PERTH, Australia, April 11 (UPI) -- Australian company Woodside Petroleum announced Monday it was extending a strategic partnership with energy-hungry Korea Gas Corp.
Both sides met in Perth, Australia, to extend the terms of a strategic partnership that's been in place for five years.
Woodside, Royal Dutch Shell and British energy company BP hold the most shares in the Browse liquefied natural gas project, alongside minority partners in an Asian energy sector looking to Australia as a source for energy. With few resources of its own, the U.S. Energy Information Administration ranks South Korea near the top in terms of needed imports of liquefied natural gas.
Woodside supplies LNG to the Korean gas company through another Australian project, Pluto. In January, the company said it expects to produce between 86 million and 93 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2016, with more than 40 percent of that coming from the Pluto LNG project.
"The business case for continuing our cooperation with Korea Gas Corp. is clear," Woodside Chief Executive Officer Peter Coleman said in a statement.
Woodside, the largest independent oil and gas company in Australia, is among the energy companies that said its financial position was damaged in part because of historically low crude oil prices. Net income of around $26 million last year was down roughly 90 percent from the $2.4 billion recorded in 2014.
The company Woodside said last month that, even with front-end engineering and design work completed, weak economic and market conditions meant it was necessary to put a hold on the $50 billion Browse LNG facility.
The company said it was slated to make further investment decisions on Browse later this year, but would now work with its partners on a new work program and budget.