Two reports from The Cupboard today put a lot of gloom in the gas Futureboom!
The most recent report has Woodside delaying a $40billion LNG plant near Broome, pushing the start date on production back to 2018, albeit because of an “aggressive timetable”:
Woodside’s Petroleum’s request to delay a decision on a $40 billion LNG plant at James Price Point near Broome has been granted, as the federal and West Australian governments admit the aggressive timetable pushed by former Woodside chief executive Don Voelte and imposed by the governments cannot be met.
In December 2011, new Woodside CEO Peter Coleman and his four joint-venture partners in the Browse LNG fields, off the coast of WA, asked the governments to relax conditions that the joint venture had to be ready to make a final investment decision on development by the middle of this year.
Instead, the partners said they might need until the first half of 2013. Today, they were granted the request.
However it was the first report this morning that dealt the real blow, with LNG export growth and project expansion under dual threats from a US domestic supply glut and from Asian buyers wanting to move to the much cheaper US gas prices instead of Aussie LNG contracts:
AUSTRALIA’S liquefied natural gas export growth is being threatened by a continued slide in US natural gas prices that is making North American LNG projects more appealing and is set to weigh on global gas export pricing.
The continuing drop in prices comes as Britain’s BG Group puts a greater emphasis on US exports than an expansion of its $20 billion Queensland Curtis LNG plant as a way to meet its medium-term LNG volume targets.
The article mentioned the fall in natural gas prices in the US, which is indeed plummeting like a stone, down 50% since BHP bought US shale gas outfit Petrohawk – another instance of bad timing for the Big Mostly Owned by non-Australians:
BREE itself admits that it does not yet incorporate any influence from such increased supply (though it offers a quite useful assessment of where current liquifaction plans are at, including 8 planned projects that would swamp Australian supply).
It’s a delicate dance this official forecasting.
Indeed. Dancing on a tightrope with each end beholden to markets beyond our shores.