(EnergyAsia, February 20 2012, Monday) — Faced with rising cost, Australian upstream company Woodside said it is assessing the possibility of selling a small portion of its 50% stake in a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project off Western Australia state.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Woodside said it has not made any decision to reduce its equity in the project but it “is conducting a limited process to assess the potential sale of a minority portion of the company’s equity in the development.”

The company had earlier announced that it would be postponing its final investment decision on the project, originally due mid-2012, till next year. Amid rising material and labour costs as well as environmental hurdles, the cost of developing Browse has risen to over A$40 billion from A$30 billion last year.

According to Western Australia’s Department of State Development, Browse Basin holds reserves of 34.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 600 million barrels of condensate.