BHP looks to Brazil

BHP Billiton is targeting Brazilian waters for its next offshore oil venture, as the company's petroleum division continues to grow in influence. Brazil has not auctioned oil blocks since 2008, but will break that trend with a block auction on May 14 and 15, according to information sourced by Bloomberg. The blocks are off Brazil's north-eastern and northern coasts, and BHP will face strong competition from the likes of Exxon Mobil, Hess, BP, Total, Shell and Statoil. Japanese and Chinese oil majors will also bid.


Purchase go-ahead

China's biggest state-owned oil company, PetroChina, has been given the go-ahead to push ahead with its proposed purchase of a 20 per cent stake in permits held by Karoon Gas and ConocoPhillips in Australia's Browse Basin. Karoon has the right to match PetroChina's bid, but told Conoco yesterday it would not attempt to do so. The permits are expected to become Australia's next big LNG development.


WA camp gets OK

A $120 million camp to house more than 850 fly-in, fly-out workers at the proposed gas hub in Western Australia's Kimberley region has been given a conditional green light by a state government planning panel. Amid some angry scenes from protesters, the Kimberley Joint Development Assessment Panel conditionally approved the camp, which would temporarily house workers while a bigger permanent camp is built nearer James Price Point - if Woodside Petroleum's $40 billion project goes ahead.

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