BHP Billiton has approved the increase in capital expenditure for the Esso Australia-operated Kipper and Turrum projects in the Gippsland Basin, offshore Victoria, Australia.

Kipper’s capital expenditure was raised to $900m and its facilities are expected to be completed in 2012.

Turrum’s expenditure was raised to $1,350m and the project is expected to begin production in 2013.

The Kipper field has resources of 620 billion cubic feet of recoverable gas and 30 million barrels of oil and gas liquids.

Turrum is expected to recover about one trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 110 million barrels of oil and gas liquids.

Esso Australia holds a 32.5% share in the Kipper Unit Joint Venture, while BHP Billiton holds a 32.5% stake and Santos 35%.

Turrum is part of the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture, where Esso Australia and BHP Billiton each hold a 50% stake.