PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner BHP Billiton and its joint venture (JV) partner ExxonMobil Australia have agreed to a A$400-million spend to replace a 187 km pipeline in Victoria, which transports crude oil and condensate between the Longford and Long Island Point facilities.
ExxonMobil said on Friday that the pipeline would allow the continued safe delivery of crude oil and condensate and ensure that natural gas from offshore Gippsland operations continued to flow to Australia households and businesses.
Both BHP and ExxonMobil hold a 50% interest in the Gippsland Basin JV, with ExxonMobil subsidiary Esso Australia Resources acting as the operator.
Pending regulatory approval, the construction of the replacement pipeline is expected to begin in late 2015.
“With an approximate project cost of A$400-million, the replacement pipeline represents another significant investment in the continuation of our Gippsland operations, which have provided crude oil, condensate, LPG and natural gas to the Australia market since operations began in 1969,” said ExxonMobil Australia chairperson Richard Owen.
It was anticipated that, at its peak, the project would generate approximately 500 jobs, as well as deliver additional indirect employment opportunities.
“Development of Gippsland’s oil and gas has historically brought the region significant long-term benefits, boosting economic growth and creating new jobs,” Owen said.
“Our commitment to the continued safe, reliable supply of cost-effective energy is demonstrated through this key infrastructure investment and our continuous pursuit of opportunities to reduce cost and improve productivity."