05/03/2019 - 15:11

Wheatstone domgas gets pumping

05/03/2019 - 15:11

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Chevron has announced its Wheatstone domestic gas plant is ready to begin regular supply, two months after successful test flows into the market and two years after the first LNG shipment.

Wheatstone domgas gets pumping
Gas from the Wheatstone platform is processed onshore at Onslow. Photo: Chevron

Chevron has announced its Wheatstone domestic gas plant is ready to begin regular supply, two months after successful test flows into the market and two years after the first LNG shipment.

The Wheatstone domgas facility has the capability to supply up to 200 terajoules of gas per day into Western Australia, or around 18 per cent of the market.

In early January, the plant produced at a rate of about 62tj/d for a short period, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator, as it undertook commissioning.

It had initially been forecast that domestic supply would begin in 2018.

Chevron has an existing deal to supply Alinta Energy with 20 petajoules of gas annually for seven years from 2020, about a quarter of Wheatstone’s output.

The company inked a deal in December to supply 64PJ of gas from its portfolio to Alco, starting in 2020.

It comes after the Pluto domgas plant entered operations in December, although production at the facility has continued at a low level since.

Premier Mark McGowan said the announcement concluded a major chapter in the growth of WA’s LNG industry.

"The domestic gas policy, introduced by the former Labor government, has helped to secure WA's long-term gas supplies,” he said.

"WA enjoys the lowest wholesale gas prices in the country, and there is a big opportunity for eastern states businesses to relocate to here to take advantage of the cost and reliability of our gas supply.

"My government will continue to encourage investment in WA to create more jobs for Western Australians.”

Chevron Australia managing director Al Williams said the business’s investment into the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG plants had contributed significantly to Australia being the world’s largest LNG producer.

“As a reliable and cost-effective way to generate electricity, cleaner-burning natural gas is a vital energy source for current and future energy needs,” he said.

“Importantly for WA, domestic gas will power local jobs, local industry, local communities and provide government revenues for decades to come.”

Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia acting chief executive Caroline Cherry echoed those sentiments about the plant’s economic contribution.

“WA has a great standing for its secure domestic gas supply and today’s announcement will further strengthen our reputation,” Ms Cherry said.

“The start of domestic gas deliveries from Wheatstone will especially give businesses and industry the confidence that they will have access to an affordable and consistent supply of energy well into the future.

“It will also mean more affordable and reliable electricity for WA homes.”

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