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BHP Billiton announced today its share of development costs for the North West Shelf Venture’s Angel gas and condensate field off the north west coast of Australia. Development will begin immediately following final investment decisions by all of the joint-venture participants.

Based on the operator’s estimate the total investment is A$1.6 billion (BHP Billiton’s share approximately US$200 million). This will include installation of the Venture’s third major offshore production platform off the North West Shelf and associated infrastructure, including a new subsea 50km pipeline which will be tied in to the first trunkline at the North Rankin platform. The development is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2008.

BHP Billiton’s Group President Energy, Philip Aiken, said:  “The development is another significant step in BHP Billiton’s goal to maximise the value of our interest in the North West Shelf and follows our approval of the fifth train expansion earlier this year.”

“The Angel project continues to build on the foundation of the North West Shelf’s LNG business,” Mr Aiken said.

The remotely operated Angel processing platform will be in 80 metres of water about 49km east of the Venture’s existing North Rankin production facility. Hydrocarbons will be produced through one processing unit with a capacity of up to 800 million standard cubic feet of gas a day plus associated condensate.

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

For further information please contact:

Australia
Jane Belcher, Investor Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 3952  Mobile: +61 417 031 653
email: Jane.H.Belcher@bhpbilliton.com

Samantha Evans, Media Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 2898  Mobile: +61 400 693 915
email: Samantha.Evans@bhpbilliton.com

United Kingdom
Mark Lidiard, Investor & Media Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4156  Mobile: +44 7769 934 942
email: Mark.Lidiard@bhpbilliton.com

Ariane Gentil, Media Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4177  Mobile: +44 78 81 51 8715
email: Ariane.Gentil@bhpbilliton.com

United States
Tracey Whitehead, Investor & Media Relations
Tel: US +1 713 599 6100 or UK +44 20 7802 4031
Mobile: +44 7917 648 093
email: Tracey.Whitehead@bhpbilliton.com

South Africa
Alison Gilbert, Investor Relations
Tel: SA +27 11 376 2121 or UK +44 20 7802 4183
email: Alison.Gilbert@bhpbilliton.com

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