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Gorgon gas project moving towards approval


All the approvals for the joint developers to make a final investment decision on the $11 billion Gorgon gas project, off Western Australia's North West coast, are expected to be in place before the end of this year.
The expected green light for the world class project, the parallel development of both the Gorgon and Jansz fields, would see the export of more than 100 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Asia Pacific region over 25 years from 2010.
Chevron and Shell are also pursuing other markets in North America and India.
Gorgon project general manager Colin Beckett told an International Business Council gathering in Perth today that about 70 per cent of LNG production had already been committed to customers, giving weight to the confidence in the project's go ahead.
He said 2006 was a pivotal year for the project, with final internal and external approvals determined and development plans refined.
The most critical milestone would be the decision by State Environment Minister Mark McGowan to grant approval for the use of Barrow Island for the project's LNG processing plant.
The Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to make its recommendation to the minister in May.
Mr Beckett said joint venture partners Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell, were also completing an assessment of the commercial opportunities in the domestic gas market.

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