Browse LNG receives environmental approval

The Browse Basin floating LNG project has reached a major milestone with Federal environmental approval granted until 2070.

Key proponent Woodside remain undecided about the project’s financial viability however, and will make their final investment decision by the end of 2016.

Under the Federal approval significant works must begin on the project within the next five years.

The approvals contain 26 conditions, including requirements to minimise impacts on the marine life of the Scott Reef.

Accommodation floatels (ships) must not be located within the reef region, and Woodside must monitor greenhouse gas emissions from facilities and submit annual reports to the Department of Environment.

Woodside must also notify the Commonwealth within 30 days of starting work on any of the 64 production wells in the project.

The WA state government is yet to sign off on the environmental approvals.

Last month the federal Government agreed to relinquish 65 per cent of Browse Basin LNG royalties to the Western Australian Government, due to the discovery of three tiny islands which necessitated a redraw of the Australian Marine boundaries to include the Scott and Seringapatam Reefs in WA.

Located 425km north of Broome, the Browse project will consist of three floating LNG vessels, each almost half a kilometre long, which will operate at two offshore locations during the life of the gas field.

Average production at each facility will be between 3.9 – 4 million tons per annum of LNG and 17,000 barrels per day.

In documents filed with the Federal Environment Department last year, the company said the project would run for 50 years.

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