Santos Ltd., Australia's second-largest independent gas producer, said on Tuesday it has appointed contractors Foster Wheeler Ltd. and Bechtel to study the pre-front end engineering and design (FEED) work for its Gladstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) project for six months.

Santos said the plan is to move to a formal FEED process by year-end or early next year, that a final investment decision be made by the end of 2009, and the first LNG cargos by early 2014.

"Since announcing the project mid last year, Santos has made significant progress in terms of growing our upstream gas resources, securing a freehold liquefaction plant site in Gladstone, lodging key environmental approval documents, and commencing a process to secure a potential partner," said David Knox, the company's acting chief executive officer.

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Related Project
Gladstone LNG (GLNG)
Facility Type: LNG Owner: Santos Ltd. (60%; operator); Petronas (40%)
Scope: New Construction Location: Gladstone, Queensland Australia