Woodside Selects OceanWay Site

Woodside Natural Gas announced that its proposed OceanWay Secure Energy project, which would deliver Australian natural gas to California, will be more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the coast of Los Angeles.

OceanWay will require neither the construction of an onshore liquefied natural gasss (LNG) terminal onshore nor or offshore platform. Instead, gas will be delivered from specially designed ships through an undersea pipeline to existing gas pipeline facilities in an industrial area near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Woodside anticipates little or no disruption to residential neighborhoods.

The process of converting LNG to regular natural gas begins onboard the ship. The ship connects to an underwater buoy, which facilitates a secure connection to OceanWay's undersea pipeline. The proposal calls for connecting this pipeline to the Southern California Gas Company system.

"Providing a safe, reliable and affordable natural gas supply to Southern California is the number one goal of the OceanWay proposal," said Jane Cutler, president of Woodside Natural Gas. "Woodside has the experience, expertise, and gas reserves required to succeed in this vital endeavor and is committed to working with regulators, policy makers, and local communities to achieve this goal."

Cutler said that a major advantages of Woodside's proposal is that it would deliver natural gas in an environmentally sensitive manner. "The technologically advanced ships we use are specifically engineered for the delivery of LNG and they eliminate the need for an onshore terminal or an offshore platform," she said, adding that ocean views would be unaffected because the proposal has no surface terminal.

"When a ship is delivering natural gas it will be over 20 miles offshore, over five miles beyond commercial shipping lanes, and barely visible even on the clearest of days," Ms. Cutler said. "The rest of the time, only a small marker will be on the surface of the water."

. Under Woodside's proposal, the undersea pipeline will come ashore below ground in the industrial area next to LAX. The location is near the same industrial strip as the Los Angeles Department of Public Works' Hyperion sewage treatment facility, the Scattergood power plant, and the Chevron oil refinery. The onshore receiving facilities for OceanWay will be minimal.

Cutler said that Woodside had three critical criteria in mind when choosing a site for the OceanWay proposal. "These were to minimize environmental disturbance, to maximize the distance from residential areas, and to ensure the site is a sufficient distance from shipping lanes and marine preserves," she explained. "With our buoy placed so far offshore and no terminal, our pipeline completely undersea and underground, and our landfall point within the LAX industrial area, we believe our proposal meets those requirements." Woodside is now beginning the permit application process. It will seek approval from federal, state, and local agencies--including the US Coast Guard, California State Lands Commission, and California Coastal Commission--before the proposal proceeds. Woodside will also run an extensive community outreach program.