Another Milestone for Kipper Gas Field

Esso Australia Resources Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, says that the Kipper project participants had signed commercial agreements to establish the Kipper Unit Joint Venture (KUJV) and enter Front End Engineering and Design (FEED).

The KUJV participants are Esso Australia Resources Pty. Ltd (32.5% & operator) and subsidiaries of BHP Billiton (32.5%) and Santos Limited (35%).

Under the new arrangements, the project participants have agreed on the key terms and conditions for operating the Kipper development, including the processing of the gas and the formal establishment of the operator of the KUJV.

ExxonMobil Australia Chairman Mark Nolan noted that the signing of the agreements was an important project milestone in the development of the field and one which allows the project to undertake FEED.

The establishment of the KUJV is a significant step forward for the project and it allows KUJV participants to progress into the FEED phase of the project," Mr. Nolan said.

"The decision of venture participants to establish the KUJV and enter FEED ensures that the development is on schedule to consider a final investment decision in 2007.

"The Kipper project has the potential to be one of the largest gas developments to come on stream in Victoria since the Bass Strait fields were developed by Esso and BHP over 30 years ago. Kipper gas 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 existing Esso and BHP Billiton Bass Strait facilities.

First gas is planned by the end of the decade subject to corporate funding approvals by each of the Kipper participants.

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