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Number 11/08

BHP Billiton today announced approval for the North West Shelf’s North Rankin Gas Compression project which is designed to recover remaining lower pressure gas from the North Rankin and Perseus gas fields. BHP Billiton has approved expenditure of US$850 million (BHP Billiton share) on the project.

The project comprises a new gas compression platform, North Rankin B (NRB), to be constructed adjacent to the existing North Rankin A platform, which will itself require significant brownfield work including the installation of new equipment. The two platforms will be connected by a 100-metre bridge and operate as a single facility.

The NRB platform is a major offshore facility with a topsides weight of about 23,600 tonnes. NRB is expected to start-up in 2012, with-steady state production scheduled for early 2013.

BHP Billiton Petroleum Chief Executive J. Michael Yeager said the North Rankin B project would deliver high-value gas supply from the North West Shelf for another 25 years.

"The North Rankin B project is part of BHP Billiton’s continued commitment to developing Australia’s major resources. This extension of the North West Shelf project follows our approval of the fifth LNG train which significantly expanded the LNG facility as well as the Angel gas and condensate field which are under development," he said.

"These investments in this long-life, world-class asset underpin a significant extension of BHP Billiton’s long-term production profile."

North Rankin is located in 125 metres of water (410 feet), approximately 135 kilometres (80 miles) offshore from Karratha on the North West coast of Western Australia. Production from the North Rankin and Perseus fields started in 1984 and mid-1990’s respectively.

The six equal participants in the North West Shelf project are: Woodside Energy Ltd. (16.67 per cent and operator); BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd 16.67 per cent; BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd (16.67 per cent); Chevron Australia Pty Ltd (16.67 per cent); Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd (16.67 per cent); and Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd (16.67 per cent). CNOOC NWS Private Limited is also a member of the North West Shelf Venture but does not have an interest in North West Shelf Venture infrastructure.

 For further information please contact:

Australia
Samantha Evans, Media Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 2898  Mobile: +61 400 693 915
email: Samantha.Evans@bhpbilliton.com

Don Carroll, Investor Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 2686  Mobile: +61 417 591 938
email: Don.A.Carroll@bhpbilliton.com

United Kingdom
Andre Liebenberg, Investor Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4131  Mobile: +44 7920 236 974
email: Andre.Liebenberg@bhpbilliton.com

Illtud Harri, Media Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4195  Mobile: +44 7920 237 246
email: Illtud.Harri@bhpbilliton.com

United States
Tracey Whitehead, Investor & Media Relations
Tel: US +1 713 599 6100 or UK +44 20 7802 4031
Mobile: +44 7917 648 093
email: Tracey.Whitehead@bhpbilliton.com

South Africa 
Alison Gilbert, Investor Relations
Tel: SA +27 11 376 2121 or UK +44 20 7802 4183
Mobile: +44 7769 936 227
email: Alison.Gilbert@bhpbilliton.com

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