Chevron says Gorgon shutdown to last up to two months, delivers first cargo to Chubu

Energy giant Chevron said on Wednesday it expects to resume production at its US$54 billion Gorgon LNG project in Australia in 30-60 days after the Barrow Island facility was shut down due to mechanical problems.

Chevron confirmed earlier reports that a mechanical issue in the propane refrigerant circuit on Train 1 at the plant site halted production soon after the first cargo departed from the facility on March 21.

Chevron added in its statement that the first cargo of chilled gas from the giant LNG project has been delivered to Japan’s Chubu Electric.

Repair works on the propane refrigerant circuit, which is a closed system used to cool natural gas supplied to the plant, are ongoing while the equipment inspection and assessment continue.

According to the initial findings, the repair works are of “routine nature” Chevron said, adding that all the necessary equipment and material is available on site.

US-based Chevron did not elaborate on how much the repair works would cost. It was previously reported by the West Australian newspaper that the costs could reach more than 100 million Australian dollars.

Prior to the mechanical failure, Train 1 production peaked at nearly 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent and Chevron still expects the ramp-up to full capacity over the next six to eight months, despite the issue.

Construction activities on Trains 2 and 3 are, however, progressing and Chevron claims the timing has not been affected by the repair works on Train 1.

At full capacity, the plant on Barrow Island will have the capacity to produce 15.6 mtpa of LNG using feedgas from the Gorgon and Jansz-Io gas fields, located within the Greater Gorgon area, between 80 miles (130 km) and 136 miles (220 km) off the northwest coast of Western Australia.

The largest single resource project ever developed in Australia is operated by Chevron that owns a 47.3 percent stake, while other shareholders are ExxonMobil (25 percent), Shell (25 percent), Osaka Gas (1.25 percent), Tokyo Gas (1 percent) and Chubu Electric Power (0.417 percent).

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LNG World News Staff