The Woodside Browse consortium is expected to consider building a re-gasification terminal on the North West coast as a way of satisfying the requirements of WA's domestic gas policy.
That way, it could use a smaller, purpose-built LNG tanker to deliver gas volumes into the State's market, most likely through Broome or Karratha.
Neither Woodside Petroleum, the consortium's operator, nor the State Government, which controls part of the Browse fields, would comment on the re-gasification idea.
But a source close to the Browse consortium said re-gasification, along with a North West Shelf venture gas swap, were the two most likely options if it had to adhere to the WA domestic gas reservation policy, which demands that 15 per cent of gas is kept for the local market.
The reservation policy is hated by the oil and gas industry but strongly supported by big gas users such as manufacturers and utilities, which are perennially worried an LNG-only export policy would leave domestic customers stranded without affordable gas supplies.
Having decided to develop its massive Browse Basin gas resource through floating LNG, the Woodside consortium is expected to dismiss the idea of a costly pipeline to supply the State's domestic market.
"There are loads of little re-gas terminals in Europe, Broome has got a little re-gas terminal," the source said.
"Small re-gas is easy. So I would have to think we would have to look at the cost of bringing in a small tanker. You wouldn't want to run a super LNG tanker back and forth but you could look at the smaller tanker option."
Broome's electricity is provided by gas-fired power. The gas is supplied by trucks carting liquefied gas from Energy Development Corp's LNG plant near Karratha to Broome's re-gas plant.The Woodside consortium's plans to service the domestic gas market are likely to come into focus when the Parliament's Economics and Industry Standing Committee resumes its hearings, as early as next week, into the economic impact of FLNG.