The Kipper Project participants are Esso Australia Resources Pty. Ltd., (operator) and subsidiaries of BHP Billiton and Santos Ltd.
ExxonMobil Australia Chairman Mark Nolan noted that the acceptance of a production license was another important project milestone in the development of the field.
"This decision is another important step for the Kipper Project toward entering FEED and consideration of a final investment decision in 2007," Mr. Nolan said.
"The Kipper project has the potential to be one of the largest gas developments to come on stream in Victoria in the near term.
"Along with the additional 700 billion cubic feet of gas identified in Bass Strait in 2004/05, it will underpin future growth in ExxonMobil's gas sales," Mr. Nolan said.
The Kipper field is located in 100 meters of water, approximately 45 kilometers from Ninety Mile Beach on the Gippsland coast, and has a confirmed resource of approximately 620 billion cubic feet of recoverable gas and 30 million barrels of condensate/LPG.
The initial Kipper development concept is based upon the installation of a number of subsea wells and associated pipelines. The gas and liquids will be processed using Esso and BHP Billiton facilities.
First gas is planned to start before the end of the decade subject to corporate funding approvals by each of the Kipper participants.
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