradually towards the shore in most places to NW of Point
    Torment, where the colour of the water is a discoloured dirty yellow, darkening to brown as
    Derby is approached, where it is filled with mud and sand. The area is presently unsurveyed in
    many parts and is currently not safe for entry by large deep draught vessels such as Q Flex and
    Q Max LNG tankers.
    If any sites within King Sound are to be utilised, navigational safety would require that
    entry and exit from the Sound be confined to times of reasonable tidal flows and not be
    undertaken at night. This is in addition to the limitations that would be required for adverse wind
    conditions. Currently efficient navigational lights and buoy systems for LNG tankers are not
    In light of the above, King Sound is an area of very high risk for the navigation of large
    LNG & Condensate vessels. In addition there would almost certainly be significant delays that
    could not be built into forecast schedules. For these reasons Point Torment and all other sites
    in King Sound have been discarded as a likely LNG port for the purpose of this study.


    The Mad Emperor strikes again!

  10. James Price Point - Dredging and Blasting.

    Dredging sand or mud is very expensive - having to blast a lot of rock which is the case at JPP is well beyond that - extremely expensive.

    Breakwaters must be built for a 1 in 1000 year wave.

    And as we always say for JPP with the very big tidal movements - the very expensive business of on - going maintenance dredging.

    BUT all that drilling and blasting - that is the killer!