Train 1 fires up at Wheat­stone

The Australian Energy Review - - NEWS - Cameron Drum­mond

PRO­DUC­TION from Train 1 at the $45bn Wheat­stone LNG joint ven­ture (JV) project has com­menced, with first LNG cargo ex­pected in the com­ing weeks.

At full ca­pac­ity, the two train LNG fa­cil­ity near Onslow, WA, will sup­ply 8.9 mil­lion met­ric tons per year of LNG for ex­port to cus­tomers in Asia.

“First LNG pro­duc­tion is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone and is a credit to our part­ners, con­trac­tors and the many thou­sands of peo­ple who col­lab­o­rated to de­liver this legacy as­set,” Chevron chief ex­ec­u­tive John Wat­son said.

“Wheat­stone adds to our legacy gas po­si­tion in Aus­tralia that will be a sig­nif­i­cant cash gen­er­a­tor for decades to come.”

The Wheat­stone LNG fa­cil­ity is a JV be­tween ma­jor part­ners Chevron (64.14 per cent), Kuwait For­eign Petroleum Ex­plo­ration Com­pany (13.4 per cent), Wood­side Petroleum Lim­ited (13 per cent), Kyushu Elec­tric Power Com­pany (1.46 per cent), to­gether with PE Wheat­stone, part owned by JERA (8 per cent).

“Wheat­stone is a world-class as­set and the safe start-up of the fa­cil­ity was one of our pri­or­i­ties for 2017, sup­port­ing our near-term growth strat­egy,” Wood­side chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Cole­man said.

First pro­duc­tion from Wheat­stone’s Train 2 is ex­pected in the next six to eight months, and once fully op­er­a­tional would con­trib­ute more than 13 Mm­boe to Wood­side’s an­nual pro­duc­tion.

Aus­tralian Petroleum Pro­duc­tion & Ex­plo­ration As­so­ci­a­tion (AP­PEA) chief ex­ec­u­tive Mal­colm Roberts said Wheat­stone was the lat­est project in a wave of un­prece­dented LNG in­vest­ment that would de­liver en­dur­ing ben­e­fits for all Aus­tralians.

“The Chevron-op­er­ated Wheat­stone Project has de­liv­ered enor­mous eco­nomic ben­e­fits to Aus­tralia dur­ing its con­struc­tion – more than 7000 di­rect jobs and more than $20 bil­lion spent on lo­cal goods and ser­vices through 300 dif­fer­ent Aus­tralian com­pa­nies,” he said.

“But the long-term ben­e­fits will be even greater. Nat­u­ral gas from Wheat­stone means more wealth for Aus­tralia and more re­li­able and cleaner-burn­ing en­ergy for WA.”

Five new LNG projects have been com­pleted since 2014 (Queens­land Cur­tis LNG, Glad­stone LNG, Aus­tralia Pa­cific LNG, Gor­gon and Wheat­stone) and an­other two are near­ing pro­duc­tion (Pre­lude Float­ing LNG and Ichthys).

Dr Roberts said the in­dus­try’s growth meant Aus­tralia was on track to over­take Qatar as the world’s largest LNG ex­porter in 2018.

“Nat­u­ral gas is ex­pected to be the world’s fastest grow­ing tra­di­tional fuel, with the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency fore­cast­ing global pro­duc­tion to in­crease by 48 per cent to 2040.

“Aus­tralia is ideally placed to cap­i­talise on this grow­ing global de­mand.”

Im­age: Chevron.

Wheat­stone's LNG Train 1 has started pro­duc­tion.

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