Archive for October, 2012
James Price Point on the Kimberley coast, where Woodside’s Browse LNG project is located. Photo: Glenn Campbell
Woodside Petroleum is being forced to involve traditional owners more in the environmental management of its $40 billion Browse liquefied natural gas project, requiring extra training for scientific monitoring of the impact on land and sea.
It is one of several extra conditions announced on Tuesday by West Australian Environment Minister Bill Marmion after analysis of appeals against the Environmental Protection Authority’s recommended approval of the venture in July. Mr Marmion must consult with other ministers before making a final ruling.
The Indigenous group set up to manage compensation funds from the Kimberley gas hub project has welcomed recommendations it should be included in more of the project’s environmental management.
Woodside plans to base its joint venture $30 billion LNG project at the hub, north of Broome at James Price Point.
Environment Minister Bill Marmion handed down his verdict on the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) report yesterday. The report had 240 appeals lodged during the public comment period, which were then assessed by the appeals convener Dr Roy Green. The Minister says that some dinosaur footprints will be destroyed if construction of the precinct proceeds.
“Where the site’s going, unfortunately that’s where some of the footprints are. So they will absolutely have to go.”
The West Australian
Environment Minister Bill Marmion today reaffirmed his backing of the Environmental Protection Authority’s approval of a gas hub in the Kimberley, clearing another hurdle for the contentious project.
The EPA’s decision on the $30 billion development at James Price Point caused a stir in July after it was made by chairman Paul Vogel alone when four fellow board members declared potential conflicts of interest.
The West Australian
Kimberley Aboriginal leader Wayne Bergmann has demanded Buru Energy halt works at its Ungani oilfield operations in the Canning Basin, claiming the company had bulldozed a significant Aboriginal site without permission and damaged artefacts tens of thousands of years old.
Mr Bergmann has lodged a complaint with the Department of Indigenous Affairs, which has said it is investigating the matter.
Test production of oil began at Ungani, about 100km east of Broome, earlier this year, in the first commercial onshore production in the region since the Blina oilfield started up in 1983.
Petroleum company Shell has cut the first steel for construction of what will be humankind’s largest ever floating structure. And the massive structure looks likely to have a big impact on the Kimberley region.
The floating gas processing facility will be almost half a kilometre long and resemble a behemoth ship hull packed with pipes, buildings and helipads. In 2016 the vessel, which is 6 times larger than the biggest aircraft carriers, will be towed to the Prelude gas field in the Browse Basin 200 kilometres off the Kimberley coast.
Woodside has flown a Canadian palaeontologist to the site of the proposed Kimberley gas hub to once again survey dinosaur footprints.
The company wants to process LNG at James Price Point where some of the world’s oldest and best-preserved fossilised dinosaur prints lie.
The Environmental Protection Authority approved the project in July, subject to 29 conditions, one of which requires Woodside to conduct more research on the prints.
The West Australian
A traditional owner confronts the survey workers. Picture: Damian Kelly
Woodside Petroleum has brushed off claims of protesters at its proposed gas hub at James Price Point that scientists surveying dinosaur footprints were there to destroy them.
But the Broome Community No Gas Campaign claimed six scientists and six Woodside security personnel entered a culturally sensitive area without clearance from traditional owners
BUSINESSMAN turned environmental campaigner Geoffrey Cousins has urged the partners behind the controversial Browse liquefied natural gas project to consider Royal Dutch Shell’s floating LNG technology as an alternative development option.
Expectations are rising that Shell — which is developing the world’s first FLNG project at Prelude, off northern Western Australia — could push its new technology instead of current plans for a $US45 billion ($44bn) onshore LNG plant at James Price Point, north of Broome.
The energy giant says the answers may lie out to sea
A SENIOR Royal Dutch Shell executive has done lithe to dampen growing speculation that the company will push its revolutionary floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) technology as a solution to the ongoing controversy over the $U545 billion Browse project in Western Australia.
In an exclusive interview with The Australian, Shell’s director of projects & technology Matthias Bichsel would not rule out considering FLNG as a development option for Browse.
But Dr Bichsel stressed that FLNG technology was an ideal solution for gasfields that are far from shore, and where potential coastal LNG plant sites have high levels of environmental and/or social sensitivity.