Chevron Corp. announced that its Australian subsidiary, Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, plans to develop a new Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, based on its 100 percent-owned Wheatstone natural gas discovery.
The facility will be located on the northwest coast of mainland Australia and have initial capacity of at least one 5 million-ton-per-annum LNG production train with expansion capacity for additional production trains. The facility will also provide commercial domestic gas to the local market.
"Wheatstone LNG is a tremendous growth opportunity for Chevron, providing another platform to commercialize the company's significant natural gas resources in Australia," said Jim Blackwell, president, Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production Co.
"Together, the Gorgon and Wheatstone projects are expected to make Chevron a leading natural gas supplier and operator of LNG facilities in the Asia Pacific region," said Blackwell.
Discovered in 2004, Wheatstone is located 90 miles (145 km) offshore in the Carnarvon Basin in water depths of around 650 feet (200 m). The initial phase of the development will tap an estimated 4.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources located within the two Chevron-operated permits that include Wheatstone.
"The project will provide an infrastructure foundation for commercializing the Wheatstone resource, and enable the development of Chevron's additional significant natural gas resources offshore northwest Australia," said Roy Krzywosinski, managing director, Chevron Australia, based in Perth, Western Australia. "Prospective natural gas development opportunities include additional LNG, domestic natural gas and gas-to-liquids."
Chevron Australia is currently preparing design studies for development and production, site evaluation, and further field appraisal work. Front-end engineering and design is expected to commence in 2009.
"The Wheatstone LNG project reinforces Australia as an expanding and reliable supplier of natural gas for the 21st century. Furthermore, Chevron Australia respects government objectives to develop domestic gas projects and plans to partner with government to achieve this objective. We look forward to working with government to secure timely approvals to facilitate the Wheatstone development and contribute further to Australia's long-term, sustainable economic growth," said Krzywosinski.
Through its Australian subsidiary, Chevron has been present in Australia for more than 50 years. It operates the Gorgon Gas development and the Barrow Island and Thevenard Island oilfields and is a foundation partner in the North West Shelf Venture (natural gas, crude oil and condensate) and the Browse LNG development. Chevron Australia is a significant investor in offshore north-western Australia exploration, one of four global focus areas for exploration for Chevron.
In addition, Chevron operates a Global Technology Centre in Perth, Western Australia, that provides technology support to the company's operations throughout Asia Pacific. Chevron works with Western Australian universities and the Australian government's scientific and industrial research organization in the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance.