Western Australia Renews 2 Wheatstone Retention Leases

The massive Wheatstone gas project on Western Australia's North West Shelf took another step forward on December 24th with Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore's offer to renew two retention leases.

Moore said granting the leases (WA-16-R and WA-17-R) in Commonwealth Offshore Waters would help achieve the earliest possible commercial development of the State's vast offshore gas resources.

"This is another example of the State Government acting to maintain WA's position as Australia's resources leader," he said.

"The Wheatstone project will further establish the State's reputation as an international supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and contribute to our economic prosperity.

"The project, with the proposed LNG plant located just south of Onslow, will now form WA's fourth LNG hub following the North West Shelf, James Price Point and Barrow Island."

Chevron Australia is sole owner of lease WA-17-R, while it shares ownership with Shell Development Australia on the lease WA-16-R.

The Minister said Chevron had already signed a Heads of Agreement for the delivery of 4.1 million tonnes per annum of LNG with the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

"Chevron has also announced a binding agreement with Apache (Julimar) and KUFPEC Australia (Julimar), which will assume interests in the project," he said.

"These agreements, alongside the lease renewals, will form important milestones in ensuring Wheatstone's successful development in the near future."