BHP opens major WA gas plant

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Image courtesy of [Victor ] \ Free Digital Photos

BHP Billiton officially opened its US$1.5 billion Macedon domestic gas project in Onslow, Western Australia today with the Premier of Western Australia, Honourable Colin Barnett.

Image courtesy of [Victor ] \ Free Digital Photos
Image courtesy of [Victor ] \ Free Digital Photos
Macedon is a joint venture between BHP Billiton (71.43%) and Apache Northwest (28.57%). The facility builds on the company’s oil and gas operations in WA, including the North West Shelf project and the Exmouth Sub-Basin.

According to the BHP Billiton news release, the plant has a production capacity of up to 200 terrajoules of gas per day and includes an onshore gas treatment plant at Onslow and four offshore production wells making it the company’s largest domestic gas operation.

“Macedon is BHP Billiton’s largest operated Australian domestic gas project and is expected to supply domestic gas for the wholesale market in Western Australia until at least 2033. The operation will supply 20 per cent of the State’s daily domestic gas supply for consumers and industry,” said BHP Asset President Conventional Steve Pastor.

Its first gas commenced in August, almost three years after BHP gave the green light to develop the Macedon field about 100 kilometres off the northwest coast of Western Australia. Gas from the plant will be exported to the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline for sale into the WA market.

The Macedon pipeline is 3.9 kilometres from a nominated World Heritage Area, and 8.1 kilometres from the Ningaloo Marine Park Commonwealth Boundary. NineMSN Finance says BHP has already sought to allay the environmental concerns with regards to its proximity to the sensitive reef and gulf.

The success of the project, according to Pastor, reflected “deep commitment to environmental protection, economic development and community engagement”.

BHP says it will be investing in the future growth of the area during the productive life of the asset, through its State Development Agreement, a community engagement initiative to promote the health and wellbeing of its neighbours.