Chevron pushes back Gorgon 2nd train restart

Chevron will need more time to place back online the second train at its Gorgon LNG plant in Australia after it found “weld quality issues” within the propane heat exchangers.

The second train has been offline since May 23 when it was closed as part of planned maintenance.

To remind, the Australian unit of the US energy giant said end-July it planned to restart the second unit at its 15.6 mtpa LNG facility on Barrow Island early this month.

But it said in a statement on Wednesday it would need additional time to complete the repairs. Chevron now expects to complete the repairs and to restart production next month.

“Following our ongoing technical work, we are further refining our approach and have decided some welds in targeted areas will require additional work,” it said.

Train 2 repair works to help with the remaining two trains

Last month, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety also ordered Chevron to inspect the other two Gorgon trains allowing Chevron to shut them down in stages.

“We have discussed our plans with the regulator and will maintain alignment on its requirements for inspections and repairs on the Gorgon heat exchangers and the sequencing of work on Trains 1 and 3,” Chevron said.

Insights gained from the current repairs would contribute to more “efficient inspections and potential repairs” on the other two units.

The energy giant added it continues to provide LNG to customers under its contractual commitments. This also includes natural gas supplies to the Western Australian domestic market.

The Gorgon development is one of the world’s largest natural gas projects with a price tag of about $54 billion.

The plant liquefies gas coming from two offshore fields – Gorgon and Jansz-Io.

The first LNG cargo departed Barrow Island in March 2016 followed by gas supply to the domestic market in December.

Chevron Australia operates the project with a 47.3% share while ExxonMobil and Shell have a 25% stake, each.

Japan’s Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas, and JERA own the remaining stakes in Gorgon.

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