NWS Approves Second Trunkline Project

The North West Shelf Venture will build a second trunkline from its offshore facilities to its onshore plant near Karratha in Western Australia. The decision follows advice that each participating company has now approved expenditure for the project, with construction contracts to be awarded with immediate effect. The six joint venture participants had previously announced in-principle support for the second trunkline in March 2001.

The trunkline will link the Venture's offshore production facilities, about 130km north west of Karratha, to the onshore gas plant on the Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia. The pipeline will be 1067 millimeters in diameter (42 inches) with a wall thickness of 23.9 millimeters. The second trunkline represents an investment of about A$800 million and is complementary to the current expansion of the Venture's onshore gas processing facilities. This expansion includes a fourth LNG processing train and associated infrastructure. The A$1.6 billion fourth train has a capacity of 4.2 million tons of LNG a year.

The second trunkline will provide extra capacity to supply existing Japanese and other customers. Total agreements for LNG from Train 4 now stand at almost 3.9 million tons of LNG a year. The 42 inch diameter sizing of the second trunkline has been chosen to provide sufficient capacity to feed LNG Trains Four and Five and to cater for substantial growth in gas supply demand for domestic use and onshore downstream gas processing. Trains Four and Five will more than double the current LNG plant capacity from 7.3 to 16 million tons per annum.

North West Shelf Gas, the Australian domestic gas marketing representative for the North West Shelf Venture, has several Memorandums of Understanding with prospective customers for gas-related projects on the Burrup. Construction of the trunkline is scheduled to finish in April 2004 to coincide with completion of Train 4. First LNG production from Train 4 is scheduled for mid-2004. The six equal participants in the North West Shelf Venture are: Woodside Energy Ltd. (operator); BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd; BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd; Chevron Australia Pty Ltd; Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd; and Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited.