“A particularly large customer has procrastinated on signing up as a foundation customer, even though those contracts are only indicative,” he said in a media teleconference yesterday.
“We’ve had many, many months now of delay and indecision, to the point where it is prudent to stop the expenditure at this stage.”
AGL stopped short of naming Santos in its release to the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday when referring to a “continued lack of committed foundation gas load” but Anthony referred to procrastination on behalf of the “sizeable customer”.
“Is this project important to us? Damn sure. Are we committed? Yes. Are we frustrated to hell that there has been procrastination? Yes,” the Australian Financial Review quoted him as saying.
Anthony said it was “illogical” to proceed to the next stage of project development without the commitment of Santos.
“Although we are banking nearly 50% of the PNG offtake, they’re a significant player too and their lack of decision on this has led to the project being delayed and led to the position we are currently in,” he said.
Yesterday, Oil Search said AGL’s announcement was “clearly an attempt to bring key decisions on project participation and ownership to a rapid outcome”.
“It is clear to all parties that this remains the key issue in moving this project forward to a potentially successfully outcome.”