Woodside may exit Sempra Port Arthur LNG export project in Texas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chief executive officer of Australia’s biggest independent oil and natural gas company, Woodside Petroleum Ltd, said on Tuesday that the company will decide soon whether it will continue to invest in Sempra Energy’s Port Arthur liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Texas.

CEO Peter Coleman, who was speaking at the World Gas Conference in Washington, D.C., said the project’s ability to provide Woodside with an adequate return is “very challenged.”

“We’ve got to make some decisions pretty soon about our continued pursuit (of Port Arthur) with Sempra,” said Coleman, noting that Woodside has been paying part of the cost to develop the project.

“We don’t have an investment in (Port Arthur). What we’ve been doing is just paying our way, and whether that is going to give us an adequate return, I would say today that is very challenged,” Coleman said.

In February 2016, Sempra and Woodside agreed to share development of Port Arthur that could result in Woodside buying half the project once the parties made a final investment decision to build the facility.

Officials at Sempra, which announced on Tuesday that Polish Oil & Gas Co agreed to buy LNG from Port Arthur, were not immediately available for comment.

The Port Arthur LNG project includes two liquefaction trains capable of producing up to 13.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG, up to three storage tanks and facilities to load LNG onto ships.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler

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