Natural Gas Contract Price Review in Western Australia

Compass Lexecon expert Professor Joseph Kalt provided written and oral testimony on behalf of a joint venture of prominent Western Australia natural gas producers in an arbitration to determine the price under a high-volume, long-term natural gas contract. The North West Shelf Joint Venture (NWSJV), consisting of major natural gas producers in Western Australia, invoked the price review clause under its agreement with the region’s primary domestic reseller, Alinta. Professor Kalt assessed the fair market value of gas in Western Australia. He found that supply and demand conditions for natural gas in Western Australia were tight and that the price existing under the contract greatly undervalued natural gas compared to contemporaneous transactions in the marketplace. Professor Kalt presented oral testimony before the arbitrator and the arbitrator issued an award reflective of the economics put forth by Professor Kalt. The case was subsequently settled. The settlement provides Compass Lexecon’s clients with substantial payments of many millions of dollars in arrears, and with a rising price path going forward under the contract. Compass Lexecon’s clients were Woodside Energy, BHP Billiton, BP Developments, Chevron Australia, and Shell Development which were represented by a team of solicitors led by Paul Evans of Freehills and barrister Christopher Zelestis of Francis Burt Chambers. Professor Kalt was primarily assisted by Eric Henson, Sean Small, Diane Lee, and Marc Wiesenberger.