Woodside obtains $1 billion loan to finance giant gas project

Japanese back Woodside with $1 billion loan for giant gas project in Australia

Australian energy giant Woodside has signed a $1 billion loan agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to fund its giant gas project off the coast of Western Australia.

The loan agreement, executed in Tokyo, Japan, between Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill and JBIC Deputy Governor Kazuhiko Amakawa, will fund the Scarborough Energy Project and further strengthen Woodside’s balance sheet, providing diversity of funding and liquidity.

The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding (MoU) the two partners signed in November 2022 aimed at securing a stable supply of energy for Japan and to assist in achieving its decarbonization goals.

“JBIC has supported all of Woodside’s milestone Australian projects including the North West Shelf, Pluto LNG and now Scarborough. It is therefore fitting that we have executed this agreement in the same week that Woodside celebrates 35 years of secure and reliable LNG exports to Japan,” said O’Neill.

“Investment in new Australian LNG supply, like Scarborough, can help Japanese customers meet their energy security needs while also supporting regional decarbonisation goals.”

The Scarborough Energy Project, located 375 kilometers off the Pilbara coast in the Carnarvon Basin, is on schedule for first LNG cargo in 2026.

The gas field will be developed through new offshore facilities connected by an approximately 430-kilometer pipeline to a second LNG train (Pluto Train 2) at the existing Pluto LNG onshore facility, and will include the installation of a floating production unit (FPU) with eight wells drilled in the initial phase and thirteen wells drilled over the field’s life.

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Work at the Pluto LNG facility is proceeding with the ongoing arrival and installation of the Pluto Train 2 modules on-site in Karratha.

The installation of the subsea infrastructure and the drilling program continues while the floating production unit’s living quarters have been installed on the topsides.

The loan agreement follows the previously announced sale of two non-operating participating interests in the Scarborough Joint Venture to JERA – 15.1%, completion subject to conditions precedent, and LNG Japan – 10%, since completed in March 2024.