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September 15, 2009

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Home » Business » Energy

Work can now start on Aussie gas field

ENERGY giant Chevron said yesterday that the Gorgon liquefied natural gas field, one of the world's largest, will be developed off northwest Australia, a move that will benefit China.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described Gorgon as Australia's biggest-ever resource development, which would generate A$300 billion (US$257 billion) in export earnings.

Chevron Australia, which owns a half share in the project and is the field operator, said in a statement that it had agreed with partners ExxonMobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell to develop the field with a plant built on Barrow Island off Western Australia state.

The project appeared certain last month when PetroChina Co, Asia's largest oil and gas company, agreed to buy 2.25 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year from the gas field in a deal worth about A$50 billion. Chevron and its partners last week announced further deals worth A$70 billion to sell Gorgon gas to Japan and South Korea.

The joint venture partners decided to proceed with the project after production licenses and a development approval were granted by the state government.

"The project will create about 10,000 jobs during the peak construction phase with more than 3,500 direct and indirect jobs sustained throughout the life of the project," state Premier Colin Barnett said.

The project's first phase of development is estimated to cost about A$43 billion.

First work will begin immediately on Barrow Island, and the first gas is expected to be delivered in 2014.


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