Chevron Appraises Australian Gas Fields for LNG Project

Chevron Corporation announced the successful results of a seven-well exploration and appraisal program for the Wheatstone and Iago fields in northwest Australia. Following the completion and analysis of the appraisal program, the fields are estimated to hold enough natural gas resources to support a two-train Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) and domestic gas project.

George Kirkland, executive vice president, Chevron Global Upstream and Gas, said, "The success with the recent appraisal program moves the Wheatstone project a step closer to commercialization. The Wheatstone project offers a strategic opportunity for Chevron and third parties to develop natural gas resources in the western Carnarvon Basin, as well as deliver energy, jobs and economic benefits to Australia."

Chevron announced plans to locate the Wheatstone project at Ashburton North near Onslow in late 2008 and expects to enter front-end engineering and design in the second half of 2009.

"The Wheatstone project, together with Gorgon, is an important part of Chevron's strategy to develop its large natural gas resource base in Australia and be a leading supplier of LNG. In support of these two major capital projects, the company intends to undertake its largest-ever drilling campaign in Australia," Kirkland added.

Discovered in 2004, the wholly owned Wheatstone Field is located in the WA-253-P and WA-17-R permit areas. The field is 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of Onslow in water depths of around 650 feet (200 meters). The adjacent Iago Field was discovered in 2000 and spans two retention permits, WA-17-R, which is wholly owned by Chevron Australia, and WA-16-R, in which Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd. has a one-third share, with Chevron holding the remainder.

The offshore northwest shelf of Australia is one of four exploration focus areas for Chevron. During 2009, Chevron plans to conduct a large drilling program with two rigs scheduled to drill multiple exploration and appraisal wells in its operated acreage.