Woodside abandons James Point Project

Green Lifestyle Magazine

An environmental victory: Woodside has decided to not go ahead with the controversial James Price Point project in the Kimberley.

James Price Point

The pristine James Price Point in Western Australia.

Credit: Greens MP on Flickr via Creative Commons

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Woodside Petroleum announced this morning that it would be abandoning a $45 billion project proposed for James Price Point in the Kimberley, Western Australia. The company concluded that after technical and commercial evaluation, the project won't be worth the costs.

"Woodside have done the figures and despite the pressure it doesn’t add up to develop the Browse Basin gas at a green field onshore location such as JPP,” said ACF Kimberley Project Officer Wade Freeman. “Woodside could not afford this development and they could not afford the loss of social licence and corporate reputation.”

Woodside, Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company, says it will investigate other options with the Browse Joint Venture, which could include floating technologies, piping to existing facilities in the Pilbara or smaller onshore developments at the proposed location near James Price Point.

Located approximately 50 km north of Broome, the project was planned to enable gas from the Browse Basin to be processed onshore, and was speculated to be the largest oil and gas development in the country. The project was expected to bring many benefits to WA, including the creation of thousands of long term of jobs, as well as providing new employment options for local indigenous people in the area.

The decision to scrap the scheme has been welcomed by environmentalists and residents, after fears it would affect dugongs, endangered bilbies, heritage listed dinosaur footprints and the migratory patterns of humpback whales. For environmentalists, the fight is not over yet, as the suggestions of smaller developments are still cause for concern.

"I think you'll probably look for some form of floating system, not quite as expensive and also a little bit more manageable," Chief economist Jonathan Barratt told the ABC.