North West Shelf Says Phase V Costs Increased 21%

The North West Shelf Venture has approved an increase in costs for the Phase V expansion at its onshore gas plant near Karratha, Western Australia.

The project budget, which was initially A$2 billion, has been revised up by 21% to A$2.425 billion following a comprehensive review.

The revision is largely due to higher labour costs in construction contracts awarded during a period of extraordinary international construction market inflation.

The project includes construction of an LNG processing train with an annual capacity of 4.2 million tons and associated infrastructure including a second loading berth. The current expansion phase remains on schedule for completion in mid-2008.

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 and has a 25% interest in the China LNG Joint Venture which was established in December 2004 to accommodate CNOOC and to supply LNG to Guangdong Dapeng LNG. CNOOC does not have an interest in North West Shelf Venture infrastructure.