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BHP, Apache Start $1.5 Billion Macedon Gas Project in Australia

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), Australia’s largest oil producer, started its $1.5 billion Macedon natural gas project, according to partner Apache Corp. (APA)

The development, Western Australia’s fourth domestic gas hub, began operating last month and has production capacity of 200 terajoules a day, Houston-based Apache said in an e-mailed statement. Melbourne-based BHP owns 71.4 percent of Macedon, while Apache owns the rest.

Western Australia faces a gas shortage, with prices tripling since 2005, according to the state’s DomGas Alliance, which represents state users such as Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) and Alcoa Inc. (AA)

Apache plans to invest about $1.9 billion in Australia this year, including the Coniston and Balnaves oil projects and the Julimar development, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney at jpaton4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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