First LNG ship leaves Barrow
■ After almost seven years of construction and $71 billion spent, Chevron this week waved off the first shipment of liquefied natural gas from Barrow Island, destined for Japanese customers.
It signals the final proof of concept for Australia’s biggest resources project, and the biggest development Chevron, a global oil and gas titan, has undertaken.
Gorgon’s first of three LNG processing lines started almost two weeks ago, and loading of the Asia Excellence carrier began at the weekend ahead of the ship’s sailing this week.
The first cargo is being sent to Japanese utility Chubu Electric Power, one of Gorgon’s foundation customers.
Chevron Australia managing director Roy Krzywosinski said the maiden shipment “signifies the dedication and efforts of tens of thousands of people on Barrow Island, throughout Australia and around the world”.
“Safely and reliably delivering a project the scale of Gorgon, while protecting our people and the environment, is a clear demonstration of teamwork and a credit to the collective efforts of our customers, government and partners,” he said.
“Gorgon, along with Wheatstone, represents a new chapter in Australia’s resources history.
“Both projects will continue to deliver significant long-term economic benefits and energy security for Australia for decades to come.”
Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG could supply about 25 per cent of Japan’s annual gas demand.
The Gorgon project is supplied from the Gorgon and Jansz-Io gas fields, located in the Greater Gorgon area, between 130km and 220km off WA’s north-west coast.
At full capacity, Gorgon will be able to produce 15.6 million tonnes of LNG a year.
Premier Colin Barnett said the State Government and joint venture partners had managed to ensure Barrow Island’s environmental integrity was maintained through strict quarantine conditions.
“The project is the largest single resources project in Australian history, and is also one of the largest natural gas projects in the world,” he said.
“To date, more than $34 billion has been invested within the State and Australia, and 455 contracts have been awarded to WA companies for goods and services.
“As the project moves into production, its longstanding benefits include operational and maintenance jobs, the provision of domestic gas and the payment of State taxes.”
Federal Opposition resources spokesman Gary Gray, who visited Barrow Island last week with Federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg, said “first export gas is a terrific achievement”.
“I congratulate the whole Gorgon team — workers, management and regulators — this is an achievement of global significance,” he said.
WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy also welcomed the first shipment of LNG from Gorgon.
CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the milestone represented a massive investment in the future of WA.
“The Gorgon project is forecast to add almost $14 billion each year to Australia’s GDP right through until 2040,” he said.
“It will also boost State and Federal Government revenues by more than $70 billion from 2009 to 2040.”
Mr Howard-Smith acknowledged the environmental stewardship and community investments delivered by the project and its joint venture partners, including the $34 billion spent on local goods and services.
“CME and its members congratulate the project on this major milestone,” he said.
The Asia Excellence leaves Barrow Island.