March 22, 2016
SYDNEY (AFP) - One of the world's biggest gas plants has begun shipping fuel after months of delays and cost overruns, operator Chevron said, with a vessel leaving Australia bound for Japan.
The US$52 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project off Australia's northwest coast -- the country's largest resources project -- started production in early March, with its first shipment departing Barrow Island on Monday, Chevron said.
"Departure of the first cargo from the Gorgon Project is a key milestone in our commitment to be a reliable LNG provider for customers across the Asia-Pacific region," Chevron's Mike Wirth said in a statement.
"This is also important for our investors as we begin to generate revenue from a project we expect will operate for decades to come," Wirth said, adding that LNG was among the fastest-growing segments of the multinational's energy portfolio.
Chevron owns 47.3 percent of the venture. The delivery was to Chubu Electric Power, one of the smaller partners (0.417 percent) in the joint venture that includes Shell and ExxonMobil, which each hold 25 percent.
Other Gorgon partners are Japanese firms Osaka Gas (1.25 percent) and Tokyo Gas (1.0 percent).
Energy companies including Chevron have been hit by falling oil prices, which affects the value of LNG.
Australia has several other LNG plants in the pipeline and is predicted to overtake Qatar as the world's biggest liquid natural gas producer by 2020.
CHEVRON (isin = US1667641005)
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC (isin = GB00B03MLX29)
OSAKA GAS (isin = JP3180400008)
TOKYO GAS (isin = JP3573000001)
EXXONMOBIL (isin = US30231G1022)