THE new millennium could mark major hydrocarbon developments for Chevron Australia Pty Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of US oil and gas giant Chevron Corporation.This follows the completed takeover of the operatorship of oil and gas exploration and producing assets previously managed by West Australian Petroleum Pty Limited and the transfer of its offices and staff from Melbourne to Perth.Chevron is involved in exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas in more than twenty countries around the world.WAPET external affairs manager Peter Coghlan told Business News that development of projects such as Gorgon had been waiting on improvements in the market, and the company believed this was now taking place.The project had been scaled back while the JV partners pursued sales of LNG in a market where the biggest competitors were perceived to be Malaysia and Indonesia.“Certain markets are beginning to emerge, and this year could be a year for change,” he said.“The markets are beginning to emerge more strongly. We see positive signs of improvement.”The group’s holdings now include Australia’s first major oil field on Barrow Island, as well as the Thevenard Island oil fields and the substantial reserves of the Greater Gorgon gas fields, all located off the north-west of WA.Chevron managing director John Gass said the company viewed Australia as a key element in its global growth portfolio.“We are delighted to be expanding our activities in Australia,” he said.“Our role as operator will reinforce our long term investment and presence in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.”Chevron has provided management and technical support to WAPET for over thirty-five years.During February, a managed transfer of responsibilities to Chevron from WAPET was concluded.Chevron first entered Australia in 1940 as part of Caltex, a 50-50 joint venture with Texaco. It began exploring for oil and gas in Australia when WAPET was formed in 1952.Chevron’s non-operator holdings include a one-sixth interest in the largest resources project in Australia, the North West Shelf domestic gas and liquefied natural gas project, and the Scott Reef and Brecknock fields operated by Woodside Energy Limited, interests in the northern Browse Basin operated by Shell and three new deepwater exploration permits recently awarded in the offshore Canning Basin.The largest gas holder in WA, Chevron’s interests in petroleum tenements amount to rights over one-fifth of WA’s oil and gas reserves.On the east coast, Chevron is leading the Papua New Guinea-Queensland gas pipeline project which aims to meet demand for cost effective, environmentally sensitive energy to the north-east of Australia.Chevron’s operatorship was endorsed by the other WAPET joint venturers: Texaco Australia Pty Ltd, Mobil Australia Resources Company Pty Limited, Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited, BP Exploration (Alpha) Ltd and AEC International (Australia) Pty Ltd.
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