Bloomberg News

Exxon to Decide Soon How to Remove Mercury From Gas at Kipper

February 07, 2012

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest energy company by market value, will decide soon how to remove mercury from natural gas extracted from the Kipper field off Australia’s southeast coast.

The discovery of mercury was among issues that delayed the project and raised the costs of developing the Turrum and Kipper fields in the Bass Strait by percent to $4.4 billion last year.

“Our engineering people are homing in on that now,” Peter Baker, the installation and hook-up manager for the Kipper, Tuna and Turrum projects, said today at the Marlin A platform in the Bass Strait. “They’re not far away from the decision.”

Construction of Kipper is 88 percent complete and facilities are ready for first production pending resolution of the mercury problem, partner BHP Billiton said in a Jan. 18 report.

Turrum is projected to begin production in 2013, Melbourne- based BHP said last month. Initial output from both Bass Strait fields was expected in 2011, BHP said in October 2010.

Exxon and BHP each own 32.5 percent of the Kipper venture, while Australian gas producer Santos Ltd. has 35 percent. Turrum is part of the Gippsland Basin venture, in which BHP and Exxon each has a 50 percent stake.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sharples in Melbourne at bsharples@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Anderson at manderson34@bloomberg.net


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