Chevron has stated that it has discovered enough gas off the Coast of Western Australia to build an extra fourth train at its Gorgon LNG project. It is expecting to make a formal decision about the planned expansion in 2013. “We found enough gas for this expansion and plan to enter FEED in 2012,” stated Jim Blackwell, Chevron Executive Vice President of Technology and Services.
However, demand for the clean-burning fuel is booming in South East Asia. Japan was already the number one importer of LNG and with so many of its nuclear reactors out of action and one on the verge of going into meltdown, it is likely to be importing a lot of LNG in the future, at least until it can bring all its reactors back online, and that may take years.
With its proximity to the Asia-Pacific marketplace, Chevron looks set to cash in on growing demand for LNG. China and India are both building receiving terminals along their coastlines. Currently the only major stumbling block is a tight labour market in Australia, as there are a number of LNG export facilities in the planning phase in Australia, which will all require significant amounts labour to get off the ground.
Worley Parsons Ltd have even stated that Australia may overtake Qatar as the world’s largest producer of LNG if all the proposed projects are completed, bringing production capacity to a total of 100 million tpa of LNG. Australia is also better placed than Qatar to exploit the Asia-Pacific market, which is currently the fastest growing energy market.
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