Foster Wheeler Ltd. through its UK-headquartered subsidiary, Foster Wheeler Energy Limited, has been awarded a contract to undertake a six-month study for the pre-front-end engineering design (pre-FEED) for Santos Ltd.’s planned Gladstone LNG (GLNG) project in Queensland, Australia.

The proposed project is for a 3-4 million tonnes per annum LNG processing facility and associated infrastructure, with the GLNG facility being one of the first LNG facilities in the world to use coal-bed methane as a feedstock for LNG production.

The Foster Wheeler contract value, which was not disclosed, will be included in the company’s second-quarter 2008 bookings and reflects the group’s growing reputation in this field, with such contracts in Australia now mounting up.

Michael J. Beaumont, Chairman and CEO of Foster Wheeler Energy Limited, explained, “This latest LNG award, which is our fourth LNG award in Australia, reflects the depth of our liquefaction expertise, our detailed knowledge of the Australian market, and the added value and objectivity our Reading-based Midstream LNG Group is able to bring to the early stages of LNG project development.”

Foster Wheeler is one of two contractors appointed to undertake pre-FEED studies to enable Santos to consider the optimum technical design for, and cost and schedule implications of, two different LNG process technologies for GLNG – which is now achieving real progression as the momentum builds.

David Knox, acting CEO for Santos Ltd, commented, “This is clearly a significant milestone and further demonstrates the momentum which is building around GLNG. The dual pre-FEED contract awards have been achieved in line with the project schedule and it is pleasing to have such experienced, world-class contractors appointed to the project.”

Santos has announced that it anticipates making a decision to move towards a formal FEED process by the end of 2008 or early 2009, with a final investment decision due by the end of 2009 and the first LNG cargoes early in 2014.