Chevron’s Australian unit said its Wheatstone LNG project, located 12 kilometers west of Onslow in Western Australia started producing liquefied natural gas, on Monday, October 9.
The company said in a brief statement that the first cargo is expected to be dispatched in the coming weeks.
The second train at Wheatstone is expected to start production between March and May next year.
At full capacity, the two liquefaction trains will be producing 8.9 million tons per annum of LNG.
The multi-billion Wheatstone LNG project is Chevron’s second large LNG project fed from natural gas fields offshore the state of Western Australia. The troubled Gorgon project started shipping the fuel back in March 2016, however, production at Gorgon has been hit several times since then.
The construction on the Wheatstone project did not go smoothly as well as the LNG project experienced delays in module deliveries. These delays had resulted in an increase of Wheatstone project costs to 34 billion as compared to $29 billion in the original 2011 estimate.
Wheatstone LNG is a joint venture between Australian units of Chevron (64.14 percent), Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (13.4 percent), Woodside (13 percent), and Kyushu Electric Power Company (1.46 percent), together with PE Wheatstone, part-owned by JERA (8 percent).
Australia chasing Qatar to become the world’s largest LNG exporter
The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) welcomed the first production of LNG from the Wheatstone project.
APPEA Chief Executive Malcolm Roberts said in a statement that Australia was reaping the benefits of $200 billion worth of new investment that would see LNG exports surge from 30 million tonnes in 2015 to more than 85 million tonnes by 2020.
Five new LNG projects have been completed since 2014 in Australia, namely the Queensland Curtis LNG, Gladstone LNG, Australia Pacific LNG, Gorgon and Wheatstone projects. Shell’s Prelude FLNG and the Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG project are expected to start producing the fuel next year.
Roberts said the industry’s growth meant Australia was on track to overtake Qatar as the world’s largest LNG exporter in 2018.
“These are long-term legacy projects that will support economic growth and deliver jobs, taxation and export revenues for Australia for decades to come,” he said.
LNG World News Staff