Chevron in tar­get chal­lenge

Pilbara News - - News - Peter Milne

Wheat­stone LNG project op­er­a­tor Chevron faces a chal­lenge to meet its mid-year tar­get of first LNG as it read­ies to re­ceive a 600-bed ac­com­mo­da­tion ves­sel to al­low work­ers to con­tinue fix­ing pip­ing sys­tems on the off­shore plat­form.

An­other ac­com­mo­da­tion ves­sel, the 500-bed Floa­tel Tri­umph, has been con­nected to the Wheat­stone plat­form since Oc­to­ber, hous­ing the hook-up and com­mis­sion­ing crews. When that ves­sel was de­liv­ered to its own­ers in Septem­ber, it was an­nounced it would work on the Ichthys LNG project af­ter Wheat­stone.

With In­pex ready­ing to sail its float­ing cen­tral pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity, the Ichthys Ex­plorer, from South Korea soon, it is likely the Floa­tel Tri­umph now has to sail north to house work­ers for the Ichthys LNG project. Pil­bara News’ par­ent paper The

West Aus­tralian un­der­stands Chevron has ini­tially con­tracted re­place­ment ves­sel the Edda Fides for four months. The Edda Fides set sail from Sin­ga­pore on April 10.

Al­low­ing for travel time from Sin­ga­pore, four months on the site would see plat­form hook-up and com­mis­sion­ing ac­tiv­i­ties con­tin­u­ing un­til late Au­gust.

Af­ter the plat­form is able to ex­port gas, Chevron must also com­mis­sion the 225km pipe­line to shore and the two-train LNG plant near Onslow be­fore the $US34 bil­lion project pro­duces LNG.

Chevron chief ex­ec­u­tive John Wat­son said in Jan­uary work on the off­shore plat­form was the crit­i­cal path ac­tiv­ity for the project.

Early last month, de­spite the Edda Fides al­ready sail­ing to­wards Aus­tralia, Chevron up­stream ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent Jay John­son said: “Our out­look for start-up re­mains around the mid­dle of this year”.

A Chevron com­pany spokes­woman said the out­look for first LNG re­mained mid-2017.

Wheat­stone share­holder Wood­side is ex­pect­ing two to three mil­lion bar­rels of oil equiv­a­lent from the project in 2017, ac­cord­ing to its 2016 re­sults brief­ing in Fe­bru­ary.

Wheat­stone’s 4.45 mil­lion tonnes a year train 1 needs to achieve the equiv­a­lent of more than four months of full pro­duc­tion this year for Wood­side’s 13 per cent share of pro­duc­tion to meet the lower end of its ex­pected pro­duc­tion.

Wood­side’s ef­forts to meet its pro­duc­tion tar­get will not be helped by the un­planned shut­down of the North West Shelf project’s Kar­ratha gas plant on Satur­day.

Pro­duc­tion of gas for the do­mes­tic mar­ket re­sumed on Tues­day last week.

A North West Shelf spokes­woman said staff were work­ing to restart LNG pro­duc­tion safely as soon as pos­si­ble.

In bet­ter news for Chevron, its spokes­woman said ac­tiv­i­ties to restart train 2 were tak­ing place.

Train 2 pro­duc­tion was re­ported to be shut down on March 27.

Pic­ture: Chevron

Chevron's Wheat­stone LNG project. Hookup and com­mis­sion­ing ac­tiv­i­ties con­tinue, in­clud­ing the start-up of util­ity sys­tems at the off­shore pro­cess­ing plat­form.

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