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Browse development back on Shell’s agenda

The Australian, November 20, 2017.

The head of Royal Dutch Shell in Australia has thrown her support behind plans to finally develop the massive Browse gasfields off Western Australia through the North West Shelf, easing fears that the sale of Shell’s stake in Woodside could complicate Browse’s development. In Shell’s first comments since the sale of its remaining 13.3 per cent stake in Woodside for $3.5 billion last week, Shell Australia country chair Zoe Yujnovich told The Australian that the long-stalled Browse project ­remained “a key part” of the oil giant’s Australian portfolio in the wake of the sale.

Ms Yujnovich said the company was supportive of the $US25bn ($33bn) plan to finally develop Browse by connecting the fields to the existing North West Shelf liquefied natural gas plant via a 900km underwater pipeline. “Browse is undoubtedly a key part of that (Australian portfolio) and certainly we see Browse to the North West Shelf as being the most likely profitable pathway,” Ms Yujnovich said. The big Browse gas fields were first discovered more than 40 years ago and have been the subject of a number of unsuccessful development plans.

Project operator Woodside spent years studying a proposed onshore LNG plant at James Price Point north of Broome but abandoned that after the $80bn plan proved too expensive.

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