North West Shelf and Toho Ink LNG Deal

The North West Shelf Venture and Toho Gas Co., Ltd of Japan have signed a heads of agreement for the ongoing supply of liquefied natural gas from Australia's largest resources project.

Toho Gas is the second of the North West Shelf Venture's original Japanese LNG customers to renew its long-term LNG supply requirements this year.

Under a 10-year contract starting in April 2009, the North West Shelf Venture will supply up to 760,000 tons of LNG a year to Toho on an ex-ship basis, tripling Toho Gas' original LNG commitments with the Venture.

The Executive Vice President of Toho Gas, Masashi Hasegawa, signed the agreement today with Woodside's Chief Operating Officer, Keith Spence, as well as senior representatives from the North West Shelf Venture participant companies.

Woodside's North West Shelf Ventures Director, Dr Jack Hamilton, said the Venture would remain a significant LNG supplier to Toho Gas, with whom it had established a long and important business relationship and friendship.

"The North West Shelf Venture began LNG deliveries to Toho’s Chita LNG terminal in September 1989 and since that time, have delivered more than four million tonnes of LNG to Toho," Dr. Hamilton said.

"We highly value our business relationship and friendship with Toho which has tripled their original purchase commitment from the North West Shelf. We look forward to continuing to deliver a safe and reliable supply of LNG from our expanded LNG processing facilities at Karratha in the Pilbara region of Western Australia."

Based in Nagoya, Toho Gas is the third largest city gas provider in Japan, after Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., and Osaka Gas Co. Ltd.

Toho Gas manufactures city gas at three facilities, the Chita LNG terminal, the Yokkaichi works and the Chita-Midorihama works. Its gas distribution network includes a 25,000km pipeline network.

The six equal participants in the NWS Venture are: Woodside Energy Ltd. (16.67% and operator); BHP Billiton (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) Proprietary Limited (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.