Bonaparte killed off

French giant GDF Suez and Australia's Santos have abandoned their plans for the $5.1bn Bonaparte floating LNG (FLNG) development in the Timor Sea.

The partners said pre-front-end engineering and design (pre-FEED) studies indicated that the project "does not currently meet the companies' commercial requirements."

Santos said FLNG remained an option for Bonaparte but the pair said they will now focus on piping gas from the Petrel, Tern and Frigate gasfields either to the ConocoPhillips-controlled Darwin LNG plant, in which Santos is a partner, or its near neighbour Inpex's under-construction Ichthys LNG plant.

The news is likely to disappoint South Korean shipbuilders who had submitted technical bids to engineering companies KBR and Technip which had been undertaking parallel front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies on the floater. Yards had been told to expect a decision on FEED work last month.