ESE Review Released for Gorgon Gas Development

ChevronTexaco, operator of the Gorgon Joint Venture, released its development proposal for the Gorgon gas field on Barrow Island. The Gorgon field is the one of the largest ever discovered in Australia and the key to unlocking the extensive Greater Gorgon reserves.

The Gorgon Joint Venture is seeking in-principle approval from the Western Australian Government for the restricted use of Barrow Island for a foundation development for Gorgon gas.

A strategic environmental, social and economic review (ESE Review) of the development has been undertaken by the Venture for the Government's consideration. The Gorgon Venture supports the ESE process – which has two periods of public consultation - as an appropriate way of addressing all the matters involved. The development proposal centers on the establishment of a gas processing facility on Barrow Island, which lies directly between the gas fields and the Australian mainland. The island is both an internationally important nature reserve and Australia's largest onshore operating oilfield.

Paul Oen, General Manager - Gorgon Area Gas, said the Gorgon Venture was committed to the sustainable development of the Gorgon gas reserves. "It is our belief that the proposed development of a gas processing facility on Barrow Island can be managed in a way that balances economic, social and environmental priorities," Mr. Oen said. "We are very supportive of the ESE process which will allow full public consultation prior to a development decision."

"Development of this world class resource is a matter of national importance as it would secure Australia’s position as a leading gas producer and provide a huge new source of wealth for both Australia and Western Australia," he said.

The Gorgon gas development would contribute about $6 billion in investment expenditure for the initial development and stimulate 6000 jobs nationally, of which 1700 would be in the Western Australian workforce.

"The Gorgon gas development will meet the growing demand for clean energy in the Asia-Pacific region and the domestic gas market. Strong marketing efforts are currently underway in Korea, China, and the west coast of North America, as well as to potential domestic gas customers," Mr. Oen said.

The use of Barrow Island for the Gorgon gas development would represent a strategic long term transition from the production of oil to clean natural gas on the Island. The oilfield has been in operation for more than 40 years and produced over 300 million barrels of oil, providing revenue of close to $1 billion at today’s value to the State and Commonwealth.

The Gorgon Joint Venture Participants are ChevronTexaco (4/7th interest), Shell (2/7th interest) and ExxonMobil (1/7th).