Shell is to join the Wheatstone LNG facility project and will also acquire stakes in the gas fields that will feed it. The first phase of the Wheatstone Project consists of two LNG processing trains with a combined capacity of 8.9 million tpa and a domestic gas plant.
Australia has numerous LNG projects in the planning stages at the moment and the recent tsunami in Japan will further increase regional demand for its LNG, the country could be transformed into a regional energy hub if all the projects receive final approval.
George Kirkland, vice chairman, Chevron Corporation, said, "Chevron is pleased to welcome another participant into the Wheatstone Project. The Wheatstone hub will provide a reliable new source of energy to Australia and the region. It will also further enhance Chevron's position as a leading supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia-Pacific."
Shell will assume an 8% interest in the Wheatstone and Iago natural gas fields in the Chevron-operated permits WA-253-P, WA-17-R and WA-16-R, located offshore northwest Australia. The Wheatstone and Iago gas fields will supply Trains 1 and 2 of the Wheatstone Project, located onshore at Ashburton North in Western Australia.
Shell will also assume a 6.4% participating interest in the project facilities, with Chevron remaining project operator. Chevron Australia managing director, Roy Krzywosinski, said front-end engineering and design (FEED) activity on the Wheatstone Project is nearing completion.