WA Premier Applauds New Wheatstone LNG Deal

Premier Colin Barnett has welcomed today's announcement of a long-term gas sales agreement between Chevron and the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Barnett said the agreement would underpin the Wheatstone project, a major new offshore gas field and an onshore processing development.

The Premier said the 20-year agreement, for 4.1 million tonnes of LNG per year, added further strength to Western Australia's transformation into a global energy economy.

"WA will benefit both from significant new export earnings and from an additional 200 Terrajoules of domestic natural gas, equal to about 20 percent of the State's current supply," he said.

"The Wheatstone project will bring new development to Onslow by becoming the foundation proponent for a deep water port and the 8,000ha strategic industrial estate at Ashburton North.

"The State Government and proponents, including Chevron, are working to obtain planning, heritage and environmental approvals for the Ashburton North estate."

Barnett said a massive change in the State's economy was well under way.

"Currently, the State's only LNG producer, the North West Shelf Joint Venture, has an annual capacity of 16.3 million tonnes," he said.

"Projects already under way at Pluto and Gorgon will see the State's capacity more than double, adding at least 20mtpa.

"During the next decade, other projects currently being considered, such as Wheatstone, the Browse JV and Scarborough, could see LNG production double again.

"Domestic gas production will also experience strong growth with new production already committed from Reindeer/Devil Creek, Gorgon and Pluto and potentially from BHP Billiton's Macedon project, as well as the LNG projects under consideration."

The Premier said the Government would continue to require that about 15 percent of gas processed onshore was reserved for domestic use.

"New domestic gas production will help secure energy for WA communities and industries, and provide new opportunities to attract advanced processing and manufacturing industries," he said.