30/06/2022 - 15:42

Chevron to close Barrow oil field

30/06/2022 - 15:42

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Western Australia’s first major oil field is coming to the end of its life, with Chevron announcing production at Barrow Island will cease in 2025.

Chevron to close Barrow oil field
Chevron managing director Mark Hatfield. Photo: David Henry

Western Australia’s first major oil field is coming to the end of its life, with Chevron announcing production at Barrow Island will cease in 2025.

The Barrow Island oil field commenced production in 1967, with the discovery raising hopes of major petroleum discoveries off WA’s northern coast.

Since the first shipment, the facility has produced more than 335 million barrels of oil.

Chevron said its WA oil business has also delivered more than $1 billion in royalties.

Barrow Island, a Class A nature reserve, is now best known as the home of Chevron’s giant Gorgon LNG plant.

With the support of its joint venture partners Exxon and Santos, Chevron will now start preparing for the decommissioning of its Barrow Island oil facility.

Chevron Australia managing director Mark Hatfield said today the decommissioning of end-of-life oil and gas facilities was an emerging area of focus and expenditure.

He told an AmCham lunch that an estimated $50 billion would be spent on decommissioning projects over the next 50 years.

Mr Hatfield suggested this could lead to the birth of a new industry.

Decommissioning has also become a politically contentious issue after the Australian government imposed an industry levy to pay for the $300 million-plus cost of decommissioning the Northern Endeavour FPSO facility in the Timor Sea.

The government was left with responsibility for Northern Endeavour after the vessel’s private owner, Northern Oil and Gas Australia (NOGA), collapsed in early 2020.

That was four years after Woodside Energy sold the vessel to NOGA.

The planned decommissioning and remediation of Barrow Island follows a similar process at nearby Thevenard Island, where Chevron ceased oil production in 2014.

This included engaging Perth company Workpower to grow and supply 123,000 seedlings for planting on the island and Australian company Liberty Industrial to complete the building demolition and site clean-up.

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