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Australia LNG Boom Threatened by U.S. Shale Exporters

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and PetroChina Co. are designing a liquefied natural gas plant in Australia with capacity of about 9 million metric tons a year that Deutsche Bank AG says will cost more than $20 billion.

Arrow Energy Ltd., the partners’ Brisbane-based venture, plans to decide on whether to invest in the project by the end of next year, Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said.

“There have been and are ongoing discussions between partners as to whether gas can potentially be taken from one producer through other peoples’ facilities,” Henry said today on a conference call. “If there’s a deal there to be done, we’ll do the deal, if not then we move on” with building the joint venture’s own LNG plant in Queensland, he said.

Arrow, acquired by Shell and PetroChina in 2010, bought Bow Energy Ltd. last year for A$535 million ($555 million), gaining resources to support the proposed development. Shareholders of Arrow have agreed to buy all the LNG from the project.

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