CEO: Woodside's Stalled Browse LNG Project Still 'Very Attractive'

(Reuters) — Woodside Energy Group Ltd.'s CEO played down concerns over the status of its long-delayed Browse LNG project on Friday after the company reported a decline in first-quarter sales revenue relative to the December quarter.

The estimated A$20.5 billion ($13.78 billion) Browse project to develop Australia's largest untapped gas resource has been bogged down for years by demand uncertainty and negotiations over a processing agreement.

But talks with the owners of the North West Shelf LNG plant over a Browse gas processing deal are underway again after a pause during the pandemic, CEO Meg O'Neill told Reuters, describing the project as "very attractive".

"The Japanese are doing a scan of the world trying to understand where they can the quality of LNG they like," she said. "Browse is a great fit for their facilities and system."

Australia's top independent gas producer reported first quarter sales revenue of $4.28 billion, a 16% fall from the fourth quarter of last year due to lower production and realized prices.

The comparison with a year earlier is less relevant given it more than doubled its output from then after a merger with BHP Group Ltd.'s petroleum arm that saw Woodside join the ranks of the world's top 10 independent oil and gas producers.

First quarter production of 46.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) was down 9% due to planned maintenance. Its full-year production guidance of 180 million to 190 million MMboe remained unchanged.

The quarterly average realized price for LNG produced fell to $16.7 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in the March quarter, down from $20.3 per MMBtu in the December quarter.

($1 = 1.4872 Australian dollars)

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