The milestone contains a twist, however. The carrier will arrive with a full cargo of LNG that will be injected into the LNG plant on the island to cool the storage tanks and processing lines as well as purge any air that remains in the system.
The arrival of the carrier is a precursor to Chevron starting up the first of the three trains nearing completion in preparation for bringing the plant on stream.
The maiden cargo of Gorgon LNG is expected to leave Barrow Island in February or March.
Commissioning of Train 1 and its associated infrastructure is well advanced. Currently Chevron is undertaking final testing of critical systems required for the safe import of the commissioning cargo.
The first of the Jansz-Io wells was recently opened to the subsea pipeline linking the offshore fields to the Barrow production facilities.
At the same time Chevron is preparing to make the transition from constructor to production operator. The company also is working to have its other Western Australian project—the two-train Wheatstone development near Onslow—ready for production by yearend 2016.