by Steven Randall
Ever since the discovery of the first massive gas fields off the north west coast of Australia in the 1970's, it became apparent that the developers of these resources (Woodside Energy being the first of many) would need to bring in partners to successfully build the new LNG production facilities. The price tags for these new ventures would be in the multiple $Billions of dollars, so needing several large companies pooling resources and expertise to finance and build the huge complex facilities needed to harvest the vast quantities of Natural Gas available.
As time went on, some of the potential buyers of this new, cleaner fuel decided it was good business to buy into the developments, and assure themselves of supply of the resource for decades into the future. This factor meant Australia would become intimately engaged with many large Asian groups and nations for long term business, and we would also be actively contributing to lowering the Greenhouse Gas emissions of several countries.
The layout of the gas projects and their participants can be fully understood on the new map.. Asia West Pacific LNG Terminals by Business Maps Australia on the following link. .Asia West Pacific LNG Terminals
We can examine the ownership of these projects in simple terms by starting with the first of them - Woodside's North West Shelf project.
At the time of it's construction it was the largest resources project ever built in Australia, and one of the largest LNG facilities in the world. The owners are as follows... Woodside Energy / BHP Billiton / B.P. Plc / Chevron Energy / Royal Dutch Shell / J.V between Mitsui Ltd and Mitsubishi Australia.
This venture has to date produced and shipped over 4000 cargoes to many clients in Asia and around the world.
The Pluto Project; this venture, situated next to the NWS project, is owned by Woodside Consortium, ,with Japanese companies Tokyo Gas and Kansai Electric also involved. The Japanese groups are major buyers of the gas produced at Pluto.
Then we ship focus to Darwin,, and the Darwin LNG project.
This project was built between 2003 and 2006, and pipes gas from 500 km away in the Timor Sea to Darwin for processing. The owners are Conoco Phillips, with Australia's Santos,, and Japanese groups Inpex, Tokyo Gas and Togas involved. The Japanese companies purchase all the production of this facility.
Gorgon Project : This is one of the largest single LNG projects in the world, and has taken over nine years from preliminary approvals to the first gas from train one this year. With a cost of over $50 billion, the owners are Chevron, Shell Development, Mobil Australia resources (Exxon Mobil), Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric and Tokyo Gas. Again, the Japanese groups are major buyers of the LNG fuel produced.
Wheatstone : The Wheatstone project - sometimes referred to as sister to Gorgon, is being built on the WA mainland near Onslow, south of Barrow island which holds Gorgon. Started over 6 years ago, and planning to produce first gas in late 2016 / early 2017,, the owners are Chevron Australia, Royal Dutch Shell, KUFPEC., Woodside Energy and Kyushu Electric.
Costing nearly $30 Billiion, it is another example of the partnerships needed to take on the enormous technical and financial weight needed to build such huge facilities. It also further illustrates the very close ties between Australian and Asian countries that have been forged over the past decade, in bringing several of these mammath projects to production.
These are the first five of the eleven current LNG projects in Australia, and next week we will consider the other six, including the largest sea-going vessel the world has ever seen. The need for Climate Change reduction in CO2 emissions has meant that the LNG industry globally is running right at the fore of efforts to find cleaner fuels, and Australia is well positioned to take advantage of this situation.
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