Asia Pulse: WOODSIDE SAYS NORTH ASIAN CUSTOMERS KEEN ON W. AUSTRALIAN GAS: “Woodside also announced today that Tim Warren would retire as the Shell nominated director on its board, to be replaced by Russell Caplan. Mr Caplan is currently a senior vice president on Shell's global downstream leadership team based in London. Shell holds a 34.27 per cent stake in Woodside.”: Tuesday December 06, 2005
MELBOURNE, Dec 6 Asia Pulse - Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL) says it is close to signing sales agreements for gas from its Pluto field that will take the multi-billion dollar project a step closer to development.
The oil and gas producer said it had agreed key commercial terms with North Asian customers to sell between 3.5 and four million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year for 15 years from the Pluto field from the end of 2010, with an option to extend for a further five years.
The field was discovered 190 kilometres north west of Karratha in Western Australia in April this year and Woodside announced in August it would fast track its development.
Woodside said heads of agreements were due to be signed in coming months with sales and purchase agreements to be negotiated by the end of 2006.
The Perth-based company would not say if the agreements were with buyers from Japan or China.
Japanese buyers have been snapping up future LNG from Australian fields but the Chinese have been missing out on the gas they need to fuel their booming economy, baulking at the rising LNG prices.
However Woodside did confirm today that it was in discussions with US customers interested in LNG from Pluto.
Woodside is currently building a fifth LNG processing train at its key North West Shelf joint venture.
The 100 per cent Woodside owned Pluto field is slated as the company's next big development off the coast of Western Australia, with the Browse field, 400 kilmetres north west of Broome, to follow.
Today's announcement and further increases in the oil price helped Woodside's shares advance 48 cents to $36.38.
Woodside also announced today that Tim Warren would retire as the Shell nominated director on its board, to be replaced by Russell Caplan.
Mr Caplan is currently a senior vice president on Shell's global downstream leadership team based in London.
Shell holds a 34.27 per cent stake in Woodside.
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