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Gas venture sparks up

THE North West Shelf liquefied natural gas venture is one step closer to securing a 25-year contract to supply an annual three million tonnes of LNG to China’s first receiving terminal in Guangdong province.

An October 2001 invitation to tender, along with six other projects, for the initial supply contract, was attributed in part to the profile gained during a study of China’s energy policy by the Asia Research Centre located at Murdoch University.

Now the shortlisting - to be one of just two or three remaining bidders – has boosted confidence in Australia’s competitiveness in the global gas industry.

Should commercial negotiations, which now begin in earnest, prove ultimately successful, the NWS venture will begin supply in late 2005.

In November 2001 the NWS partners and Chinese National Offshore Oil Company signed a heads of agreement for CNOOC to take some equity in the NWS project should the venture be the ultimate successful bidder for the Guangdong supply contract.

CNOOC is 70 per cent owned by the Chinese government.

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