Woodside's project, known as OceanWay, would use safe, state-of-the-art technology at least 15 miles off the coast of California and standard pipeline and storage facilities on land.
California imports 86 percent of its natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico, Canada and the Rockies. With those supplies declining, California natural gas costs have dramatically increased. Woodside Natural Gas, through its relationship with Woodside Energy Ltd. of Australia, has access to huge gas reserves in North Western Australia that can be delivered to California by ship to meet California's needs.
To ship natural gas it is cooled to a liquid form to make intercontinental shipping practical. Liquefied natural gas has 1/600th the volume of regular natural gas. Woodside's California project would use safe environmentally sensitive technology to convert the shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) back to regular natural gas at sea on board the ship.
Woodside has an excellent safety record, delivering 2,000 cargoes of liquefied natural gas -- mostly from Australia to Japan -- without a single major incident.
"Woodside has proven supplies of gas and a proven record of safe delivery," said Jane Cutler, president, Woodside Natural Gas. "We intend to provide a reliable supply of natural gas to curb the spiraling rise in prices. California deserves affordable energy; we can help ensure that happens."
The company is currently considering several sites. The criteria being used in the selection process include: a location remote from populated areas, minimum on-shore disruption and safe oceanographic conditions.
Once a permit application is filed, Woodside will seek approval from federal, state, and local agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and the California State Lands Commission, before the project proceeds.
"We have the experience and expertise," said Cutler. "We look forward to working with all regulators, policy makers, agencies and communities to develop a safe, reliable project that is the best natural gas solution for California."
Natural gas is safe and easy to distribute. There are more than 1 million miles of pipelines in the U.S. for long-distance and local delivery of natural gas to almost every home and business for heating, cooking, and hot water.
Woodside Natural Gas Inc is a wholly owned member of the group of companies owned by Woodside Petroleum Ltd. Woodside is Australia's largest publicly listed independent energy company (market capitalization $19 billion), and one of Australia's most successful explorers, developers and producers of natural gas. In Australia, Woodside operates the world-class North West Shelf Venture resource development, where it has developed a global reputation for reliable, safe and efficient delivery of liquefied natural gas.
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