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Woodside kicks off FEED to double Pluto LNG capacity by 2024

The design contract will look at putting in a second train with a capacity of 5m tonnes per annum

Wood Mackenzie has projected a global LNG supply gap from as early as 2022 due to a lack of new investments in the last few years

AUSTRALIAN gas giant Woodside Petroleum has formalised the award of a front-end engineering and design contract to Bechtel, effectively putting the second train lined up for its Pluto liquefied natural gas complex in the running to meet a projected LNG supply gap in the next five years.

Bechtel’s FEED contract will cover activities required to finalise the costs and technical definition of Pluto Train 2, which has a nameplate capacity of 5m tonnes per annum. This new train effectively doubles liquefaction capacity at the Pluto LNG complex sited along Western Australia's Burrup Peninsula.

Woodside was targeting to start the FEED studies in early 2019, with an eye on a final investment decision in 2020.

Pluto Train 2 will take in feed gas from the 7.3trn cu ft Scarborough field, in which Woodside holds a 75% stake.

It is expected to start operations in 2024, in time to fill a projected global LNG supply gap.

Energy and commodities consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie predicted that a lack of new project FIDs in the last few years and a robust pick-up in LNG demand in Europe and Asia would result in a global supply gap for the super-chilled fuel from as early as 2022.

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