Gor­gon LNG pro­ject to send first cargo

Pilbara News - - Business - ■ Peter Klinger

US en­ergy gi­ant Chevron has switched on Aus­tralia’s big­gest re­sources pro­ject — the $US54 bil­lion Gor­gon ven­ture on Bar­row Is­land off the Pil­bara coast — to her­ald in a new era in the coun­try’s gas sec­tor.

More than six years af­ter con­struc­tion be­gan, Gor­gon last week pro­duced first liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas vol­umes and this week ex­pects to wave off a first cargo of LNG, des­tined for power sta­tion cus­tomers in Asia.

“We con­grat­u­late the Gor­gon work­force on this achieve­ment, ” Chevron chief ex­ec­u­tive John Wat­son, who is due to visit Perth next month, said.

“This is the re­sult of the col­lab- ora­tion of hun­dreds of sup­pli­ers and con­trac­tors and many tens of thou­sands of peo­ple across the world dur­ing the pro­ject de­sign and con­struc­tion phases.”

More than any other pro­ject in Aus­tralia, Gor­gon typ­i­fied the in­vest­ment rush that flooded in over the past decade to ex­ploit the coun­try’s oil, gas, iron ore, coal, cop­per and gold re­sources.

At its peak, about 10,000 peo­ple were work­ing on Gor­gon. More than 6000 work­ers re­main on Bar­row Is­land to fin­ish off Gor­gon’s con­struc­tion.

Last week’s long-awaited startup — Chevron had orig­i­nally planned the first LNG cargo to hap­pen in late 2014 — means the pro­ject’s op­er­a­tor and its main part­ners ExxonMo­bil and Royal Dutch Shell will start re­coup­ing some of their mas­sive in­vest­ment. It is likely to be years be­fore Gor­gon turns a profit and has to start pay­ing pe­tro­leum re­source rent tax into Com­mon­wealth cof­fers.

“It’s been a long con­struc­tion pe­riod but Gor­gon is the big­gest re­sources pro­ject in Aus­tralia and I wish Chevron well, ” Premier Colin Bar­nett said.

“This decade will show that LNG ex­ports from WA have tre­bled and Gor­gon and (Chevron’s other big LNG de­vel­op­ment) Wheat­stone are the big con­trib­u­tors to that.”

Fed­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­berg her­alded the mile­stone as “an enor­mous achieve­ment”.

Pic­ture: Chevron

Fed­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­burg on Bar­row Is­land with Chevron Aus­tralia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Roy Krzy­wosin­ski on Mon­day.

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