Woodside Petroleum says it has discovered 2.4 trillion cubic feet of gas off Myanmar as it booked an increase in its hydrocarbon resource and flagged a start-up of production in the South East Asian frontier country in five year's time.
Addressing almost 100 analysts and investors at Woodside's annual investor briefing day in Sydney, chief executive Peter Coleman also said the contentious Browse floating LNG project would be developed in phases, with the new project design to be completed in the second half of next year.
But Woodside's high-profile presentation, at which it wants to address lingering market concerns about a lack of production growth options, is threatening to be hijacked by news this morning Oil Search had struck a $US2.2 billion deal to take over InterOil to consolidate the companies' Papua New Guinea LNG aspirations.
The merger news comes less than a year since Oil Search rejected a hostile scrip takeover bid from Woodside.
Woodside has long harboured ambitions to join the PNG gas rush and is expected to have also looked at InterOil, run by former Woodside senior executive Michael Hession.