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BHP Billiton Approves Funding For North West Shelf North Rankin Gas Compression Project

Number 11/08

BHP Billiton today announced approval for the North West Shelf’s North Rankin Gas Compression project which is designed to recover remaining lower pressure gas from the North Rankin and Perseus gas fields. BHP Billiton has approved expenditure of US$850 million (BHP Billiton share) on the project.

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 itself require significant brownfield work including the installation of new equipment. The two platforms will be connected by a 100-metre bridge and operate as a single facility.

The NRB platform is a major offshore facility with a topsides weight of about 23,600 tonnes. NRB is expected to start-up in 2012, with-steady state production scheduled for early 2013.

BHP Billiton Petroleum Chief Executive J. Michael Yeager said the North Rankin B project would deliver high-value gas supply from the North West Shelf for another 25 years.

"The North Rankin B project is part of BHP Billiton’s continued commitment to developing Australia’s major resources. This extension of the North West Shelf project follows our approval of the fifth LNG train which significantly expanded the LNG facility as well as the Angel gas and condensate field which are under development," he said.

"These investments in this long-life, world-class asset underpin a significant extension of BHP Billiton’s long-term production profile."

North Rankin is located in 125 metres of water (410 feet), approximately 135 kilometres (80 miles) offshore from Karratha on the North West coast of Western Australia. Production from the North Rankin and Perseus fields started in 1984 and mid-1990’s respectively.

The six equal participants in the North West Shelf project are: Woodside Energy Ltd. (16.67 per cent and operator); BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd 16.67 per cent; BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd (16.67 per cent); Chevron Australia Pty Ltd (16.67 per cent); Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd (16.67 per cent); and Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd (16.67 per cent). 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.

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