By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 4 -- A unit of Royal Dutch/Shell Group has finalized an agreement to purchase up to a total of 3.7 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas during 2004-09 from partners in the Australian North West Shelf venture, said project participant BHP Billiton Ltd. This agreement and others support the venture's LNG train expansion.
The contract's actual volume will depend on the volume of LNG that the North West Shelf venture partners commit to long-term customers in Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan. Shell will use the LNG to develop market opportunities outside those markets.
Earlier this year, Osaka Gas Co. Ltd. agreed to purchase 1 million tonnes/year of LNG from the expansion project for 30 years, beginning in 2004 (OGJ Online, Mar. 19, 2002). Last year, the North West Shelf venture agreed to sell 1.37 million tonnes/year of LNG from the expansion project to Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. and Toho Gas Co. Ltd. (OGJ Online, Jan. 16, 2001).
The North West Shelf venture's $2.4 billion LNG expansion projectcurrently under wayincludes a fourth LNG train at the onshore gas plant on Australia's Burrup Peninsula. First LNG from the fourth train is scheduled for mid-2004.
The expansion includes construction of a 4.2 million tonne/year liquefaction facility and a 42-in. trunkline linking the plant and the venture's gas fields 130 km offshore (OGJ Online, Dec. 21, 2000).
Woodside Energy Ltd. operates the Australian LNG joint venture with 16.67%. The five other equal participants are BHP Billiton, BP Developments Australia Pty. Ltd., Chevron Australia Pty. Ltd., Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty. Ltd., and Shell Development (Australia) Pty. Ltd.