Chevron suspends gas production at Gorgon

Chevron Australia has been forced to temporarily shut down its $55 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas plant on Barrow Island, off the northwest coast of Western Australia, due to mechanical issues with the propane refrigerant circuit on Train 1 at the plant site.

The company said the outage would last up to two months, in a further reputational and financial blow to a project that is already substantially over budget and behind schedule.

The shutdown comes less than a month after the long-awaited project produced its first LNG, and just two-and-a-half weeks after the first cargo of LNG out of Gorgon set sail for Japan.

The propane refrigerant circuit is a closed system used to cool natural gas supplied to the plant. Work necessary to complete the repairs is ongoing while the site team continues equipment inspection and assessment. Based on initial findings, the repair work is of a routine nature and all the necessary equipment and material is available on site. A restart of the plant within 30-60 days is estimated at this time.

The Chevron-operated Gorgon Project is a joint venture between the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas, and Chubu Electric Power.