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North West Shelf group marks LNG production milestone

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Apr. 7 -- The Woodside Petroleum Ltd.-operated North West Shelf joint venture's LNG plant on the Burrup Peninsula near Karratha in Western Australia marks its 20th anniversary this month of LNG production coming on stream. The first shipment of LNG left for Japan in late July 1989.

North West Shelf Australia LNG Pres. Peter Cleary said the original 20-year contracts signed in 1985 with the Japanese had underpinned the development of the LNG production and export facilities.

Today the JV signed a sales and purchase agreement with Tokyo Electric Power for the supply of 2.5 million tonnes of LNG more than 8 years from 2009. This marks a continuation of that company's relationship with the project. The other original Japanese customers also continue to take additional purchases.

The now $27 billion (Aus.) NWS JV has recently completed it's $2.6 billion (Aus.) Phase V LNG extension and the $1.6 billion (Aus.) Angel platform development. It is now moving through a $5 billion (Aus.) North Rankin platform redevelopment.

The six equal partners in the NWS JV are Woodside, BHP Billiton, BP PLC, Chevron Corp., Japan Australia LNG (Mitsui & Mitsubishi) and Royal Dutch Shell PLC. China's CNOOC also is a member of the group, but does not have an interest in the infrastructure.

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