Sec­ond Gor­gon LNG cargo set to sail

Pilbara News - - News - Peter Klinger

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.

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