Subject: RT: Bechtel wins $1 bln Timor Sea contract

Reuters

RPT-UPDATE - Bechtel wins $1 bln Timor Sea contract

Monday June 16, 12:53 am ET

DARWIN, June 16 (Reuters) - U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips said on Monday it has awarded a $1 billion construction contract for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in northern Australia to privately held Bechtel Corp Inc.

ConocoPhillips announced the final go-ahead for the $1.5 billion Bayu-Undan project in the Timor Sea on Sunday, which will pipe gas 500 km (310 miles) to a plant in Darwin.

"We have awarded the contract to Bechtel and the first LNG cargo is expected in early 2006," Blair Murphy, ConocoPhillips Australia vice-president, told Reuters.

A second contract, worth nearly $500 million, was awarded to a partnership of Multiplex and the Saipem division of Italy-based ENI, said Stephen Brand, ConocoPhillips' president in Australia.

The venture has a deal to supply the entire reserves of the field -- three million tonnes of LNG annually for 17-years -- to Tokyo Gas (TG) and Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO). The first LNG cargo is scheduled for delivery in early 2006.

Murphy would also not rule the future possibility of processing gas at the Darwin plant from the yet to be developed Sunrise reserves in the Timor Sea, in which ConocoPhillips also has a stake.

Bayu-Undan is operated by ConocoPhillips with a 64.2 percent stake, while the other shareholders are Santos Ltd with 11.8 percent, Japanese energy group INPEX Corp with 11.7 percent and Eni unit Agip with 12.3 percent.

($1=A$1.49)


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