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    Take the gas train, Woodside urges
    By Nigel Wilson

    WOODSIDE wants to proceed with a fifth liquefied natural gas production train
    worth $1.5 billion on the North West Shelf, and has recommended the project to
    its NW Shelf partners.

    Outgoing managing director John Akehurst said yesterday the partners would
    have to decide on the timing of the fifth train, putting the issue squarely at the
    feet of Shell, BP and ChevronTexaco, all of which have competing projects in the
    market areas the fifth train would service.

    It was a remarkably blunt response by the normally exceedingly polite Mr
    Akehurst, who is retiring as Woodside's managing director.

    Mr Akehurst detailed a first-half profit of $272.2 million, up 3 per cent, after
    restating its year-earlier result to a loss of $472.6 million because of an
    accounting change to successful efforts treatment of exploration spending.

    First half revenue was up 14 per cent at $1.1 billion while net operating cashflow
    was 8 per cent higher at $569 million.

    Mr Akehurst said the
    company hoped it had
    "reached the bottom" of its
    production decline.

    He said it would still
    achieve its new target of
    producing 58 million barrels
    of oil equivalent this year,
    despite the phased
    shutdown of North West
    Shelf production platforms
    as the $800 million second
    gas trunkline was
    connected to offshore

    The company has
    accelerated its plans to develop the Chinguetti discovery in Mauritania with a
    development/appraisal well now scheduled for later this year.

    The results of this well would help Woodside - operator and 35 per cent owner of
    Chinquetti - reach a declaration of commerciality in the fist quarter of next year.

    Woodside hopes to make a final investment decision on Chinguetti by the middle
    of next year and is about to call tenders for 1.1 million barrels floating production
    storage and offtake vessel (FPSO) for the project.

    to blackscorpion, it hurts to say this but well done to the pies.
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