Origin Energy Wins BassGas Dispute

Origin Energy on behalf of the BassGas Project Joint Venture reports that the Federal Court has dismissed the application by Clough Engineering Limited seeking restoration of the $19.3 million bank guarantee called by Origin Energy on behalf of the Joint Venture and an injunction to restrain the calling of a second bank guarantee of a further $19.3 million.

The Court also directed Clough to pay Origin's legal costs on the matter.

The BassGas Joint Venture called upon the first bank guarantee on 30 November 2004 because, in the opinion of the Joint Venture, Clough failed to perform significant work that was required of it to achieve completion of certain works in accordance with the EPIC Contract. The Court's dismissal of Clough's application unequivocally supports the right of the Joint Venture to call upon the guarantee.

Following the dismissal of Clough's application today, the BassGas Joint Venture is at liberty to call upon the second bank guarantee in accordance with the terms of the EPIC contract.

As previously announced, Clough has instigated other legal proceedings on matters relating to the contract. These disputed matters are scheduled to go before an arbitrator later in the year. The Joint Venture has significant counterclaims against Clough which will be prosecuted in the same proceedings.

The BassGas Joint Venturers remain confident that the matters in dispute will be resolved in their favor.

Participants in the BassGas Joint Venture are Origin Energy Resources as operator with 32.5%; Origin Energy Northwest with 5%; AWE Petroleum with 30%; CalEnergy Gas with 20%; Wandoo Petroleum with 12.5%.