Conoco, Origin approve Australia Pacific LNG expansion

US oil giant Conoco Phillips and its Australian partner Origin Energy have approved a final investment decision to go ahead with the second train of Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd (APLNG) project in Queensland with an investment of $6 billion.

The $20-billion coal seam gas (CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) including two trains is a three-way joint venture between ConoccoPhillips, Origin Energy and Chinese oil giant Sinopec Corp.

''This announcement marks another important milestone for the Australia Pacific LNG project and ConocoPhillips. Sanctioning of the second train is the final step in the approval process for the project,'' ConoccoPhillips chairman and chief executive officer Ryan Lance said in a statement.

The project includes the development of APLNG's substantial coal seam gas resources in the Surat and Bowen Basins, a transmission pipeline, and a multi-train LNG facility on Curtis Island, near Gladstone.

The first LNG train sanctioned a year ago is under construction. Delivery of gas from the project is scheduled to begin in 2015, and exports from the second train are expected in early 2016.

''The Australia Pacific LNG project is on schedule, and is strategically positioned to commercialise its superior CSG reserve position and satisfy Asia's rapidly growing demand for reliable, cleaner-burning energy,'' Lance said.