Major gas deal to China to boost Browse project
Agreement between Woodside Energy and PetroChina for the supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to China is Australia's largest single export deal, and gives the proposed Browse LNG project a major boost according to Australian Resources Minister, Ian Macfarlane.The key terms agreement signed by the two parties in Sydney details the supply of 2-3 million tonnes of LNG per year for up to 20 years, worth up to $45 billion in export revenue for Australia."This is a very welcome development and an important milestone for the Browse project. It is the first deal struck for Browse and will give the proposed development a major kick start," Mr Macfarlane said."Along with the announcement by Shell to supply LNG from Gorgon to PetroChina, it also marks a turning point in China's approach to securing long-term energy supplies."China is already Australia's second largest market for LNG and this new deal will further enhance Australia's trade relationship with China in the resources sector," Mr Macfarlane said. This announcement is the second major Australian gas supply deal announced in a week, after Shell announced last Tuesday that it had signed a 20-year deal with PetroChina.PetroChina is one of China's leading energy companies, responsible for nearly 70% of China's domestic gas production and marketing.The proposed Browse project is being developed by Woodside and its joint venture partners, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron and Shell. It will source natural gas from the Calliance, Torosa and Brecknock gas fields off the Kimberley coast, which contain approximately 20 trillion cubic feet of gas, with the first gas deliveries expected to commence during 2013-2015."Browse is a mega project, involving huge development costs and engineering challenges, but the potential export benefits to Australia are equally massive. When completed, the project will add up to 15 million tonnes of LNG per year to our already growing export capacity," Mr Macfarlane said.