Woodside Petroleum says its Browse LNG joint venture project could generate up to $50 billion for the Australian economy and create 6,000 jobs onshore and 2,000 jobs offshore during its construction phase which is due to commence in mid 2012.. The oil and gas producer released the information as part of its public review for the draft upstream environmental impact statement for the $30 billion project off the Kimberley coast.
The company’s draft EIS concerns the construction, operation and de-commissioning of all the offshore aspects of the project located in Commonwealth waters. Woodside is seeking to commercialise gas and condensate resources from three offshore fields in the Browse Basin, 290km off the Kimberley coast.
It plans to pipe gas from the offshore fields to an onshore LNG processing hub planned for James Price Point north of Broome. A final investment decision for Browse is expected by the middle of next year and first gas processing is expected by 2017. Woodside said it had signed a native title agreement for Browse including $1 billion in benefits for indigenous people in the Kimberley including financial, employment, education and training initiatives.
Woodside’s senior vice president (Browse), Michael Hession, said the draft EIS demonstrated that the offshore component of the project could be built and operated in an environmentally and socially responsible way. “Browse represents a major opportunity for Australia to meet the world’s growing demand for cleaner forms of energy,” he said.
The draft upstream EIS is open for public comment until January 25. The Browse project is a joint venture between operator Woodside, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron and Shell.
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