Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, announced Woodside Energy Ltd's Pluto LNG Project, involving an investment of more than A$5 billion, has been granted Major Project Facilitation status.
The project involves the development of the Pluto gas field, located off the north-west coast of Western Australia and the construction of a new onshore LNG facility in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
"This project offers Australia a significant opportunity to further develop its valuable gas resources and access LNG markets in the Asia Pacific region, including the emerging North American market."
"Woodside plans to produce between 5 and 7 million tonnes of LNG a year which represents not only a significant boost to Australia's exports but also considerable scope for regional economic benefits," said Mr. Macfarlane.
More than 1500 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase with about 150 ongoing jobs to continue operations.
The project also represents Woodside's continued commitment to the development of Australia's resources," Mr. Macfarlane said.
With the Major Project Facilitation Status, the project will be assisted by the Australian Government's national inward investment agency, Invest Australia, which will work closely with the project proponents and both levels of Government.
Through the MPF service, Invest Australia provides investors with information, advice and assistance with necessary government approvals, as well as identifying relevant government programs that may assist significant investment projects.
The Pluto field, which was only discovered earlier this year, is located approximately 100km off the north-west coast of Western Australia and approximately 180km from the Burrup Peninsula.
It contains an estimated contingent resource of at least 3.5 trillion cubic feet of relatively dry gas which contains small amounts of condensate and low levels of carbon dioxide.