By now, Noble Energy (NASDAQ:NBL) and its partners in the natural gas fields off the coast realize they need one thing over anything else: a partner with liquefied natural gas experience. That is what makes the potential deal with Australian company Woodside Petroleum so important. Not only is it an experienced LNG operator in Australia, it also doesn't have any major connections to other Middle East countries that could pose a potential conflict of interest. Problem is, though, the deal to bring Woodside into the fold is taking longer than expected. 

Unfortunately for Noble and others, they aren't negotiating from a position of strength: They need Woodside more than Woodside needs this project. For Noble Energy, getting this deal done has major ramifications on its growth over the next several years. Find out how it could impact Noble's production plans by tuning into the video below. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.