Woodside warned 'use Browse or lose it'

The federal government wants Woodside to move on its stalled Browse gas project in WA.
The federal government wants Woodside to move on its stalled Browse gas project in WA.

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan is heaping pressure on Woodside over the stalled Browse gas project in Western Australia, but the company insists it's making progress.

Woodside is onto its third concept for processing the offshore gas, this time via a pipeline to the existing North West Shelf facility after abandoning earlier plans for an onshore plant at James Price Point and a floating processing vessel.

Mr Canavan vented frustration after the NWS joint venture partners missed last month's target to agree to terms for a processing deal.

"This has been a 15-year process," the minister told 6PR radio on Friday.

"We're coming very close to the end of a retention lease they have over this area and I've been putting a lot of pressure on all the joint venture partners to make this happen now.

"It is a bit of a three strikes and you're out situation."

Responding to his comments on Monday, Woodside told AAP the "use it or lose it" principle in the industry was not new and the company remained committed to developing the Browse project.

It said the Browse joint venture was "aligned on being ready" to commence front-end engineering design by the end of this year and continued to target a final investment decision in late 2020.

Woodside is the operator of both the Browse and NWS joint ventures.

Australian Associated Press