Media Stories and links for December 2011


From a landmark Supreme Court case outcome to financial and economic woes slowing down investment decisions, December was a newsworthy month for those interested in the proposed Browse gas hub.


Woodside gas plant doubts

Peter Ker, Rania Spooner, December 20, 2011 Sydney Morning Herald

HOPES that Woodside Petroleum will abandon plans to build a massive gas plant near Broome have been boosted by news that a final investment decision on the controversial $30 billion Browse LNG project will be delayed until 2013.


Woodside seeks delay to Browse

19-Dec-2011 WA Business news

Environs Kimberley director Martin Pritchard described the decision as “another nail in the coffin” for the project.

“We’re calling on the premier (Colin Barnett) to suspend decisions on the project and not waste $120 million of taxpayers’ money on the road that’s planned to the proposed gas hub, because it looks like it’s going to the Pilbara,” he said.



NT in talks to persuade Woodside to shift LNG hub

and the more informative

An attempt to lure a Woodside project to Darwin

Updated December 12, 2011 21:50:18

ABC NEWS Updated December 12, 2011

Mr Henderson said there was a lack of certainty in the Kimberley…. He says he is going to try convince Woodside to look at the Northern Territory instead


Gas hub protest celebrates ‘win’

ABC News Posted December 12, 2011 14:49:16

Hundreds of people have marched through Broome to protest against the planned Kimberley gas hub project.


Broome gas processing hub

Broadcast: Tuesday 13 December 2011 8:45AM (view full episode)

The latest in the ongoing dispute over a proposed $35 billion gas processing hub in Broome.Last week, the WA Supreme Court ruled that compulsory land acquisition notices issued by the WA government are invalid. Is the decision a fundamental game-changer or a temporary set-back?

ABC law show December 2011 featuring Murray Wilcox download audio


EPA may hold back Woodside gas hub

10 Dec 2011 00:02:30 Australian financial review

Woodside Petroleum’s proposed $30?billion Browse Basin gas hub in Western Australia’s north faces more delay after the state’s environmental watchdog warned it was seeking legal advice over changes to the project’s scope.


Kevin Reynolds speaks out against gas hub proposal

David Weber reported this story on Thursday, December 8, 2011

The departing secretary of the CFMEU in Western Australia has joined the opposition to the gas hub proposed for The Kimberley region.


Former judge warns gas hub legal battle not over

ABC news Claire Moodie 7th December

A retired Federal Court judge has warned the State Government can expect to find itself in court again over the proposed Kimberley gas hub.


Browse land grab ‘unlawful’

Australian Financial Review PUBLISHED: 06 Dec 2011 13:35:00 | UPDATED: 07 Dec 2011 02:42:16PUBLISHED: 06 Dec 2011 PRINT EDITION: 07 Dec 2011

Western Australia’s largest proposed resource development, the $30 billion Browse liquefied natural gas development off north-western Australia, has been dealt a blow after the WA Supreme Court determined that state government actions to secure land for a proposed gas hub at James Price Point were unlawful.

The decision will put pressure on Woodside and its partners BP, Chevron, BHP Billiton and Royal Dutch Shell to push back a final investment decision on the project from the proposed mid-2012 schedule.


also in the Financial Review:

Decision may give Woodside excuse to ditch plan

The vision of an LNG export hub on the Kimberley coast, held dear by former Woodside boss Don Voelte and WA Premier Colin Barnett, is looking as if it might remain just that, a vision.


Gas hub acquisition botched

AMANDA BANKS and FLIP PRIOR, The West Australian Updated December 7, 2011


WA Supreme Court throws wrench in gas hub plan

7:30 report, December 07, 2011 Greg Hoy Duration: 6min 9sec

Western Australia is sometimes labelled the boom state, but a plan to build a huge gas hub in the Kimberley has suffered a setback.



Nitv VIDEO coverage of the court case with Phillip Roe and Peter Tucker



Court quashes Kimberley gas hub land grab

ABC news December 06, 2011

Western Australia’s Supreme Court has ruled invalid the State Government’s move to compulsorily acquire land for a gas hub in the Kimberley.

Chief Justice Wayne Martin ruled three notices of intention to acquire the land were invalid because they did not contain a description of the land.

It means the agreements the Government has struck with the Kimberley Land Council are now invalid, putting the future of the Browse gas project in doubt.

The claimant’s lawyer Andrew Chalk says the Government and Woodside now have no certainty about accessing the land.


Traditional land owners claim gas hub court victory

Sydney Morning Herald December 6, 2011

Outside court, Mr Roe told reporters he was very happy with the result. “The judgment was really great for us to go back home and put a smile on our face,” he said.”I’ll go back and look after my songline and my heritage and culture.”I thank the lawyers – what a great job – but the fight’s not over. There’s more to come and I’ll be still going hard at it.”



Disagreement over impact of Supreme Court decision on James Price Point traditional owner gas deal

By Ben Collins, ABC news, 6 December, 2011

“The West Australian Supreme Court has ruled notices of compulsory acquisition at James Price Point invalid. Lawyers representing James Price Point traditional owners opposed to gas processing are at odds with the State Government and Woodside on how this impacts the billion dollar deal with native title claimants.”


Court finds State Government’s compulsory Kimberley land grab invalid

by: Rebecca Lawson From: PerthNow December 06, 2011


Gas hub land acquisition ‘invalid’

AMANDA BANKS and FLIP PRIOR, The West Australian December 6, 2011,


Sacred song-cycle site disturbed by gas hub plans 

December 5, 2011, The Age, Paddy Manning

“Goolarabooloo traditional custodians Phillip Roe, Richard Hunter and Joseph Roe say the proposed gas hub poses a heritage risk.

Goolarabooloo traditional custodians Phillip Roe, Richard Hunter and Joseph Roe say the proposed gas hub poses a heritage risk. Photo:. Damian Kelly

A PROPOSED $30 billion gas hub at James Price Point on Western Australia’s Kimberley coast would disturb sites used for secret Aboriginal men’s business, lawyers say.”

Alternative coverage from The Age by the same author on the same day here: Secret men’s business threatens $30 billion gas bonanza



Woodside’s $30bn Browse LNG plant in doubt

December 05 by: Matt Chamber From: The Australian

“WOODSIDE Petroleum’s plans to build the $30 billion-plus Browse liquefied natural gas plant near Broome appear to have become less appealing against the alternative of piping the gas 1000km for processing at the North West Shelf plant near Karratha when reserves there run low.

After recent industry developments here and in the US, analysts now put a greater probability on the Browse project’s offshore gas fields being turned into LNG at the North West Shelf and say this would give the project a greater value.”


 Australia’s Woodside likely to face delays on Browse -analysts

PERTH, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Australia’s Woodside Energy is unlikely to meet its target for a final investment decision on its Browse liquefied natural gas project by mid-2012 and may be forced to consider relocating the project, according to industry analysts.

Woodside has struggled to reach a consensus with its joint venture partners on its preferred site for Browse LNG project’s processing plant at James Price Point in northwest Australia, while also facing local opposition.


Broome: Dubai Down Under

Saturday 03 December 2011, The Independant (UK)

“The far north-west of Australia is a sparsely populated oasis where ancient Aboriginal beliefs still prevail. The trouble is, there’s gas there – and developers who want to turn it into a new Emirate. Kathy Marks reports from Broome”


Photos from court house December 6th

Thanks to Tahly Stozer

Other stories this month:

Inpex plans fire up with massive LNG sale deal

By Lisa Mosley Updated December 06, 2011 20:15:41

The company planning a major natural gas project in Darwin has announced it has already sold its total projected liquefied natural gas (LNG) output.

The last refuge

December 3, 2011

Mitsubishi Acquires Unconventional Natural Gas and Crude Oil Interests in the Onshore Kimberley Region of Western Australia

Tokyo, Dec 1, 2011 – (JCN Newswire) – Mitsubishi Corporation announces that it has exercised its option to acquire a 50% interest in the unconventional resources in the onshore natural gas and crude oil exploration permits in the Kimberley region of Western Australia from Buru Energy Limited (“Buru”), an oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) company.


Indigenous group threatens Wheatstone boycott

Peter Klinger, The West Australian December 1, 2011,

Today’s ceremony near Onslow to mark the start of construction of the Chevron-led $29 billion Wheatstone LNG project threatens to be overshadowed by a rift between the US giant and traditional owners.


Secret men’s business could threaten gas hub

ABC radio: David Weber reported this story on Monday, December 5, 2011 18:18:00

Listen or read as David Weber asks a series of questions that could seem to try to trivialise the cultural significance of the James Price Point region as ‘secret mens business’, there is a lot more to it than that..

“DAVID WEBER: I asked some elders in the middle of this year about whether there were sacred sites at or near James Price Point and they said there’s nothing there.

JOSEPH ROE: Well let’s go back September 2005. The same elders that you asked, they were part of a, we had a big law boss meeting. Everybody was there. Back in 2005, September 17th, Don Voelte was present from Woodside. The Kimberley Land Council was present. The Kimberley Land Council cultural advisers, they were all at the meeting. The northern traditional law bosses said no because of the song cycle.”


Analysts say Woodside Petroleum Limited’s (ASX:WPL) $30 billion Browse liquefied natural gas plant’s come “under a cloud”, and piping the gas 1000 kilometres to the North West Shelf plant for processing could be a better plan. December 5, 2011


Murdoch researchers slam gas hub report

A key document examining the potential impact on marine mammals of a proposed liquefied natural gas precinct near Broome has drawn criticism from scientists.


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