Australian energy giant Woodside unveils controversial offshore gas drilling plan

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Sydney [Australia], Nov 23 (ANI/Xinhua): Australian oil and gas giant Woodside Petroleum has announced multi-billion-dollar plans to drill for liquefied natural gas (LNG) off the coast of Australia, raising concerns from the environmental group.

The $16.5 billion (approximately US$ 11.92 billion) project is centered around the Scarborough gas field in the Indian Ocean, about 375 km northwest of the Western Australian (WA) coast.

“Today’s decisions have set Woodside on a transformative path,” Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said Monday. “Scarborough will make a significant contribution to Woodside’s cash flows, financing of future developments and new energy products, and shareholder returns.” The development will include the creation of a 430km pipeline connecting Scarborough to the mainland where the gas will be processed. Woodside’s Pluto LNG facility in Karratha, WA.

A second LNG train and a new local gas plant at the Pluto field will also be built to handle eight million tons of gas production per year.

Monday’s announcement coincided with the finalization of Woodside’s August deal to buy the oil and gas business of fellow resource giant BHP to establish one of the world’s largest independent energy companies with operations in Australia, the United States and Africa.

“Woodside and BHP’s respective oil and gas portfolios and experienced teams are better together. The combination will provide increased scale, diversity and flexibility to better navigate the energy transition,” said O’Neill.

News of the ambitious LNG project was also welcomed by WA government leaders, who estimated it would create around 3,200 jobs.

But such assurances have not been well received by environmental groups, who believe the project is challenging international efforts to end new fossil fuel projects.

“The International Energy Agency, one of the most conservative energy organizations in the world, said there should be no new coal or gas projects, and yet Woodside… is trying to accelerate this project,” said Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO. David Ritter. (ANI/Xinhua)

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