Oil major Chevron announced Wednesday that its massive, $54 billion Gorgon LNG export project on Barrow Island would begin final preparation of its first liquefaction train shortly, with a cooldown shipment of LNG arriving within a week.
In a reversal of the plant’s product flow, the first cargo at Barrow Island will be inbound, to be used for commissioning.
The plant will serve as the export facility for gas flows from Chevron’s Jansz-Io and Gorgon offshore fields, approximately 80 nm off the coast of Western Australia. Plant design capacity at full production is 16 million tons per annum. The fields will also supply a large volume of gas to Western Australia’s domestic market.
“The Jansz-Io field subsea infrastructure is fully complete. The first two wells have been opened to the Jansz pipeline, confirming the full operability of these subsea systems,” the company said in a statement. “LNG cooldown cargo is planned to arrive in mid-December to assist in cooling down the LNG tanks and associated facilities prior to first LNG export.”
Last week, Chevron announced the layoff of 1,000 workers three months ahead of schedule as Gorgon approaches completion. The cuts come just before Christmas, and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) representatives responded with outrage as boilermakers, welders, pipefitters and others found themselves out of work in Western Australia’s worst job market in thirteen years.
AMWU leaders suggested that lead contractor Chicago Bridge & Iron had terminated the positions early in order to avoid a 2 per cent pay rise set to take effect on January 1.
Chevron responded in a statement that “similar to the construction phase of all resource projects, the duration of jobs is determined by the requirements of individual scopes of work . . . the Chevron-led Gorgon and Wheatstone natural gas projects alone have created 17,000 direct jobs in Australia and committed more than $45 billion in goods and services to local businesses.”
The company had previously announced that Australia would be a focus for job cuts, which are to expected to total up to 7,000 workers worldwide over several years.