Chevron is less than a month away from starting production at the $US34 billion ($42.4 billion) Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Western Australia.
First production at the two-train project, initially targeted for late 2016, is in the final stages of commissioning, according to Chevron executive vice president, upstream Jay Johnson.
He confirmed that Wheatstone was on track to be producing in August during a recent conference call.
“The Wheatstone platform and pipeline are operational and supplying natural gas to the inlet of the onshore LNG plant,” Johnson said.
“Early well performance is encouraging. We’re in the process of starting up the plant, and expect to commence cool down shortly.
“LNG production is expected to follow next month (August). Train 2 construction is progressing well, and we’re on track to start up six to eight months after Train 1.”
Chevron is the majority owner (64.14 per cent) of the Wheatstone joint venture, which also involves Australia’s Woodside Petroleum (13 per cent).
The US-based company, which recorded a 10 per cent lift in oil and gas production in the June quarter against a year earlier, also reported strong performance at the Gorgon LNG project in WA.
Chairman and chief executive John Watson commented: “Our Gorgon LNG Project in Australia closed the quarter running above nameplate capacity.”
Johnson added, “All three trains have achieved or exceeded nameplate capacity, and are operating smoothly.
“On a 100 per cent basis, second-quarter Gorgon production was 333,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, and is currently averaging around 430,000 barrels a day.
“We are currently producing around 3 billion cubic feet of gas a day from 14 wells.”
Gorgon’s first LNG cargo set sail in March 2016, with production from Train 3 starting in March this year.