BHP Billiton funds share of North West Shelf project

BHP Billiton has approved spending $850 million for its share of the North West Shelf's $5-billion North Rankin Gas Compression project to recover remaining lower pressure gas from the North Rankin and Perseus gas fields.

Offshore staff

MELBOURNE, Australia -- BHP Billiton has approved spending $850 million for its share of the North West Shelf's $5-billion North Rankin Gas Compression project to recover remaining lower pressure gas from the North Rankin and Perseus gas fields.

The project comprises a new gas compression platform, North Rankin B (NRB), to be constructed adjacent to the existing North Rankin A platform, which will require significant brownfield work including the installation of new equipment. The two platforms will be connected by a 100-m (328-ft) bridge and will operate as a single facility.

The NRB platform is will have a topsides weight of about 23,600 metric tons (26,015 tons). It is expected to start-up in 2012, with steady state production scheduled for early 2013.

North Rankin is in 125 m (410 ft) of water, approximately 135 km (80 mi) offshore Karratha on the northwest coast of Western Australia. Production from the North Rankin and Perseus fields started in 1984 and mid-1990s, respectively.

The six equal participants in the North West Shelf project with 16.67% each are Woodside Energy Ltd. (operator); BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd.; BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd.; Chevron Australia Pty Ltd.; Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd.; and Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd.. CNOOC NWS Private Ltd. is also a member of the North West Shelf Venture but does not have an interest in North West Shelf Venture infrastructure.

03/31/2008

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