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Woodside CEO hints at more flexibility

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LNG Industry,

According to the latest Reuters report, Woodside Petroleum has hinted it may in future be willing to allow buyers of LNG more flexibility as part of long-term contracts, saying that in time this could help create a more liquid market.

The biggest buyers in the world's top three LNG consuming countries – Japan, South Korea and China – recently joined together to secure greater supply flexibility.

The move potentially shifts power to importers amid a growing surplus, adding pressure on producers like Woodside, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and Exxon Mobil to grant more flexible contracts.

The LNG industry is undergoing change as the biggest ever flood of new supply is hitting the market, with volumes coming mainly from Australia and the US.

Woodside has come through the market rout in better shape than many rivals, with US$2.7 billion in cash and undrawn debt, and sees itself well positioned.

Woodside operates large LNG export facilities like Pluto and the North West Shelf, and is a partner in the US$34 billion Wheatstone project, scheduled to start up later this year. It also has plans for another project, Browse, but for which it has not yet made a final investment decision (FID).

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