Companies join forces to develop floating LNG facility

BHP Billiton and ExxonMobil Corp said they are teaming up to develop the world's largest floating liquefied natural gas operation off the coast of Western Australia in the remote Scarborough field.

Dow Jones Newswires reported the companies will build a floating vessel capable of producing up to 7 million metric tons of LNG per year. That is twice the amount of LNG Royal Dutch Shell plans to develop at its floating LNG facility in the Browse Basin.

The Scarborough field is located about 186 miles from the coastline. ExxonMobile will be the project operator, the source reported, and the company may be just days from submitting project planning documents to Australian environmental authorities.

Analysts recently said coast pressures in Western Australia have made floating LNG technology a more economic option, The Australian reported. Woodside Petroleum Ltd. executive Gary Gray said floating LNG facilities in Western Australia could reduce capital investments costs and improve environmental effectiveness, the article stated.

"Floating LNG brings a unique capability and solution to the development of offshore oil and gas resources," said Gray.

LNG facilities are explored at PennEnergy's research area.

BHP Billiton and ExxonMobil Corp said they are teaming up to develop the world's largest floating liquefied natural gas operation off the coast of Western Australia in the remote Scarborough field.

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