Woodside Falls After Land Acquisition Report

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) fell in Sydney trading after a report said a court ruled that compulsory land acquisition notices by Western Australia state for the company’s Browse natural-gas processing hub were unlawful.

Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer dropped as much as 1.8 percent to A$33.56 and traded at A$33.57 at 2:44 p.m. local time. The stock had risen as much as 0.6 percent before the report by the Australian Associated Press. S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 1.1 percent.

Three land acquisition notices were declared invalid by Chief Justice Wayne Martin of the Western Australia Supreme Court, the AAP reported citing a lawyer representing an indigenous group opposing the liquefied natural gas plant at James Price Point. The court decision won’t affect the project’s schedule, Woodside said in an e-mailed statement.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Coleman, who took control of Woodside in May, plans to develop an estimated A$75 billion ($76 billion) in Australian LNG projects with existing partners including BP Plc and Chevron Corp. The company said previously it was aiming to approve the Browse venture in mid-2012.

The Perth-based company’s partners in Browse are Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP and BHP Billiton Ltd. The project may cost A$38 billion, according to an estimate by Deutsche Bank AG.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Scott in Perth at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at

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