Govt support not critical: Coleman

On the eve of the State Parliament's floating LNG inquiry resuming, Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman has used a trip to South Korea to highlight that WA Government approval is not necessary for his company's Browse consortium to push ahead with its big-ticket gas field development.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress in Daegu, Mr Coleman told industry newswire Platts that State approvals for the Browse floating LNG project "are important (but) they're not critical to our decision one way or the other".

However, "it's not desirable" to go ahead with the project without State approval, Mr Coleman added, and told Platts it was important to keep the Government aligned "because there will be interactions with the State, whether it be around supply bases or other activities".

Mr Coleman's comments are likely to further infuriate Premier Colin Barnett, who is staunchly opposed to the Woodside-led consortium's plan to develop the Torosa, Calliance and Brecknock fields through three floating gas processing ships.

Instead, Mr Barnett wants the gas processed at James Price Point, north of Broome, to ensure the State benefits from the associated construction boom, and he has refused to alter lease conditions for the Torosa field, parts of which lie in WA waters.

_WestBusiness _has previously reported that the State's share of the Browse project's overall gas resource is estimated to be as low as 5 per cent, a figure supported by Mr Coleman yesterday.

Today's resumption of the Economics & Industry Standing Committee's public hearings into the economic impact of FLNG on the State will hear from Woodside executives, who are likely to be grilled about Mr Coleman's comments as well as what plans the company has to adhere to WA's domestic gas reservation policy and where it expects to base its supply base to service the Browse development.

On Monday, the inquiry will turn its attention to BP, ConocoPhillips, GDF Suez, Santos and ExxonMobil. BP is a partner in the Woodside Browse consortium, ConocoPhillips has a big field in the Browse Basin, GDF Suez and Santos are proposing FLNG for their field off Darwin, and ExxonMobil is operator of the Scarborough FLNG joint venture with BHP Billiton.