Second Gorgon LNG cargo set to sail
Chevron is starting up its Gorgon LNG plant again, almost two months since production ground to a halt at Australia’s biggest resources project.
Sources expect the $US54 billion (A$73 billion) project’s second LNG cargo, destined for Gorgon part-owner Royal Dutch Shell, to set sail from Barrow Island around the end of this month. Work was under way last week to begin the necessary pipe cooling and prestart activities before Gorgon can resume producing LNG.
Chevron will not discuss the restart timetable nor the cost of the repair bill to fix a broken propane refrigerant circuit on Gorgon’s first (and only completed) LNG processing train.
It had said previously it expected Gorgon to be out of action for 30 to 60 days.
Sources said the repair bill looked like coming in at the lower end of estimates of up to $200 million, based on Chevron’s ability to use spare parts on Barrow Island as well as access the propane refrigerant circuits attached to Gorgon’s second and third trains.
“Start-up activities are under way on Gorgon Train 1 with a plan to safely resume production in the coming weeks,” a Chevron spokeswoman said last week.
“Construction activities continue to progress on Trains 2 and 3, with timing not affected by the work on Train 1. Repairs on the train one propane refrigerant circuit are complete.”
A review carried out by Chevron after the forced shutdown found that a rush to finish construction of Train 1 and begin LNG production in time for the US giant’s annual investor day in New York on March 8 was a cause of the propane refrigerant circuit breakdown.
The company is yet to provide a final cost for Gorgon, with analysts expecting a figure significantly higher than the $US54 billion estimate provided 21⁄2 years ago.