Australia: oil field development

BHP Billiton has approved development of the Stybarrow oil field located in licence block number WA-255-P(2) in the Exmouth Sub-basin, approximately 65km from Exmouth, off the NW Australian coast. At a water depth of approximately 825m it will be the deepest oil field development ever undertaken in Australia. Project costs for Stybarrow are USD 600 million, of which BHP Billiton’s share is 50% (USD 300 million). This expenditure includes the cost of field development. There is also a 10 year minimum service agreement with a Floating Production Storage and Offtake (FPSO) provider. The Stybarrow project involves a subsea development and an FPSO facility which will be used to process, store and offload oil to export tankers. The vessel will be disconnectable, double-hulled and able to process approximately 80,000 barrels of liquids a day. First production is expected during the first quarter of calendar year 2008.

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