FLNG still on the table for Woodside’s Browse project

Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum (ASX: WPL) is one step closer to its plans to develop a multibillion-dollar LNG processing plant for discoveries found in the Browse Basin this week.

Last week Woodside announced that the Commonwealth had signed off on variations requested on retention leases held on five exploration blocks in the Browse Basin Woodside that its joint venture partners are planning to develop.

The retention leases dictate the conditions and requirements that need to be met for the blocks to be developed and are valid until the end of 2014. Most importantly for Woodside is the omission of a previous requirement requiring the gas to be processed on land at James Price Point.

Woodside deemed this option to be uneconomical with estimated costs of up to $45 billion, instead evaluating plans for a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) processing plant

The news may be of interest to fellow Browse Basin explorer Santos (ASX: STO), which has made a number of discoveries and owns a 30% stake in an exploration permit in the area.

The next hurdle for Woodside to overcome will be WA Premier Colin Barnett, who has previously threatened to revoke Woodside’s state-based gas retention leases if plans for an FLNG processing plant are selected.

Foolish takeaway

The fresh start is positive news for investors and Woodside’s other joint venture partners and brings all stakeholders involved one step closer to a successful resolution.

Interested in our #1 dividend-paying stock? Discover The Motley Fool’s favourite income idea for 2013-2014 in our brand-new, FREE research report, including a full investment analysis! Simply click here for your FREE copy of “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2013-2014.

More reading

Motley Fool contributor Regan Pearson does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

5 ASX Stocks for Building Wealth After 50

I just read that Warren Buffett, the world’s best investor, made over 99% of his massive fortune after his 50th birthday.

It just goes to show you… it’s never too late to start securing your financial future.

And Motley Fool Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips just released a brand-new report that reveals five of our favourite ASX stocks for building wealth after 50.

– Each company boasts strong growth prospects over the next 3 to 5 years…

– Most importantly each pays a generous dividend, fully franked.

Simply click here to find out how you can claim your FREE copy of “5 ASX Stocks for Building Wealth After 50.”

See the stocks now