Chevron wraps up work on first Gorgon train, plans to close third

Chevron has completed repair works on heat exchangers at the first Gorgon LNG train in Australia as it plans to shut down the facility’s third unit for inspections during the second quarter.

The US energy giant said in January it was repairing the first train at its 15.6 mtpa LNG facility on Barrow Island, after finding “weld quality issues” that closed the plant’s second production unit.

Following this announcement, Chevron also recently revealed it aimed to restart the first unit this month.

Chevron’s executive VP, upstream, Jay Johnson confirmed on Tuesday during the company’s virtual investor day that the firm has completed repair works at the first and the second Gorgon train.

“And now in the second quarter we’ve really got three issues or three tasks ahead of us. The first is to do the inspections and if there’s any repairs required on Train 3. We’ll do those here in the second quarter,” he said.

Johnson also said Chevron has to “take the scheduled turnaround” the firm planned for the third train, which will also occur in the second quarter.

“These defects that we’re having to address on the first two trains, the investigation is still underway but the initial indications are that these are manufacturing defects that were there from the beginning of manufacture, not an operational issue,” he said.

Capacity boost for both Gorgon and Wheatstone

In addition, Johnson said that Chevron has managed to increase the design capacity at the Gorgon facility by 5 percent.

“That incremental 5 percent is pretty valuable for us. And so we look forward to getting through the second quarter and establishing a good run of production as we enter the second half of this year,” he said.

Chevron also managed to do the same at its 8.9 mtpa Wheatstone LNG facility in Australia. The firm boosted the plant’s design capacity by 9 percent, according to Johnson.

Together, Wheatstone and Gorgon have supplied over 1,200 cargoes since startup, he added.

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