The JV is made up of Cooper Energy, AWE Limited and Mitsui E&P Australia.
The agreement, which is conditional on completion of regulatory approvals and assignments, provides for the transfer of the plant and associated land after the cessation of current operations processing gas from the Minerva gas field, offshore Victoria.
After completion of the transaction, Cooper Energy will hold a 50 per cent interest in the gas plant and AWE Limited and Mitsui E&P Australia will each hold a 25 per cent interest.
Ownership of the offshore Minerva gas field and offshore gas pipeline is unaffected by the plant transaction, remaining at BHP 90 per cent (and Operator) and Cooper Energy 10 per cent.
The Minerva Gas Plant, located approximately 5 km northwest of Port Campbell, was commissioned in 2005 and has a gas processing capacity of approximately 150 TJ/d and hydrocarbon liquids processing facilities.
The plant is connected directly to the SEAGas Port Campbell to Adelaide pipeline and to the South West Pipeline, owned by APA Group.
The JV has progressed preliminary engineering design work for processing gas at the Minerva Gas Plant, which will require the construction of a 250 m pipeline tie-in together with modification of well control systems to connect the Casino Henry project.
The JV is currently contracted to process gas at the Iona gas processing and storage facility until December 2018.
Potential benefits accruing from processing at the Minerva Gas Plant include increments to gas reserves and higher production rates enabled by lower plant inlet pressure and reduced processing costs.