Chevron’s Gorgon project ships 39 cargoes, first LNG from Train 3 expected in 2nd quarter

First shipment of LNG from the Gorgon project (Image: Chevron)

The Chevron-operated giant Gorgon LNG plant on Barrow Island offshore Western Australia has shipped 39 cargoes of LNG up to date, Chevron’s CEO John Watson said on Friday.

Production at the $54 billion Gorgon LNG project has been hit several times since it shipped its first cargo of the chilled fuel on March 21.

The LNG facility faced four production interruptions in March, July, in the beginning of November, and in late November.

Watson said during a conference call discussing Chevron’s fourth-quarter results that the Gorgon Train 1 and Train 2 were producing at a “stable” rate, near full capacity.

Output from the two LNG units was over 200 millions barrels of oil equivalent per day and 100 million cubic feet per day of domestic gas, the CEO said.

Out of total 39 cargoes from Gorgon, ten have been shipped since the beginning of this year.

“Train 1 ramp-up was below expectations as we worked through start-up issues… All learnings from Train 1 were applied to Train 2 and consequently, Train 2 ramped up to 92 percent capacity within a week and continues to exceed expectations,” Watson said.

Construction on Gorgon Train 3 was completed and Chevron is currently commissioning the last unit.

“We expect first LNG early in the second quarter of this year,” Watson said.

Once in full production, the three-train plant on Barrow Island is expected to have a capacity of 15.6 million mt/year.

The Gorgon LNG project 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).

First Wheatstone LNG in mid-2017

Chevron’s second LNG project in Australia located near Onslow is expected to ship its first cargo of the chilled fuel in the middle of this year.

To remind, Chevron in October announced a $5 billion cost blowout for its Wheatstone LNG project blaming late arrivals of modules. Wheatstone project costs are now around $34 billion.

Watson said during the conference call that Wheatstone’s onshore plant was making good progress with all modules for the two trains in position and the plant site was “under permanent power.”

“Ongoing hook up and commissioning of the offshore platform is the critical path activity,” he said, adding that the company is leveraging experience from Gorgon and incorporating into ongoing activities.

Eighty percent of the Wheatstone project’s foundation capacity will be fed with natural gas from the Wheatstone and Iago fields, which are located about 200km north of Onslow off Western Australia’s Pilbara coast. The remaining 20 percent of gas will be supplied from the Julimar and Brunello fields.

The gas will be supplied to the project’s two-train 8.9 mtpa onshore liquefaction plant located 12 kilometers west of Onslow in the Pilbara region.

Following the start-up of Train 1, Wheatstone train two is expected to start six to eight months after, Watson said.

The Wheatstone LNG project is a joint venture between Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (64.14 percent), Kufpec (13.4 percent), Woodside (13 percent), and Kyushu Electric (1.46 percent), together with PE Wheatstone, part owned by Tepco (8 percent).


LNG World News Staff


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