Royal Dutch Shell’s $12 billion Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project has been granted Major Project Facilitation (MPF) status by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese.  

Mr Albanese said that in declaring the project “strategically significant”, he was directing his department’s officials to assist the company to navigate and, wherever possible, streamline the required planning and environmental approval processes.

If given the final go ahead by the relevant authorities, the project would develop the Prelude and Concerto gas fields located in the Browse Basin 475 kilometres north of Broome by deploying a specially built 488-metre-long vessel to extract the gas from beneath the seabed and liquefy it on-board. It would likely be the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas facility. 

Shares in Macarthur Coal surged 37 per cent following the $4.7 billion offer from US coal giant Peabody Energy, sparking speculation that Xstrata is positioning itself to make a contending bid.

Recruitment experts Hays have released an employment report for the resources sector for the July-September quarter, finding a significant demand for engineers across all disciplines.

Rio Tinto China’s managing director, Ian Bauert, has called for the development of a mature and open relationship between China and Australia, urging that all traces of xenophobia be removed from the mining and resources sector.

Loy Yang Power, owner of Victoria’s largest brown coal station, has voiced its fears over the country’s new Carbon Tax, saying that the Federal Government’s plans to assist the power industry will not stop the price erosion of its assets.

Four peak energy and resources industry associations are currently recruiting chief executives.

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) has criticized the Federal Government’s carbon policy  for failing to protect Australia’s gas export industry.

WPG Resources’ Iron Ore mine at Peculiar Knob is to become South Australia’s 17th approved mine.

A $1.3 billion package has been announced as part of the Federal Government's carbon price plan to support companies with high levels of fugutive emissions in the mining process. However, coal mining companies will not be eligible for  free emissions permits that have been promised other energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries.

UGL Limited has announced that it has secured new works and contract extensions with a range of blue chip customers in the oil and gas, coal and alumina
sectors. These works have a total end value of approximately $400 million, distributed between new works and contract extensions.

The 2011 Fraser Institute Global Petroleum Survey has ranked the commercial environment in Victoria for the petroleum industry as the best in Australia and the fourth-best in the world.


Victoria also scored strongly in the key index of the survey measuring how attractive jurisdictions are for investment in the upstream oil and gas industry, ranking 19th out of 136 global jurisdictions for its lack of barriers to investment.


The Fraser Institute surveyed 478 of the world's top oil and gas companies who together accounted for more than 60 per cent of upstream oil and gas exploration expenditure last year.


The survey result comes in the wake of recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) which found there were $4.6 billion worth of oil and gas projects either confirmed or under construction across Victoria.


A link to the Fraser Institue report is here .

The WA Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien has announced a ‘10-step framework’  designed to improve channels of communication between suppliers and project proponents and to ensure the State has a more complete picture of what benefits resource projects bring to WA.

Australia’s skills shortage is a major constraint on the growth of the liquefied natural gas industry, according to Macquarie Private Wealth.

Beach Energy has successfully encountered a six metre oil column at the Parsons-5 development well in the Cooper Basin Western Flank.

FMC technologies has been awarded a contract to supply subsea production and associated topside systems to Shell’s Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility at the Prelude Gas Field off Australia’s north west coast.

The new Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) has begun operations as an independent research unit within the Federal resources, energy and tourism portfolio.

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