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Browse JV maintains investment discipline in declining FID

Browse JV maintains investment discipline in declining FID

Report summary

On 23 March, Woodside announced that the Browse FLNG project would not take FID. The project was to involve a three vessel FLNG concept, operated by Woodside on behalf of the other JV partners (Shell, BP, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and Mitsui). Estimated project costs of US$32 billion and the resultant high breakevens, substantial technical and commercial risk, and a weak LNG market all contributed to the decision. It leaves the most likely development option for Browse as backfill for North West Shelf LNG, which is forecast to have capacity from 2023. The decision also has marked implications for Woodside and Shell: for Woodside, it leaves a big hole in its portfolio that it needs to address; for Shell, coupled with the Abadi announcement on the same day, it raises questions over large-scale, greenfield FLNG as a concept.

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