No guarantee’ of offshore Browse project

WA premier Colin Barnett (AAP IMAGE/JOSH JERGA)

WA premier Colin Barnett (AAP IMAGE/JOSH JERGA)

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: There are no guarantees that Woodside will get approval for a gas processing facility off the Kimberley coast, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says.

Woodside last week shelved plans for an onshore gas hub at James Price Point, north of Broome, which was estimated by analysts to cost $45 billion, due to cost pressures.

Alternatives are now being considered, including floating LNG technology or a smaller onshore hub.

But Mr Barnett remains opposed to the offshore option and said Woodside and its joint venture partners should not make any assumptions.

The premier said the environmental assessment was going to be “totally different” and could affect the outcome.

“Also, it should not be assumed that the retention of Commonwealth leases automatically means the same treatment of state leases,” he said.

“We will look at this project, if it goes offshore, if that’s what the proponents want, entirely from square one.”

Mr Barnett also reiterated that there would be no benefits package for Aboriginal people if the project did not go ahead.

Unresolved issues associated with Woodside’s original plan remained, including the compulsory acquisition of land at James Price Point, the premier said.

Mr Barnett said he was still “bitterly disappointed” that the project had been shelved.

“I don’t apologise for trying as hard as I could to get this project to occur onshore, but I do apologise to the Aboriginal people for not succeeding in that,” he said.

The premier also indicated he could demand some of the gas be reserved for WA’s domestic supply and said another proponent for the gas “province” could come forward.


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