Japan’s biggest refiner Nippon Oil has signed a deal with Chevron to buy Australia’s Gorgon LNG project.

In what is likely to be a series of long-term LNG deals, Nippon will buy 300,000t a year of the clean burning fuel from the Gorgon project.

“If we find that we can surely sell 600,000t per annum, then we will sign the long-term contracts immediately,” Masami Hayashi, general manager at the gas business department of Nippon Oil, told reporters.

It will ship the fuel to an LNG terminal that it aims to construct in Hachinohe, northern Japan, for around JPY50bn ($542m), where it sees potential demand of 600,000t a year, reports Reuters.

The deal with Chevron is for 15 years from its A$43bn($40bn) Gorgon project in Australia. Chevron now has sales agreements in place for around 6mtpa of its share of Gorgon LNG and still has about 1.3mtpa of equity gas that it needs to sell.