US supermajor Chevron is to take charge of the development of the Gorgon LNG project in Australia, it has been announced.
The final investment decision was announced by the Gorgon joint venture partners, which include project operator Chevron (with a 50% interest), coupled with partners ExxonMobil and Shell, each holding a 25% stake.
The project involves developing the LNG plant with an annual capacity of 15 million tons at Barrow Island, off the Western Australian coast.
Development work covers the Gorgon and Jansz-Io gas fields with development facilities directly erected on the ocean floor in 1,300m-deep water.
Two subsea pipelines with a 240km combined length will transport the gas to facilities located on Barrow Island.
Gorgon is also anticipated to be a key location for seizing the naturally occurring carbon dioxide generated along with natural gas, which will be stored safely underground more than 2km underneath Barrow Island.
The project cost is estimated at A$43bn ($37bn) for the initial development phase with work on Barrow Island commencing immediately. First gas is planned for 2014.
Shell’s executive vice-president for Australian Upstream, Jon Chadwick, said that the project will offer key power supplies to the Asia-Pacific economies.
He said that the project will have a local gas supply component that will be jointly marketed to Western Australia's gas customers.