The Associated Press September 24, 2010, 5:16PM ET

Apache, BHP to develop Australian gas field

Apache Corp. and BHP Billiton said Friday they will spend about $1.5 billion to develop a gas field off the coast of western Australia.

BHP Billiton will have the majority interest and will operate the project, which is 60 miles west of Onslow. Its share of the development cost will be about $1.05 billion while Apache will invest about $430 million and own 28.57 percent interest.

The project will develop four offshore wells to produce gas for an onshore processing plant with the capacity of 200 million cubic feet of gas per day. The processed product will be delivered through pipelines to the domestic gas market in western Australia.

Shares of Apache, which is based in Houston, rose $3.14, or 3.3 percent, to close Friday at $98.13 and rose 7 cents in after-hours trading.

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