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Gas deal reward

HELPING to land a $25 billion natural gas deal for Western Australia has won Peter Murphy and his fellow Department of Industry and Resources workers the ‘group category’ award in the StateWest Achievement Awards.

Dr Murphy’s team was involved with the State Government support for the bid by the North West Shelf Project to supply liquefied natural gas to China.

That team was made up of Dr Murphy, Bin Jun Zhung and Linda Franssen. They are now all members of DoIR but at the time were in different departments.

The $25 billion, 25-year deal is thought to be the largest single trade contract signed by both China and Australia.

It was concluded in the face of fierce competition, given the Chinese were very conscious of price. LNG was always going to be more expensive than coal-fired power in China.

The project began in 1997 when then Premier Richard Court visited China in support of the initiation of efforts by the North West Shelf participants to open up the Chinese market to WA gas.

The Chinese were considering using more gas in their economy but were reluctant to consider LNG as that meant importing energy and moving away from self sufficiency.

The deal’s conclusion resulted from years of positioning, coordination and negotiation between China, the Australian and Western Australian Governments and Australia LNG, the Chinese marketing arm of the North West Shelf joint venturers.

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