Monday, December 19, 2011

Hope yet for James Price Point

Economics is looking like it will stop the James Price Point hub where environmental protest have yet to succeed. $30 billion is looking like a lot in the current environment and the strong inflationary pressures in WA are pushing the likely cost up. Woodside has asked the WA government to extend the commitment deadline from mid 2012 into 2013. That increases the chances that the project just will not go ahead. Woodside's joint-venture partners - BHP, Shell, BP and Chevron - prefer the cheaper alternative of processing the gas at the existing facility at Karratha, and Goldman Sachs said that option "increases in attractiveness as time goes on". Who wants to take a big risk in today's economic climate? Woodside may just have been saved from itself by the doggedness of environmental and indigenous groups. Oh, sweet irony. Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman has tempered several of the ambitious plans of his American predecesso,Don Voelte, since ascending to the chair in May this year. The Wilderness Society says this setback is a "testament to misguided egos" of the ambitious. How does Martin Ferguson feel about that? Maybe a few people should be reading Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test.

West Australian

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