BHP Billiton today announced that it had selected a preferred site for a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
A site, approximately 4.5km southwest of Onslow, northwest Western Australia, was chosen after an extensive Site Selection Study examined a number of locations in the Pilbara for an LNG plant. The evaluation and selection incorporated a broad consultation programme with local and State stakeholders.
The site selection is part of BHP Billiton’s exclusive pre-feasibility study into the development of the Scarborough gas resource, located in retention lease WA-1-R, about 280km northwest of Onslow.
BHP Billiton’s pre-feasibility study is examining a number of concepts for the field development that would connect to a single train with capacity of approximately 6 million tonnes per annum.
BHP Billiton’s Group President Energy, Philip Aiken, said the Pilbara LNG project was being considered to either supply gas to the United States west coast energy market through BHP Billiton’s proposed Cabrillo Port project, a floating LNG regasification terminal offshore from southern California, or to the growing Asian LNG markets.
Mr Aiken said BHP Billiton would undertake a range of technical, commercial and marketing studies and initiate regulatory and environmental approvals from the Western Australian and Federal governments before any major financial investment decision would be made.
Earlier this year BHP Billiton undertook a 3-D seismic program in WA-1-R and the adjacent block WA-346-P.
“We believe Scarborough is an attractive resource and Pilbara LNG presents a promising opportunity that BHP Billiton will examine, ” Mr Aiken said.
BHP Billiton owns 50% of WA-1-R, the remainder being owned by ExxonMobil (operator).
BHP Billiton is 100% owner of WA-346-P.