Woodside & Partners Sign Blacktip Gas Agreement

Woodside Energy Ltd, Eni Australia B.V. and Alcan Gove Pty Limited have signed an exclusive heads of agreement specifying key commercial terms for the supply of natural gas from the Blacktip gas field in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf to Alcan's alumina refinery and bauxite mining plant at Gove in the Northern Territory.

The agreement proposes gas supply of 40 petajoules a year over 20 years from 2007. Blacktip gas provides Alcan with a long-term secure and clean energy source capable of supporting the gasification and expansion of its Gove alumina refinery.

The agreement is conditional on Alcan and the Blacktip partners each making a final investment decision, obtaining regulatory approvals and concluding pipeline arrangements to transport gas from the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf to Gove.

Woodside's Gas Business Unit Director, David Maxwell, said the agreement with Alcan was a key step towards the commercialization of Blacktip gas.

"Development of the Blacktip gas field provides a secure and competitive gas supply for the Northern Territory and supports Alcan's proposed gasification and expansion of its Gove facilities," he said. "It is a key part of Woodside's growth strategy for Australian gas."

Blacktip, which is more than 100km north of Wyndham in the offshore permit, WA279P, was discovered in September 2001. Its scope for recovery is 1.1 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Woodside also confirmed that it had reached agreement with Eni on a restructuring of interests in the Bonaparte Gulf in which Eni has increased its stake in permits WA 279P, WA313P and NT/P57.