PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Liquefied natural gas (LNG) production from the second train at the Wheatstone project, near Onslow in Western Australia, has started.
US major Chevron said on Friday that the Wheatstone project is expected to produce 8.9-million tonnes a year of LNG over an estimated 30-year mine life, adding that the domestic gas plant was progressing well and due to come on line later in the year.
Chevron Australia MD Nigel Hearne said the company was now the proud operator of a five train LNG business and Australia’s largest liquefaction owner with access to a world-class natural gas resource base off the coast of Western Australia.
“With the Chevron-operated Wheatstone and Gorgon LNG facilities now operational, we are delivering a significant new source of energy for customers in the region, as well as contributing to significant levels of investment into the Australian economy,” said Hearne.
“Development of the Wheatstone and Gorgon projects has seen more than A$60-billion committed to Australian goods and services, around 1 000 contracts awarded to Australian companies and almost 19 000 workers employed,” Hearne said.
“First LNG production from Wheatstone train two is another remarkable achievement and is testament to the collaboration of our partners, customers, contractors, governments, community, and the many thousands of people who worked to deliver this legacy asset. Working closely with our customers, we are committed to be a safe and reliable natural gas supplier for decades to come.”
Project partner Woodside told shareholders on Friday that Wheatstone’s two trains were an important addition to the six Woodside-operated trains on the Burrup Hub, and a significant contribution towards the company’s targeted production of about 100-million barrels of oil equivalent by 2020.
“We are very pleased Train 1 to date has run above nameplate capacity and we will continue to support the operator to maximise reliability to achieve top quartile performance,” said Woodside CEO Peter Coleman.
Coleman added that in support of Wheatstone’s production, Woodside was progressing concept definition for Phase 2 of the Julimar-Brunello project, which would tie-back the Julimar field to the existing Brunello subsea infrastructure that was connected to the Wheatstone offshore platform.
Meanwhile, the state government has welcomed the start of LNG production from the second Wheatstone train, with Premier Mark McGowan saying the project has been transformational for the regional community.
“More than A$20-billion has been spent on Western Australian goods and services during the construction of the project, creating more than 7 000 local jobs.
“In nearby Onslow, the Wheatstone project has been a catalyst for growth. Onslow is being transformed by the project's A$250-million-plus contribution to local infrastructure and amenities, along with A$455-million in spending with local Onslow businesses and services.”
McGowan also said that with the completion of the domestic gas plant, the Wheatstone project could add another 200 TJ a day to Western Australia’s domestic gas network, when it comes on stream in the second half of 2018.