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AFX Europe (Focus): Australia's Woodside Petroleum sees strong demand for LNG

Feb 15, 2006
SYDNEY (AFX) – Woodside Petroleum Ltd chief executive Don Voelte said demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is strong with customers lining up to buy gas from projects the company is planning to develop.
Voelte told a briefing after the group reported a jump in underlying profit for 2005 to a higher-than-expected 1.038 bln aud, that the market has been at its strongest levels for some time, adding that customers were looking for gas for delivery from 2008-2010, including China.

“China is coming back to us and getting very serious very fast,” he said.
But, Voelte said, other markets were opening up including the US where the company, 34 pct owned by Royal Dutch Shell, is hoping to supply Australian gas to the west coast.

Woodside is the operator of Australia's North-West Shelf project which will soon deliver its first LNG to Guangdong in China under a long-term contract with China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC).
Voelte said first shipments to Guangdong are expected in June.
He said marketing of gas from the company's proposed wholly owned Pluto LNG project near the North-West Shelf project was basically complete while volumes from the North-West Shelf project were largely committed.
Voelte said this left the proposed Browse project as potential supplier to markets in China.
The Browse fields lie about 250 kms off the coast from Broome and hold an estimated 20.5 trln cubic feet of gas.
They comprise Woodside's biggest undeveloped gas resource and include the Scott Reef, Brecknock and Brecknock South fields in which BHP Billiton, BP Plc, ChevronTexaco Corp and Royal Dutch Shell own stakes.
(1 usd = 1.35 aud)
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