DARWIN, April 19 ConocoPhillips and its
partners are considering expanding their Darwin liquefied
natural gas (LNG) plant in Australia, with backing from other
companies with undeveloped gas resources that could feed the
ConocoPhillips has previously talked only about developing a
new gas field for around $10 billion to fill the plant's single
production unit, or train, when supply from its current gas
source, the Bayu-Undan field, runs out around 2022.
The U.S. oil major has also previously said an expansion in
the current market would be challenging due to low oil and LNG
prices, and costs that have risen steeply since Darwin LNG was
built more than a decade ago.
A $650,000 feasibility study on building a second train is
due to be completed this year, the Northern Territory government
said on Wednesday, announcing that it would contribute $250,000
towards the study.
"The Territory Labor Government is supporting the
feasibility study because this is a significant investment
towards the business case for potential expansion at Darwin LNG,
potentially creating thousands of jobs during construction and
operation," Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner
said in a statement.
Five joint ventures with undeveloped gas resources off the
coast of the Northern Territory are backing the study, with
stakeholders including Royal Dutch Shell, Malaysia's
Petronas, Italy's ENI SpA, and Australia's
Santos and Origin Energy.
"With Darwin LNG, five upstream joint ventures and the
Northern Territory Government involved, it is a pioneering
example of all of industry and government collaborating on
solutions to unlock major investments," ConocoPhillips Australia
West vice president Kayleen Ewin said in a statement.
Darwin LNG is co-owned by ConocoPhillips, Santos, Japan's
Inpex, ENI, Tokyo Electric Power Co and Tokyo
(Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Writing by Sonali Paul; Editing by